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Now, you may not have a problem with shorting airlines, that's your call. Personally, I'd rather be able to look at myself in the mirror. I never mentioned anything as being "un-American." The opposite may in fact be true. I'm just struggling with my new found morality in this period. And I'm not suggesting any enforcement or regulatory action. I'm just saying you may be a schmuck for shorting them. If you had a short before this happened, then thats perhaps another story.

Well, as RJMason has mentioned, you probably would have lost $ on a short, since the airlines opened Monday gapping down a ton. But that's an aside.

My wife works for United. I've learned a lot about the company, and it's been poorly run for a while. Labor-Management relations are atrocious. UAL has ticked off the pilots, the flight attendants, the mechanics, and now it looks like they'll also piss off the ramp and other service personnel.

I'm not a sop for the unions (I get to read the union propaganda rags, and laugh at some of the "class struggle" cr*p they foist off as objective journalism), but it's easy to see that United's management has had it's collective head up its collective backside for some time. They were hemorrhaging money before the terrorist attacks, and still have the potential for labor strife with the IAM union.

(Just watch, they'll use the attacks as an excuse to label IAM as "un-American" and take a hard line in the contract negotiations that have been going on for over 18 months.)

As a "customer", I get to fly for free, and there are times they've ticked me off. If I'd plunked down $500+ for a ticket...

So, I have many reasons for thinking airlines may not be great investments. But maybe now the price is right. Only 70%+ off from 2-3 years ago

Which segues into the next bit:

<< BTW- anyone else ticked hearing the airlines crying like babies for a bailout? Maybe if we'd had a commitment to spend a decent amount of money on domestic airline security, none of this would have happened. It's not the airlines fault, it's the fault of evil fanatics, but it would have been at least a little more difficult. >>

Hindsight's 20/40. But what would you suggest? Let them fail? I'm pretty sure that airline travel is integral to our economy, and given the recent turn of events, the obstacles to entering the market are staggering.

Again, my view of United predates recent acts, but here goes. I agree that we can't just let all the airlines go broke. However, many airlines have done a less than stellar job running their businesses. Yes, the industry is cyclical, and yes, this attack was fairly unexpected and will hurt them more, but...good businesses manage risk (there's those words again) so that they can mitigate damages from unexpected events. Have the insurance companies been asking for federal bailouts yet? I haven't heard about any, but they're going to be on the hook for LOT of money. If they can manage their business well, then why can't the airlines?

Plus, some relief may be in order, but I can't see simply writing a blank check. I you bail them out, what's to stop them from making similar mistakes in the future? It's like a young spendthrift who always gets extra cash from mommy and daddy when he (or she) runs out. Why learn to save when Uncle Sam will give you a check? I thought the idea of deregulation was to SAVE the government money and increase consumer's options.

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