Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Does pretty please work very often?

Perhaps once or twice if the utterer is, in some way, charming or alluring.

I wonder, though, whether the latest plea from the airline industry to the president will be all that effective.

Last weekend, I wrote about the ALPA -- the union for pilots at Delta, United and many other airlines -- writing directly to President Trump to suggest forcefully that he end the partial government shutdown immediately before someone gets hurt.

Yesterday, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz made his own plea. 

Unlike his pilots, he was a lot more political in going about it. Speaking to the Points Guy's Zach Honig, Munoz said the airline isn't seeing an "immense amount of impact just yet." 

He added, however: 

It's tough to work without a paycheck, and I can't urge our elected officials more that they get back together and make something happen for us.

CEOs are politicians. It's clear that Munoz wasn't going to reference the president directly, as did his pilots.

Even if some see the shutdown as a fight between the president wanting his way over a wall versus politicians who can't quite believe what's happening.

Munoz did, though, spell out the dangers as the shutdown enters record territory:

While it's impacting our company to some degree, more importantly our customers, it's also impacting others in the industry beyond TSA - you've got CBP, you've got FAA, you've got certification of aircraft across the industry. And then of course, there's people beyond our industry that are also going to be affected.

Government workers are beginning to post their zero-salary pay slips to Twitter.

Paul Rinaldi, the president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told Politico

We are eroding the level of safety in the system as this continues on. We don't want to be in this tug of war.

Munoz believes "our government is here to help us."

Some might, indeed, imagine that a government that's avowedly pro-business wouldn't want to be seen jeopardizing safety standards in a flagship business such as the airline industry.

Yet politics is a squirmy business, one in which what's said bears little relationship to what's done.

I suspect that, in the peace of their own mansions, airline CEOs are cursing the president and his wall/barrier/fence.  

In public, they believe they must deftly step along a political line.

Somehow, their pilots can't be bothered with all that.

Published on: Jan 11, 2019