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Airlines Confidential Podcast

Education Podcasts

Hosted by Ben Baldanza, former CEO Spirit Airlines & Scott McCartney, former Wall Street Journal Aviation Editor/Columnist "The Middle Seat". Top stories, discussion, listener questions, and passenger complaints are all addressed head-on in each episode.


United States


Hosted by Ben Baldanza, former CEO Spirit Airlines & Scott McCartney, former Wall Street Journal Aviation Editor/Columnist "The Middle Seat". Top stories, discussion, listener questions, and passenger complaints are all addressed head-on in each episode.




178 - John McDonald, Founder, Caeli Communications

This week: John McDonald, Founder, Caeli Communications; DOJ suit to block JetBlue/Spirit merger & Scott McCartney provides context and price comparison details; JetBlue plans NYC-Paris service; Listener Q: Do some personality types fit better at a particular airline? Do certain beverages taste better at 30,000 feet?


177 - Atif Elkadi, CEO, Ontario International Airport

This week: Atif Elkadi, CEO, Ontario International Airport; Forbes article follow-up: Ben's "Airline Monopoly" analogy explored in detail; How Delta Pilots 34% wage hike will affect others; American updates family seating policy; Explosive material in bag discover by TSA;


176 - Josh Marks, CEO, Anuvu

This week: Josh Marks, CEO, Anuvu; AA Chairman Doug Parker steps down; United and Frontier change family seating procedures; Max crash victims case vs Boeing dismissed; Private industry sustainable fuel initiative-how impactful?; Significant summer schedule cuts from AA and Lufthansa; Listener input: PRIA data transparency


175 - Geoff Hunt, Sr. VP Engineering & Technology, Pratt & Whitney

This week: Geoff Hunt, Sr. VP Engineering & Technology, Pratt & Whitney: Another close call: United departing Maui; Air India orders 470 new planes; JetBlue says Spirit deal will result in big South Fla expansion; Scott's take on the deal; Listener feedback: 1500 hour rule discussion/pilot training.


174 - Mike Swiatek, Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, at Avianca

This week: Mike Swiatek, Chief Strategy & Planning Officer at Avianca and Chairman, Accessibility Working Group at IATA; Focus on Safety & Accessibility; United's Super Bowl ad swipes at Southwest; Biden SOTU attack on industry seating practices & Issues with A4A response statement; Listener follow-up on Colgan Crash comments.


173 - Kevin P. Healy, President, Campbell-Hill. Also, Chris Sloan with 747 Trivia

This week: Kevin P. Healy, President, Campbell-Hill Aviation Group; Also: 747 Trivia with Chris Sloan vs Ben & Scott. Do you know the answers? President Biden wants "junk fees" reigned in; Norway airline Flyr shuts down & files for bankruptcy; Jeff Shane provides a 747 legacy clarification.


172 - Mark Dombroff, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

This week: Mark Dombroff, Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP: Q4 and 2022 earnings reports released; 2023 projections bullish; Should someone go to jail over the 737 Max incidents? Listener Q's on mainline aircraft replacing regionals, thoughts on the A220, passenger delays vs airplane delays.


171 - Michael Lombardi, Historian, The Boeing Company: The Last 747

This week: Michael Lombardi, Senior Corporate Historian, The Boeing Company - Last 747 rolls off the production line. Learn what made the 747 so special to aviation; New Wall Street Journal airline rankings & methodology; Reaction to more Scott Kirby statements; SWA pilot union mentions potential strike vote; Listener Q topics: The "Captain Shortage", Which airline is flying the oldest fleet.


170 - Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor at CBS News

This week: Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor at CBS News; FAA's NOTAM system fails, 10,000+ flights affected; Scott reports on his conversation with Southwest CEO Bob Jordan. What happened, refund status, independent investigation, and more; Original Air Force One being restored.


169 - Rob Britton, Principal, AirLearn

This week: Rob Britton, Principal, AirLearn, Are alliances outdated? Southwest takes a $800M hit; What's the future of passenger re-accommodations? United's claims "best airline in the world" - has a mixed week; Delta announces free Wi-Fi; Mexico launching a military run airline? Listener Q: Airline foreign partnerships/equity stakes.


168 - Gordon Bethune, former CEO, Continental Airlines

This week: Gordon Bethune, former CEO, Continental Airlines; Welcome Scott McCartney as Ben's new co-host; Southwest's Christmas Crisis - Blame IT? 2023 predictions; What to expect from the DOT this year; Changing loyalty programs; Listener "Old Croakey" thank you to Chris Chiames.


167 - Ben & Chris Welcome Scott McCartney to Airlines Confidential

This week: 2022 wrap; Chris passes the mic as we welcome former Wall Street Journal "Middle Seat" columnist Scott McCartney to the podcast as Ben's new co-host; A fresh take from Scott on the JetBlue/American Northeast alliance; Frequent flyer programs get tighter; Where would our hosts invest $10k right now? Next episode Jan 4th, 2023. Happy New Year!


166 - John Heimlich, VP & Chief Economist, Airlines for America

This Week: John Heimlich, VP & Chief Economist, Airlines for America on 2022/2023; JetBlue / American Northeast alliance increases flights; Huge Boeing order from Tata / Air India, plus United 787 order; Boeing requests extension on FAA requirement; Listener Q: Why not go direct to Europe from smaller markets with A220's? Unhappy with Delta Sky Club access changes.


165 - Anne Correa, SVP, mba Aviation / Chris Sloan reports: SWA Media Day

This week: Anne Correa, SVP, Airline & Airport Services, mba Aviation; Chris Sloan reports on Southwest Airlines' Media Day; Listener feedback on the Hertz interview and the Kirby vs Biffle viewpoint discussion. Shout-outs.


164 - Mark Ross-Smith, CEO & Co-Founder, StatusMatch

This week: Mark Ross-Smith, CEO & Co-Founder, StatusMatch; Holiday travel & changes in travel patterns; Latest WSJ airport rankings; American sues Sabre for attorney fees; Listener Q: AA flight credit rules confusing; Frontier changes customer service; Shout-outs


163 - Thanksgiving Edition

This week: Thank you to our listeners & sponsors; American/JetBlue case goes to the judge; DOT orders $600M in refunds & fines airlines $7.5M; Airline vs Cruise industry difference in policies; Supply chain & aircraft delivery concerns; Listener Q: What's more disruptive to an airline-snowstorm or hurricane? Things to be thankful for in the airline industry.


162 - Steve Shur, VP Government Affairs EV Strategy, Hertz

This week: Steve Shur, VP Government Affairs EV Strategy, Hertz; Your next Amazon package might be dropped by a drone: Colombia objects to Avianca / Viva merger; United follows Delta's FF program changes; Listeners chime in: flights in Alaska, Allegiant's Q3 loss, why JetBlue FL service cuts? Shout-outs to Southwest's Ukulele promotion & Turkish Air tall accommodation.


161 - David Sunde, Founder/CEO, Landline

This week: David Sunde, CEO/Co-Founder, Landline; Delta, United, American pilot negotiations; Alaska pilots sign new deal; Possible reasons for Allegiant's 2 quarter losses; TSA turns 21 & brings on new tech; Listener Q: Catering usage of dry ice; Why so much service to Ketchikan AK? Shout-outs.


160 - David Gunnarsson, CEO, Dohop

This week: David Gunnarsson, CEO, Dohop; Positive earnings/projections; ITA Looks for new partnership Ryanair bets on Italy?; Scott Kirby says fuel/labor cost dooms LCC business model while Barry Biffle says Frontier will thrive; Listen Q: What's the logic in a crew changing aircraft in the same duty day?


159 - This week: Chris Sloan reports on Routes World 2022 Las Vegas

This week: Chris Sloan on Routes World 2022 Las Vegas Conference; United, American, Alaska, strong Q2 results but what about costs? Wizz Air expands to Middle East; Hawaiian Airlines & Amazon team up; Listen Q: Are the more experienced regional pilots getting a fair shot at mainline jobs? Is SWA open seating policy a security risk? Shout-outs