Unless you are one of the lucky few to live in a hub city, connecting flights happen to be one of the challenges of modern day travel. That is, unless you used to be the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
David Samson, 76, recently pleaded guilty to using his political influence to convince United Airlines to accommodate his private wishes for a regularly scheduled, non-stop flight to his South Carolina summer home. The round-trip flight from Newark to Columbia, S.C. operated on Thursday nights only, with a return flight Monday mornings. Of course, these flights were not offered on any other day of the week. During his court hearing, he admitted that he had dined with United Airlines officials in September 2011 and had “let it be known that the flight … made it more convenient” for him to get to his home in South Carolina. It was later acknowledged that the flight was called “the Chairman’s flight” and he took it about 27 times.
It was estimated that running the flight cost United Airlines at least $10,000 a week in lost revenue. The aviation analyst who calculated this value did not even include the cost of putting up the crew on Sunday night so they’d be in place for the flight early Monday morning.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could get a direct flight set up to our second home!