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That Meeting Between Airlines CEOs & Trump Did Not Go Well

That Meeting Between Airlines CEOs & Trump Did Not Go Well
Joe Cortez

At the beginning of July, U.S. President Donald Trump met with airline leaders over the continued “Open Skies” dispute. While the American airline executives allegedly called the meeting through advertisements on Fox News, the actual event may have gone down differently than they envisioned.

On July 18, 2019, leaders from three major airlines came to the White House with the hopes of settling some of their differences. However, what actually happened was far from what all three were hoping for. Speaking to attendees of the meeting, CNBC paints a picture closer to what happens in the board room on the president’s former reality show, “The Apprentice.”

According to insiders, the airlines allegedly called for the audience with President Donald Trump through purchasing ads on Fox News. Ultimately, three executives would attend the meeting: Doug Parker of American Airlines, Oscar Munoz of United Airlines, and Akbar Al-Baker of Qatar Airways.

The American carrier executives were hopeful they could bring their concerns about the alleged subsidies of the “Middle East Three” to the president. But insiders say the hour-long meeting was full of taunting.

Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian was the alleged butt of the joke. As CNBC reports, the president made many comments about how Bastian was not at the meeting, despite his predecessor making direct accusations against Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways about supposed Open Skies violations. But he wasn’t the only one to meet the president’s ire: Doug Parker was also taunted by Trump over the company’s stock prices and choice to purchase aircraft from French manufacturer Airbus.

In the report, the always-outspoken Al-Baker called the two American carrier executives “liars,” while Trump supposedly jeered that the CEO of Qatar Airways takes money from their government. By the end of the meeting, nothing was accomplished as Trump sent the groups back to the Transportation Department for final resolution.

Although both sides of the Open Skies debate called victory after the meeting, it appears nothing came out of the meeting. Aside from the anonymous sources inside the White House for the meeting, none of the parties officially commented afterward.

 

[Featured Image: Flickr/ White House]

View Comments (20)

20 Comments

  1. formeraa

    July 31, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Seems like the DL CEO is VERY smart…

  2. cmd320

    July 31, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    US airlines need the competition. They offer overpriced products for which they consistently underdeliver time and time again. If only US airlines faced foreign competition on domestic routes, then things would actually get interesting.

  3. LukeO9

    July 31, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    The art of the deal on full display

  4. AJNEDC

    August 1, 2019 at 7:37 am

    And would foreign carriers welcome US carriers providing domestic travel in their markets?

  5. AJNEDC

    August 1, 2019 at 7:41 am

    I am amazed that the AA CEO did not walk out of the meeting. I would have done so if the writer of this article is reporting what transpired correctly.
    Open skies should be done away with for the ME3 as it benefits them more than US carriers.

  6. skidooman

    August 1, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Anyone surprised that this went nowhere? Mr. Dealmaker believes he will magically solve stuff, and ends up doing the exact opposite.

    Bastian was right not to go.

  7. BJM

    August 1, 2019 at 11:02 am

    What did they expect they were going to get from this meeting?

  8. jwhuffman

    August 1, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    The meeting was pointless, POTUS has very little to do with this situation, its Congress and FAA/DOT.

  9. Sydneyberlin

    August 1, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    A meeting with the master dealmaker that was everyone’s waste of time- hear hear, we haven’t seen THAT before. Eyes roll…

  10. Jcmontecarlo

    August 2, 2019 at 4:26 am

    Just funny to see how AA and the other garbage airlines would do in Asia or the middle east. No chance for them surviving 1 week with their luxury 😂😂😂 products.

  11. crwander

    August 2, 2019 at 4:38 am

    Who can blame Bastian? The others should have known in advance that this meeting would simply be an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” On the other hand, like Ed McMahon used to say, “You can’t win if you don’t enter.”

  12. Tharos

    August 2, 2019 at 4:50 am

    Taking anything reported by CNBC as accurate or the truth is naive at best.

  13. PepeBorja

    August 2, 2019 at 6:17 am

    When Bastian decided not to show up the meeting was over, so Cmndr. Trump took Bastian’s disrespect in stride and decided to drill those present a new one. Bastian (the cheerleader for Open Skies) skips the meeting because he dislikes Trump and in the process he screwed the other executives by leaving them out to hang on a meaningless meeting with Trump. Oh well, what can anyone expect from leaders of industries that are not obsessed with their customers.

  14. MrGood

    August 2, 2019 at 6:38 am

    Sometimes it seems DL, AA and UA are all owned by the same people, because they all end up making the same dumb/questionable industry moves while expecting little or no backlash. The US airlines DO need competition to ensure some sort of quality control to shake up their monopolistic cost cutting. Someone had to throw the wrench, even if Trump’s not the person to make this decision

  15. WillTravel4Food

    WillTravel4Food

    August 2, 2019 at 7:05 am

    The FAA has nothing to do with competition. That responsibility is at the SecDOT level.

  16. RSSrsvp

    August 2, 2019 at 8:16 am

    IMO if you already know the answer don’t ask the question which is why DL passed on the meeting. All this meeting was is another photo opportunity for the reality series called “Trump visits Pennsylvania Ave.”

  17. not2017

    August 2, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    If I was Bastian, I would have done the same thing. Trump is utterly incompetent!

  18. kkua

    August 3, 2019 at 6:54 am

    The Oval office today is nothing more than the Bored (intentional spelling) Room of the Apprentice. It’s sad.

  19. RandyN

    August 7, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Trump’s only experience with commercial air travel is running an airline into bankruptcy.

  20. IanFromHKG

    August 18, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    I’m surprised by the comment above that US airlines wouldn’t last a week in other regions with their luxury products. I have flown the new AA international J class several times and it is very good. I haven’t flown Delta One but it look excellent too (although I am less grabbed by the Polaris product).

    IMO where the US airlines let themselves down is with inconsistency of service, and with lounges. I am not quibbling about the lack of lounge access for domestic flights because I recognise that is a market difference (and no different to Australia, incidentally) and also because in the US one of the main FF perks is upgrades rather than lounge access. It is just that so many of the lounges are really quite poor, and even though one may not always need to pay for drinks the free allowance in some is pretty poor (two vouchers for what might be a three-hour layover) and one effectively has to pay by tipping the bar staff.

    Back to the meeting – it was always going to be ineffective. QR won’t admit to taking government money, the US airlines won’t stop complaining that they do, and also won’t admit that the Chapter 11 process they have all been through amount to government-supported restructuring.

    I’m not American btw (nor am I Qatari)

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