Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Message to US Airways & The Steelers

The following picture was taken Monday at Washington National Airport:

My first reaction is Go Steelers! My second reaction is that there is no reason for there to be a Steelers logo on any US Airways planes. This January 25, 2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article helps explain the reason why.

American Airlines, which merged with US Airways last month, decided to close the flight operations control center in Moon and transfer the 600 jobs to Dallas-Fort Worth, its corporate home.

It's just the latest in a series of haymakers that has left the region as punch drunk as any prize fighter.

From the closing of a reservations center in Green Tree to the loss of flight simulation training in Moon to the shutdown of the flight crew base to the abandonment of its hub at Pittsburgh International Airport -- it seems that nearly every decision the airline has made over the last decade has gone against the region.

"How many wake-up calls do we need from US Airways to see that we're not part of their strategic plan?" asked Kent George, former executive director of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

The upheaval has cost the region jobs and flights.

Employment has tumbled from a peak of about 12,000 jobs to 1,800 today. Pittsburgh will lose another 600 with the loss of the operations center and 53 more in a maintenance "rebalancing" expected to take effect in March.

The number of US Airways daily flights has plunged from a high of 542 in September 2001 to an average of 41 today. Stripped of its hub in 2004, Pittsburgh has lost service to cities large and small, from London to Harrisburg.

The quick summary here is that US Air has completely abandoned Pittsburgh after the city and more accurately Allegheny County and even the state of Pennsylvania spent milions of dollars to help the company. Yet, the airline continues promoting the Steelers, the most recognizable symbol of the city, on its airplane.

I think that I can speak for Steelers owner Dan Rooney here* when I ask US Air to remove the team's logo from its planes. Feel free to repaint the planes with either an American Airlines logo, a picture of a pile of cash or something not black and gold.

* I cannot speak for Dan Rooney.

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