Job and Flight Roulette, Courtesy of D.O.T.

If Jeff Smisek, Continental Airline’s CEO, was a gambler, he probably wouldn’t play roulette.  Why not?  The odds are stacked too far in favor of the house.

Mr. Smisek’s risk tolerances came to light at an investors’ conference earlier this month.  He made it clear how Continental would handle the risk of being fined up to $27,500 per passenger* by the Department of Transportation for excessive tarmac delays.

“Guess what we are going to do? We are going to cancel the flight.”

Continental is absolutely right.   Do the math and you’ll see the DOT could levy a 3-5 million dollar fine – per flight.   Newsflash: No airline can afford to gamble that much money.

Bigger newsflash: No flight operations manager is going to play job roulette in the face of such sanctions.

The net result? Continue reading