The sheer cheek of NWA

Lose baggage, keep raising prices, cut back on service, continue to make flying unpleasant. Oh, and turn MSP into its own personal fiefdom, with very little competition.
So, why would I turn into a lobbyist/advocate on its behalf? Northwest decided to send an email to its customers, joining with other airlines, urging me to contact Congress to help them rein in high oil prices.
Again, why exactly would I use my time to do this?

Dear Paul Weimer,
An Open letter to All Airline Customers:
Our country is facing a possible sharp economic downturn because
of skyrocketing oil and fuel prices, but by pulling together, we
can all do something to help now. Visit
For airlines, ultra-expensive fuel means thousands of lost jobs
and severe reductions in air service to both large and small
communities. To the broader economy, oil prices mean slower
activity and widespread economic pain. This pain can be
alleviated, and that is why we are taking the extraordinary step
of writing this joint letter to our customers.
Since high oil prices are partly a response to normal market
forces, the nation needs to focus on increased energy supplies
and conservation. However, there is another side to this story
because normal market forces are being dangerously amplified by
poorly regulated market speculation.
Twenty years ago, 21 percent of oil contracts were purchased by
speculators who trade oil on paper with no intention of ever
taking delivery. Today, oil speculators purchase 66 percent of
all oil futures contracts, and that reflects just the
transactions that are known. Speculators buy up large amounts of
oil and then sell it to each other again and again. A barrel of
oil may trade 20-plus times before it is delivered and used; the
price goes up with each trade and consumers pick up the final
tab. Some market experts estimate that current prices reflect as
much as $30 to $60 per barrel in unnecessary speculative costs.
Over seventy years ago, Congress established regulations to
control excessive, largely unchecked market speculation and
manipulation. However, over the past two decades, these
regulatory limits have been weakened or removed. We believe that
restoring and enforcing these limits, along with several other
modest measures, will provide more disclosure, transparency and
sound market oversight. Together, these reforms will help cool
the over-heated oil market and permit the economy to prosper.
The nation needs to pull together to reform the oil markets and
solve this growing problem. We need your help. Get more
information and contact Congress by visiting
Robert Fornaro
Chairman, President and CEO
AirTran Airways
Bill Ayer
Chairman, President and CEO
Alaska Airlines, Inc.
Gerard J. Arpey
Chairman, President and CEO
American Airlines, Inc.
Lawrence W. Kellner
Chairman and CEO
Continental Airlines, Inc.
Richard Anderson
Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Mark B. Dunkerley
President and CEO
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.
Dave Barger
JetBlue Airways Corporation
Timothy E. Hoeksema
Chairman, President and CEO
Midwest Airlines
Douglas M. Steenland
President and CEO
Northwest Airlines, Inc.
Gary Kelly
Chairman and CEO
Southwest Airlines Co.
Glenn F. Tilton
Chairman, President and CEO
United Airlines, Inc.
Douglas Parker
Chairman and CEO
US Airways Group, Inc.