Author Topic: America 2012: An EU Nation!  (Read 12671 times)

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Offline nacho

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America 2012: An EU Nation!
« on: March 17, 2008, 10:59:43 AM »
Well, the EU will be able to dig into the airline industry come 2012, as part of the "Open Skies Agreement," which goes into action at the end of March:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Skies_Agreement

Lots of nice things to come out of this.  First, by 2012, EU companies will be able to purchase US airline companies.  So now entire cabins full of passengers will no longer be asphyxiated by Southwest. 

Also, we'll see low-cost alternatives (Ryanair is mentioned in wikipedia, and others plan to follow).  One can only hope their business model will come to US domestic flights.

All of this is a great thing because we run our airline industry like it's 1964 and Hearst owns it all.  Our excuse to keeping our airline industry isolated (and also protected by Federal bail-out money, if the need arises) is that the US military needs the civilian fleet in the event of an emergency.  I guess if they want to start flying planes into buildings, it's best to use jetliners from domestic companies, eh?

Anyway, as the EU's first act to kick us in the teeth, here's this today from the Guardian:

Quote
US airlines must pay for their carbon dioxide emissions or face a curb on flights to the European Union, the EU transport commissioner has warned.

The "go green" ultimatum was issued by Jacques Barrot as the transatlantic airline market undergoes its biggest shakeup in 30 years when limits on flights between the EU and US are lifted this month. Barrot said negotiations on a second phase for the treaty, will include a demand that US carriers join the EU emissions trading scheme or an equivalent system in the US.

He added that requests by Washington for data on passengers overflying the US are disproportionate and will not be accepted by the EU, in a warning that aviation security measures across the Atlantic are becoming too draconian.

However, the environmental dispute between the EU and the US administration, which is refusing to let airlines join a carbon trading scheme, is set to escalate following Barrot's comments on Open Skies negotiations. Discussions on a second phase with officials from the US department of transportation begin in May and Barrot said the EU had the power to withdraw flying rights if a deal is not reached.

"It's always possible to imagine reducing the number of flights or suspending certain rights," he said. The commissioner added that a member of the US Congress environment committee believed a deal on emissions will be possible once the Bush administration ends.

"He told me that attitudes are changing. Particularly with Bush and Cheney gone there is a real hope of things moving on." He added: "The new administration will be under pressure to take new measures."

EU airlines must join the emissions trading scheme in 2012, which could add up to £13 to the price of a return flight as carriers buy "carbon credits" to atone for the emissions made during a flight. All airlines flying in and out of the EU must subscribe to the scheme, including foreign carriers, but the move is opposed by the US. The International Air Transport Association, which represents more than 200 international airlines, has warned that 170 countries oppose the move and it will result in states taking legal action against Europe rather than co-operating with it.

In an interview with guardian.co.uk, Barrot said he would make the environment a priority in negotiations.

"The ideal would be to get the US to join a common emissions trading scheme. If not, we should at least get the US to accept American airlines joining the system for flights into Europe." European carriers want foreign rivals co-opted on to the scheme because airlines who refuse to buy carbon credits will offer lower fares. A spokesman for British Airways said: "In the medium term we want the European scheme to apply to all flights departing from Europe."

The transport secretary, Ruth Kelly, also waded into the argument last year, accusing the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation of a committing a "very great failing" in not setting up a global emissions scheme for airlines. Barrot will also demand that the US government lift restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines and accept EU security procedures. Under the terms of Open Skies, EU states can suspend flights from the US to Europe if insufficient progress is made on a second phase by 2010. The suspensions, which relate to new services that have been launched under the first phase of Open Skies, can take place from 2012.

Barrot, who is taking temporary charge of negotiations between the EU and the US department for homeland security, also criticised some demands for passenger information. He described as "excessive" a request for data on all passengers overflying but not landing in the US.

"I don't see how we can accept this provision that does not seem necessary to us," he said. He added that EU airline passengers are already strictly vetted before boarding the aircraft.

"Any demand placed by the US has to be a proportionate response to existing security problems ... Passenger overflying is not proportionate, given that overflying rights are granted to all airlines on the assumption that the security controls they carry out are in order."

Barrot said negotiating security measures with non-EU states is becoming increasingly fraught, adding that the EU had "had enough trouble" persuading Russia to drop a plan to charge a toll for flying over Siberia. However, the commissioner said the EU had "good reason" to co-operate closely with the US over airline security measures.

Offline monkey!

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 11:48:03 AM »
Bend over, America.
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline nacho

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2008, 11:23:31 AM »
The continued downfall of the US airline industry.  YEsterday, United cut 2000 jobs and grounded 100 planes.  Today:

Quote
Continental cuts 3,000 jobs and grounds planes

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/05/business/05air.php

With Open Skies on the horizon, the airlines won't see bail-out money from the feds.  It's going to be a weird few years for flights.  With the precedent already set that you may not get refunds for canceled flights (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,350068,00.html), I'm hesitant when I buy tickets in advance (as I'm doing this year for personal and corporate reasons).

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2008, 11:47:14 AM »
The shit of this is airline ticket prices are going through the roof.

Offline nacho

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2008, 12:01:29 PM »
Well, that depends.  Buy far enough in advance, stay away from weekends and holidays, and you're fine.

Offline Tatertots

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2008, 09:23:34 PM »
Wait, they can take your money and cancel the flight?

Surely that has to be outrageously illegal.

Offline nacho

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2008, 09:31:03 PM »
The life and times of Small Print.

Offline fajwat

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2008, 10:33:27 AM »
Wait, they can take your money and cancel the flight?

Surely that has to be outrageously illegal.

I'm sure someone will sue, get a class action which will be settled 3-5 years from now and be payed out in the form of one or two coupons for discounted or free flights in the continental US.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

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Offline nacho

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2008, 10:37:30 AM »
Wait, they can take your money and cancel the flight?

Surely that has to be outrageously illegal.

I'm sure someone will sue, get a class action which will be settled 3-5 years from now and be payed out in the form of one or two coupons for discounted or free flights in the continental US.

Assuming said airline companies still exist at that time.  I think we're going to see the death of most of our fleet after 2012.  We're seeing it fall apart now... United and Continental can barely hold on.  These cuts will float them for another year or two but, without Uncle Bush funneling pretend money to them, they're not going to make it.

By the time 2012 comes around, I predict that we'll be down to two or three major carriers and maybe a few more cheapies.  Then Virgin, BA, Ryanair, Easyjet, Air France, Lufthansa, etc will move in and gobble everything up.

So, meanwhile, for all the people who get unrefunded canceled tickets, there's nowhere to turn.

Offline fajwat

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2008, 12:06:07 PM »
yup, that sounds right.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline nacho

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2008, 12:16:35 PM »
The best plan now is for the companies to merge and cut everything drastically in the hopes of getting a foreign buyout in the next few years.  So kiss all those weird flights goodbye -- it'll just be the popular routes. 

This, hopefully, will be another boost for train ridership and renewed expansion. 

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2008, 05:02:37 PM »
This is all kind of Atlas Shruggedy.

Offline fajwat

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2008, 07:59:32 PM »
This is all kind of Atlas Shruggedy.

Ayn Rand makes a lot of sense in the descriptive sense, but I truly disagree with her books as valid prescriptive advice.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2008, 02:30:32 PM »
This is all kind of Atlas Shruggedy.

Ayn Rand makes a lot of sense in the descriptive sense, but I truly disagree with her books as valid prescriptive advice.

She's sort of an anti-socialist...so I can see why that would rub you the wrong way.  Not that you're a socialist, but I think you lean more that way than an individualist. 

I think we've already had the discussion where no one likes her but me.  And I really haven't finished Atlas Shrugged.  I enjoyed The Fountainhead much more (enough to finish it..haha).

I believe Nacho's comment was: "No one reads Ayn Rand except crying women." Or something.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: America 2012: An EU Nation!
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2008, 02:33:16 PM »
Oh I stand corrected...

God.  Stop reading that stuff.  Only troubled women read that book.  Hem in their pantsuits and cry on the way to work and sit at their little desks for 12 hours, eating tons of doughnuts, hunched over their computers and IM'ing their exhausted and barely tolerant friends for hours about the mysteries of the Great Ayn Rand who Changed Their Lives and Why Did Daddy Make Me Suck His Cock?