The Bottom Line On The Coulter Seat Deal
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-07-23 07:00 by Karl Denninger
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The Bottom Line On The Coulter Seat Deal
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Ann Coulter may be one of the most-hated women in America (by half the country, anyway) but that doesn't change what happened with her and Delta.

She paid for an assigned and premium seat.  She was assigned that seat.  The airline then moved her to give that seat to someone else.

Folks, this isn't "overbooking", but it is fraud.

Contract of carriage or no, the facts are simple in this sort of situation.  Today airlines do not give you assigned seats until you get to the airport unless you pay an extra fee.  That is, an assigned seat is no longer part of your "base fare", it is an explicit service for which you pay.

Once you've paid you've had offer, acceptance and an act in furtherance of performance has taken place.

That's a binding contract -- period.

Now the airlines claim there's an "overriding" contract of carriage, but there's a common-law fraud problem with their claim since (1) you can't negotiate that contract; it is a contract of adhesion and (2) the airlines own actions contravened their boilerplate language when they took additional money for said assigned, specific and "premium" seat.

If the airlines want to act like a bus line where there are no assigned seats (ala the now-extinct People's Express) that's fine.  But they want it both ways: They want to charge you for an assigned and selected seat and then refuse to honor the deal on the terms they designed and offered when convenient for them.

That's fraud; knowingly and intentionally inducing you to pay money for something they do not intend to deliver all of the time is in fact fraud.

The argument of exigence (e.g. a legitimate emergency) doesn't apply in this case; that, of course, is a legitimate point if it exists but in this specific case there was no emergency.

Just a desire to screw someone -- and whether it was intentionally aimed at her or not does not matter.

These companies all need to have their executives face criminal prison time for this crap.  They're fully able to stop it and the bottom line is this: If you sell something and collect a fee for it then you're obligated to deliver it absent some legitimate exigent circumstance, not choose randomly to screw the person who paid you and give what that person paid for to someone else.

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User Info The Bottom Line On The Coulter Seat Deal in forum [Market-Ticker]
Krzelune
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The most outrageous thing about this is that there are large herds of idiots that would argue about this. soooooo much stupid out there.
Vernonb
Posts: 1848
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East of Sheol
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Wasn't aware of this till you you brought it up but evidently thinks customer's also have no rights to complain publicly about its staff or its actions.

Delta response:
Quote:
"We are sorry that the customer did not receive the seat she reserved and paid for. More importantly, we are disappointed that the customer has chosen to publicly attack our employees and other customers by posting derogatory and slanderous comments and photos in social media....

Her actions are unnecessary and unacceptable."


Sorry Delta you made your bed now you get to sleep in it. You do not get to dictate how and where customers complain about your fraud and services.

The twitter loser herd is just more idiots attempting to silence the speech of others. What good is communication when you can't actually say anything?







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Als
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I haven't flown since 1995 and if and when I do the two Airlines that I will never fly on are Delta and United. The garbage that has been going down over the last two or three years between these two is more than enough of a reason to stay away from both airlines.
Jclark93
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Looking real nice :) http://www.raptor-aircraft.com/ Bye bye commercial airlines!
Jymm
Posts: 428
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Wisconsin
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They had to be complete political hacks or totally ignorant and stupid to pull this on Ann Coulter. Like her or not the woman is a bulldog that is not going to let it just go. Delta would do well to offer a settlement and public apology.
Oldno7
Posts: 2594
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RECALL STATE USA
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Well I think I had my last trip to Maui. No more planes for me. We will do bus trips form now on. Don't need to go to Vegas to gamble cause I can drive 5 miles to a large casino if I want to. I feel sorry for the folks that have to fly to make a living (our son is one of them).

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IT'S THE SPENDING STUPID The US must become less a government of men, and more a government of LAW.When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose they lose it -Gerald Celente
Supertruckertom
Posts: 1368
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USA
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I can't believe that they didn't know who Anne Coulter is.
No way to expect she would not say something.


That Raptor is neat.
Obvious Rutan influence without the foam core and pulleys/cable controls and a different canard hinge.
Flutter killed John Denver when the canard on his EZ was ripped off after it failed from fatigue caused by an imbalance that caused the flutter.

Pressurized too.

V6 Audi TDI power is an interesting choice as well.

Wonder how many hours between service it can go?
A failed fuel pump won't put you on the side of the road but with a 25k cruise altitude you have a bit more time to think about your options.


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Drifter
Posts: 121
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Pacific Northwest
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I'm not the marrying kind, but I'd do it with Ann.

Of course, the left attacked her, as they are wont to do. If it had been anybody else, CNN would have spent a day on it.

I have to fly next week. When that is over, I hope to goodness I never have to fly again. I went to Scotland in March: from awakening to arrival, I suffered 24 hours of needless stress by the whims of Alaska and Delta.

Anyway, I'm done. If I have no more rights as a Jew in a cattlecar heading for Treblinka, I'm not giving any of those mother****ers another dime of my coin. Lots to do in the PNW. Btw, Alaska has my vote as the worst airline ever.
Nonsensical
Posts: 111
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Los Angeles, Ca
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The problem is when someone like Ann Coulter gets on an issue is it'll get construed to be more self serving--which is fine, because it gives that person a a reason for action, however, it's how it gets construed. I haven't seen her social media responses, but I'm willing to guess it took her just a few minutes before she blamed immigrants, legal or illegal, probably both. And I'm sure she added she was being politically targeted being moved one seat over--which I agree with Karl on the illegal business practices, but this happens to a lot of people, and it's far worse.

Now, the issue of immigration is a valid discussion, as are all discussions involving policy. But when there's an obvious digression that's more of a rant it always has a negative effect, but that's how someone like Coulter makes her money--her opponents probably buy more of her books than her supporters do (media sales don't get very high just attracting the choir to buy).

Because the issue gets deflected by their personality, which tends to be board line juvenile because they've been positively reinforced to act that way through media sales--, the issue doesn't take long to go in a more self serving way. Typically the more extreme their rants, the higher their ratings, and in show business media (which is where Coulter is ultimately making her money, it's all about the ratings).

For the left, it'd be like if this happened to Keith Olbermann or Alex Baldwin. It wouldn't be long before it digress especially to their personalities. As well as with Michael Moore, that is, in his interviews there's a high chance he'll simply become belligerent.

Besides issues Karl has pointed out, there's also the issue of 80% of all domestic airline seats being controlled by four airline companies, down from nine about a decade ago, and that consolidation will likely continue, but it's continuing in ALL markets.

From a PR point of view, I doubt the airlines are much concerned with Coulter as it'll probably give them a more positive than negative image. People like Coulter don't serve her supporters, she serves her opponents because that's where the money comes from. And having angry digressive tirades sells more than being reasonable and examination, for the "right" and the "left", but it's all show business.

In the meantime, markets are still consolidating and monopolies are becoming more prevalent across the board. For every Ann Coulter there's an Al Gore.

My post aimed at people who think the airlines have anything to fear from Ann Coulter involving this issue--which Karl merely used as an example of the underlying problem (and he did preface a concern about the issue being deflected by citing Coutler's public persona). Perhaps this practice by the airlines blows up because of Ann Coulter, I don't have a crystal ball, but I'm willing to bet by Monday she and her opponents will be screaming at each other over a completely different issue--that's even assuming the real underlying issue of the commercial practices of the airlines even gets mentioned by her.


Wa9jml
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DeKalb, Illinois
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I am of Viking heritage and size. I haven't been able to fit in a coach seat for many years, and on one of the very last flights I ever took, I had a screaming kid across the aisle for almost 3 hours.

I have had my luggage lost several times, and finally decided to just drive wherever I go. It is always an adventure, but is not cramped, and I don't get molested by morons allegedly protecting me from terrorists. If there were enough people like me, the nonsense would swiftly be stopped by the airlines and the tourist industries.
Unknownsailor
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Bremerton, WA
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What happened to Anne was intentional, probably by a Delta employee at the gate who knew who she was. The ctrl-left can and will screw people over they don't like if and when they get a chance to do so. It has happened before, and will happen again.

Anne should sue, and make what one vindictive little s*** of an employee did to her hurt the bottom line of the entire company.
Vernonb
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East of Sheol
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Looking at the photographs Ann posted I see no reason why that other woman should be in her paid for and contracted seat.

As Ann pointed out in her post ... words are meant to mean things. When you attempt to to be deceptive by changing the meaning of words or substitute facts then the whole point of conversation to convey information is totally useless.

This was an intentional act for revenge preformed by some Delta SJW I am sure. I hope she sues then to the point of bankruptcy. I am sure it was politically motivated and their fraud ridden "commitment to non-performance" contract clauses say all that needs to be said about these losers....

Delta .... burn'em to the ground financially. Let's see how they stand up for petty revenge then.

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Whitehat
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if and when totally self-driving automobiles become a reality, the airlines are going to take it badly. If the costs of owning a personal vehicle or renting one stay roughly the same and fuel should stay about the same, it is a viable option. Currently it is overall cheaper to drive to anywhere from anywhere in the continental USA and most of Canada, perhaps Mexico if that is your thing. The only issue is time and the difficulty of driving long distances, fatigue and things like night hazards. Well, if the thing drives itself, it can be equipped with a sleeper option where you can have a relatively normal schedule. Sleeping and traveling together saves time, so the longer trip might be close to a break even with the airliner. Additionally, self-driving cars might eventually travel in special high-speed lanes once this is safe enough further reducing travel time. There might even be a business where people can one-way-rent a small van with its own facilities. These exist already as conversion van campers.

No more red-eye flights or arriving at 5 suck-o'clock for a flight. Just start the trip at 8 PM, read or watch something, go to bed and arrive sometime the next day as you would have miserably done in a plane not having slept well, germs, cramped quarters, other people, lost luggage, TSA, whatever. And the airlines are in a death spiral since all of their cost cutting measures only reinforce the misery, and they cannot stop as doing this will raise their costs. More and more people drive every travel holiday and this will be the cheaper option for the foreseeable future.

Once you are going long routes the additional traffic is not an issue; we have the road capacity interstate in most cases. Cities and urban areas are the only real choke points that an automatic system can avoid.

I know that it is a pipe dream given the lack of do-it-yourself skill in the current day to support it, but it would really be cool once the the technology is perfected to have a kit where you could retrofit an older vehicle. It would be advisable that your install be inspected, tested and conform to an industry norm, but it would be awesome to switch between modes. I am sure that the RV crowd would like this as some of these buses are major investments and have extremely long service lives and are often rebuilt. or, making it easy to take a classic car across country to the roads where it can be enjoyed. Would love to see us get back to where people could be engineering their own systems almost from scratch. For most situations it only has to work two pedals and turn the steering wheel. It is just a computer with mounted sensors and software.

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Tickerguy
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It's actually quite trivial with many modern vehicles; my Mazda is electric power assist, so the ability to control steering electrically is already there, as is the throttle and brake, since the throttle is already DBW and the ABS system provides 4-channel, independent brake application which it uses now for traction control.

It is a matter of interfacing the electronics for sense and decide to the existing electrical capability in the vehicle.

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Krzelune
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I hadn't thought of the automated RV angle for long distance travel. I think we will see the over the road trucks go automated fairly soon. It would be trivial to add automated RV's to the road when that happens. Much better than a plane ride or a train as you would have more privacy as well as the ability to stop and see the countryside and/or eat whenever you wanted. The only downside is the amount of time it takes, which could be a positive if you like seeing different places.
Tickerguy
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There isn't as much time penalty as you think.

For example, from my home to Atlanta is ~5 hours by car. Now let's compare against the airplane.

Drive to (local) airport: 30 minutes
Must arrive at least one hour before departure for TSA: 1 hour
(No allowance for local traffic here since we have little)
ACTUAL wheels-up air time: 1 hour 10 minutes (average; this is UP by ~15 minutes since 2009 - airlines are flying SLOWER to save fuel!)
Deplane/collect baggage/dealing with Hartsfield: 30 minutes
Taxi/Uber to destination: 30 minutes

TOTAL: 3 hours 45 minutes; almost 4 hours.

I can get there in 1 more hour now by car, it's CHEAPER (by far) to drive especially if I need to go to multiple places since I don't need to rent or Taxi/Uber at the destination, I control exactly WHEN I go since the schedule is MINE and I can carry a nearly-unlimited amount of baggage or other household things with me at no extra cost.

Now let the computer drive and I get in the car at midnight, go to sleep and arrive at 6:00 AM (1 hour time shift) in plenty of time to down a couple of espressos before my morning meeting. In the afternoon when I'm done I get back in said car and it drives me home, arriving at 11:00 PM local. I sleep in my own bed that night, it's a QUARTER of the cost of flying and I actually spend less time performing a necessary task in the process because I am not required to be alert and doing something at any time during the trip in either direction, which is definitely NOT true when you're flying (only the ACTUAL wheels-up/flaps-up flight time is time when you can sleep/relax/whatever.)

What's even better is that I can choose to get into the car at 10:00 PM INSTEAD, tell it to drive SLOWLY for maximum economy, have it run at 50mph all the way which in my vehicle means it returns damn close to 50mpg instead of 37 and since I'm sleeping the entire time ANYWAY there's ZERO penalty in dropping the fuel cost by some 35%!

The numbers aren't appreciably better for airlines in terms of time for even a HALF-CROSS-COUNTRY trip. From here I can drive to Indianapolis in 11 hours (and have done so many times.) Well, since there's no DIRECT flight from here to there I'm totally rat****ed if I fly since I have to take TWO flights + a layover AND thus the total amount of rest/sleep I can obtain nears zero. Automated car? I can sleep (or work) the entire ****ing time AND it's a QUARTER of the price.

WHEN this becomes available at rational cost, retrofit or no, I will fit my vehicle (which already has fold-down rear seats) with the OPTION to convert one side to a bed on a pass-through basis. Now I can still carry a full load of luggage (half in the front pax seat, the other half in the other half of the trunk) and in the curtained-off (for darkness) and sound-insulated portion have a one-person sleeping compartment for such a trip, from which I need only emerge to take a******and fill the tank with gasoline as required. Oh yes, I like this as an OPTION, but only as an option -- I enjoy driving but there are plenty of times I'd like to push a button and have "George" simply take me there.

When this becomes REASONABLE the airlines and, with the exception of transcontinental or overseas flights, DONE.

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Whitehat
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Hi Karl,

Thanks for your additional analysis. I wonder if the airlines are running the same numbers and intangibles analysis as a threat to their industry. Even coast to coast travel might be much nicer this way with the little extra travel time. When I did corporate work they always factored in an extra day or two which was used personally. I would factor this into the auto-drive experience instantly if it avoided the Greyhound Bus in the sky.

I really like driving too and hope that we will always have the option as it is a form of learning and freedom. It is nice to need to get good at things.

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Tickerguy
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BTW this is one of the reasons I never got engaged in "civil aviation", despite being financially capable of it.

IMHO it's a net lose because while you evade the TSA and similar bull**** you still have the ground transport problem on the other end and it's a 5-alarm pain in the ass. There are few places you want to go where the airport is walking distance (or within range of quick and easy mass-transit) from your final destination.

Automated cars are going to kill some geese.

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Ckaminski
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Quote:
I think we will see the over the road trucks go automated fairly soon


I think you are delusional.

Instead what you are going to see is a crap-ton of parked, core-dumped trucks idling on the highways as idiot after idiot does something stupid to cause them to brake or lane-shift to avoid collisions.

I've driven the largest vehicle allowed on my non-commercial license (26K lbs). There's a reason I stopped being a dick driving around trunks in my personal cars. Holy **** the idiots they have to deal with on a mile per mile basis...


Jclark93
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@Supertruckertom

Agreed Raptor looks so good on paper, let see if they can come up with a prototype this year.
Can add BRS parachute as an option. Velocity aircraft is similar, yeah with foam cores.
Can add redundant fuel pumps?

About John Denver and his EZ: No mention of flutter?
https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases....

About self-driving vehicles: make sense to see long haul trucking becoming fully automated (with remote control take-over ability) which makes a lot of economic sense. Self-driving automobiles should become commonplace afterwards.

I drive RV a lot (1996 Foretravel U270 Class A) allover the USA in past couple of years (taking break this year). Yes self-driving RV would be awesome but not sure if insurance co's would allow this? Maybe they require driver to sit down on driver seat in order to allow RV to self-drive? What happens if my self-driving RV decide to slam brakes to avoid hitting a deer on highway while my wife is walking toward to bathroom, she would certainly fly toward and smash the RV windshield. If I was driving, knowing my wife is walking toward bathroom, I would certainly keep driving and smash/run over that deer. (Would want to put strong shield in front of RV :). I guess they (ins) would require driver and passengers must be secured to seats with safety belts on when RV is in self-driving mode which would make sense.

In any shape or form, self-driving RV will be awesome for me as I would be more motivated to go around in the states more (I much prefer sleeping in my own same bed and carry my own foods anywhere) and as a disc golfer, would be so much fun going to big disc golf events allover in USA in self-driving RVs.
Tickerguy
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Quote:
Agreed Raptor looks so good on paper, let see if they can come up with a prototype this year.
Can add BRS parachute as an option. Velocity aircraft is similar, yeah with foam cores.
Can add redundant fuel pumps?

The problem with high-pressure fuel injection systems (such as in the Audi engine in question) is that they can fail without warning and when they do their effective fuel delivery goes to ZERO. The usual mechanism is that the pistons in the pump degrade slowly over time until they reach a certain point and then catastrophically fail internally, spewing debris through the fuel system. In a car this catastrophically contaminates the injectors and spews fine metal particles throughout the system, including (through the return line) back into the tank!

Redundancy wouldn't help because the failure of EITHER pump would destroy BOTH immediately due to the contamination, so you actually would increase the risk of a failure by adding a second one to the engine.

It's one of the reasons I won't own one of the new common-rail diesels in cars; that failure, IF it occurs, economically destroys the vehicle. The pump itself is not ridiculously expensive ($1k or so) but the collateral damage between fuel lines, the accumulator rail(s), injectors and even the fuel tank, all of which have to be replaced, economically destroy the vehicle if it happens out of warranty (the typical PARTS COST for such an event can easily exceed $5k and with labor it's not unusual for it to be an $8-9k event.)

Of course in the air such a no-warning failure is going to be interesting to put it mildly, since when it happens you go from having good power and all being well to having literally ZERO output within seconds.

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Jclark93
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Good points about cons of common rail system. Audi use Bosch and it would be good to know the reliability stats on that system.

http://www.continentaldiesel.com/typo3/i....
That engine has TBR of 2,100 hours so it might be the reason that the chance of common rail failures gets down to absolute minimum (fuel, fuel, fuel is the key as I just read an article about common rail). Will need to have some kind of TBR # for that Audi for aircraft use.
Tickerguy
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VWAG's durability numbers are very good ex the fuel pump issue, especially without the SCR/DPF that's necessary for on-road automotive use (which does fail and is expensive to fix, but typically not without warning.)

If you lose the HPFP it's a literal "you're done, right here and now" event. The pump could have probably been designed to use crankcase oil for lubrication, but it wasn't -- it, like most diesel injection pump systems, uses the fuel itself. Light aircraft engine failures due to fuel problems are nothing new but they certainly make for a sweating pilot when they happen, and in this particular case you're not going to get "some" power output if it happens -- you're going to get NONE.

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Whitehat
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@Jclark93 regarding your concern about an RV on autopilot making an emergency maneuver whilst someone, your wife, was walking around you should consider the fact that coach buses already have people moving freely to the restroom while a human driver is piloting them and incidents have happened. I know this personally as I was in the aisle when one left the roadbed. This is a part of life. BTW the driver was fatigued and over corrected. Airplane passenger move freely in the cabin while the plane is on autopilot and also under manual control and turbulence occasionally hits. This is part of life. Additionally the RV under autopilot might react more safely, who knows. Anything that can move you faster than you can travel using your body is inherently capable of killing you.

Karl here is a good video, somewhat related. If you ignore that he supports man-made global warming this video and his other work is excellent. at least he is entertaining:

[YOUTUBEk6GeHnMwl1c]

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
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