Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Southwest flight from Hell complaint letter

The flight from Hell-My letter to Southwest Airlines

Hi Southwest, First let me say "I love Southwest" and fly no other airlines  if possible for all business and personal travel. Everything about your operation is about efficiency,value and safety.  It therefore  grieves me to send a complaint (I never do) but I had to this time. 

My recent flight from RDU to DIA on 11/27/2010 flight 1340  had a couple of parents with 3 little ones. They sat in approx rows 4 and 5 on the right hand side facing the front.They took up 6 seats. I am sure the flight attendants will remember this abusive family.

 I am a father of 2 kids and understand how children can get upset and loud on flights but this was the flight from Hell for all concerned. 

This family was noisy before the flight and while getting on the flight. They had or were not willing to control the Constant Screaming of their 3 small children. The 3 hour flight was uncomfortable to say the least. I am not even sure why they were allowed to board ?

 The passengers were all very polite and tolerant (as were the attendants) but I wonder why the flight attendants did not consider the health,safety and well being of the rest of the plane. This was beyond any incident I can personally ever recall. They did ask if there was anything they could do for the parents but the 3 hours of high and unreasonable constant decibels continued. NO FURTHER ACTIONS WERE TAKEN BY THE CREW FOR THE ENTIRE FLIGHT. I would hope that a suggestion would be made to this crew to take a more assertive position and consider what is in the best interest of the passengers or at least a change in Southwest policy for passengers of this nature. Attendants should instruct passengers with annoying and disruptive children to not board the plane until they can control the situation for the best interest of everyone else. BTW: The behavior of this family even continued upon the exit of the plane and within the terminal. I suggest that you inform the crew of this letter; I am positive they will remember this family. Please take this missive as constructive criticism and not a condemnation of your excellent airline.  
 I remain,Claude Diamond J.D.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Advice from the Cab Driver on Mortgage lending

On my way to the airport I had a most interesting conversation with the cab driver.  He arrived at my house about 20 minutes late.  As I loaded my luggage into the car, I was expecting him to apologize for being so late.  Instead, he seemed more interested in venting about the changes in the cab industry that have reduced the income of the typical cab driver to between $8-$10 per hour.  Apparently, cabs these days are equipped with GPS systems that enable the dispatcher to identify which zone they are in and place them in a queue for the next pick up in that area.  This queue is particularly important because most drivers lease the car for the day and pay for their gas which amounts to about $120 (approximately half of what the cabby stands to earn in a 12-15 hour day). 

So, you can imagine how annoyed they become when another driver steals their customer.  How can another driver steal their client if the dispatcher determines who goes where you ask?  Well, it seems that people who are particularly anxious for the cab to arrive tend to head outside and wait at the curb.  The unsuspecting customers then become the target of other drivers unwilling to play by the rules.  The driver who pulls over to the curb after being waived down is supposed to ask whether the customer is waiting for another cab.  But, somehow they consistently forget to make this inquiry before loading the bags and turning on their meter. Turns out that this problem has become particularly acute lately.  And you'll never guess why?

Loan officers being starved to death by the housing crash have turned to driving cabs in overwhelming numbers (at least in the opinion of this driver).  "They are everywhere" he complained, "they have no respect for the rules".  "A driver can't make a descent living anymore," he continued shaking his head. 

What he doesn't realize is that his problems are only going to get worse.  Big banks (like Bank of America) are shutting down their wholesale departments.  In other words, they are no longer accepting loan submissions from mortgage brokers, preferring instead to market to the borrower directly.  Now, this isn't the first time they have done this, but when you combine this trend with the overall illiquidity in the market it spells big trouble for mortgage brokers. 

Brokers can't go in house to the banks because banks aren't hiring for obvious reasons.  Since many brokers flooded into the mortgage industry from other industries during the refinance boom of the early 2000s, they do not have they same industry loyalty as one might find in other industries. 

So what happens to a mercenary when the war is over?  In Los Angeles, at least, the answer seems to be... invade the cab industry.