On this episode of Reveal, we explore the backstory of Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Plus, just in time for the holidays, we take a look at some real travel nightmares and the airlines that cause them.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey. It is your favorite host in all of pod custom. Now, for the rest of the year, I'm gonna be asking you to join us by becoming a member of reveal reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter for more than three years now reveal has been fighting a lawsuit. That's been jeopardizing our very existence of restore. We about an organization called planet aid. Our story raises serious questions about whether international aid was actually reaching the people. It was intended to help and what's more, our story was truthful and we stand by it. We believe it's our duty to fight attacks like this, but fighting a lawsuit comes at a huge costs, are legal fees alone totalled more than seven million dollars? Luckily, we have pro bono legal support to help our in house counsel, but it still takes significant resources, resources that should be used to do more public service journalists. This kind of investigative,
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choices that are worrying allotted Democrats and even a few Republicans Steve banning here, the last few months of dollar trumps divisive campaign will be the chief strategies in the White House almost as soon as that was announced, people started protest. It ok, ok, ok, there wasn't anything in an rally of about five hundred people outside of L City Hall last month The liberal organization move on has collected more than a million signatures, calling for ban to go and smaller protests have popped up all over the country.
Stephen, and I feel you know, is a man who appeals specifically to extremists, and so just his appointment sends a clear message about fear and hate. As you know, I guess being the accepted narrative for our country and our government that she, Roman with a jewish activists group, called if not now much of the criticism of Steve, been, has focused on bright barred news. The conservative website he ran before joining trumps team, abandoned as called Bright Bart, the platform of all right, which includes white nationalist. She says that ban in websites like bright Bart or give hate a platform we have to think bigger than just the policies and the laws that might pass or might not and just think about a larger social narrative. That hating is ok and placing blame on Folks is ok, I mean it's those kinds of ideas that lead to mass genocide. Here's some bright bird headlines published on ban is watch. Would you
other your child had feminism or cancer, or this Muslims in the west are a ticking time bomb conservative commentator Bill Crystal was called a renegade you beyond the head on his website. Baden himself has made some controversial statements. He told Donald. His stance on immigration. His conservative enough, he called a former female and a bimbo thousand eleven he lashed out at feminist, while promoting a film praising conservative female politicians like Sarah Palin, Michel Bachman, the one on that would leave the country would be her family and when her husband, big among children, they wouldn't be a bunch of tight, came from my servants, justice No, I will hear more of Steve Ban and in his own words, coming up, but first some insight into how he operates his reveals Emily hairs. It's not just words
Van and says that angers people who don't want him advising the president is also the beliefs he supports and allowed to flourish on platforms. He controls here's ban and, on his radio, show last February with Anti Islamic extremists, PAMELA Geller they're. Talking about a speech. President Obama has recently given on Islam. The truth is the only religion, packing subjugating and slaughtering members of other religions and mass is Islam. The religion attacking other religions, Islam and President Obama said nothing of this nothing of the Gender Apartheid creed. Upon tied cultural annihilation, he's he's a smart, savvy, tough hurry. What was he doing? Pamela Geller doing why you ve been doing past seven years he's been in jail, denial. He was pandering to a Muslim, some bright bar employees have defended band and, as he's faced, accusations of racism and misogyny
here's your pollack, a senior editor and the websites chief legal counsel on CNN, not at all you'd, better and does not have a bone of prejudice and his body Pollack tipped his head ass. He spoke, and he pointed to the Yamaha he wears as an orthodox jus. He noted that banning has hired women asian Americans a brick from a muslim family to run bright parts. London office, in Effect Steve banning, went out of his way at bright part to look for talent among nontraditional conservatives, but some ex employees have been critical former bright Bart spokesmen, Kurt Bardell acquit during the presidential primaries. He said the new site he supported had by then turned into a Trump propaganda machine Bardell told CNN. It doesn't matter if ban in himself is sexist or racist. Maybe he's not any of those things while the
audience at your catering to certainly are those things and so you're deliberately playing to that plain to the worst divisiveness, though most prejudices, though, though the worst racial divides to other try to get traffic or motivate people to support, you hey that's despicable Ryan lens. At its the hate watch blog at the southern Poverty LAW centre. He can't forget one bright, Bart headline: oersted the confederate like loud and proud, hoisting, the confederate flag loud and out of this was two weeks after a young white man had killed nine african Americans in a church in South Carolina Bright Bart staff dismiss concerns about headlines. Like that saying they just provocative
but Lens says it shows that ban and exploits, creates and tolerates fear and divisiveness in order to meet strategic goals, and that he says reveals who ban and is. I don't think that there is evidence to suggest definitively that Steve Ban and there's a white, supremacist or closeted fan of the Third Reich. I think there is ample evidence to suggest to prove that under Steve, leadership, bright Bart NEWS became the media arm of all right. It's white supremacy, rebranded under a different name, to make it politically palatable banning down who plays charges of racism in right wing movements, including in the tea party, which he was deeply involved with at a conference of conservatives at the Vatican to You should go back and said there are always fringe groups who join in, but they don't set. The agenda. Buzzfeed recently dug up this recording of that speech.
And always have been where every time you see major research, some new president's might consider such it of attention of a top adviser, a liability, not this one after the election Harvard hosted a forum with top staff from both the Trump and the Clinton campaigns. These postmortem are usually pretty friendly, but this time things got heated when Clinton staff accused Bannon, of divisive and racist tactics, trumps campaign manager, now senior adviser, Kelly and Conway fired back the reasons he values hired is the reason that he's going to be the chief strategist and special counsel to the president. United States is because he's here brilliant tacticians. So, let's take a look at Steve, abandons tactics, first of bright part, all calf's clicking,
headlines go to articles that sometime soon substantiate the promised hype. The site mix is commentary with reporting. It focuses persistently uncertain themes that match its anti immigrant anti feminist, anti political establishment agenda right bark casts. Lives matter as inciting array swore aimed at destroying America whenever plant as mentioned Bright Bart calls the organizations simply and abortion change something even an abortion chain with nazi roots, ignoring their services plant parenthood provides like sex education and birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place ban and served bright births board since the private use company was started, he took off operations as executive chair in two thousand and twelve after founder, andred, bright Bart died. Unexpectedly, That's not all banner did that year. He off, started a nonprofit to pursue deeper research working in tandem,
The daily news cite the mission statement of it government Accountability Institute known by its initials gee. I is to investigate and expose crony capitalism, this use of taxpayer monies and other government corruption and malfeasance. Sounds a lot like drain the swamp Bloomberg business week. Reporters are you a green, visited J Ai last year, its entail a hassle Florida? It looks openly. You get a scarlet o hare our design, an office park at these little brook buildings, which are pretty plain, but there's big verandas with swooping fans and the G8 staff, or sit out Miranda, smoking, cigars and afternoons and brainstorm about had I'm gonna go after Hilary or do their thing bright, bar
hey, I share staff and have other financial ties, but, unlike bright Barton, J, AI doesn't traffic in quick hits. Researchers take months, scraping the internet for credible dirt. Joshua Green calls this two pronged approach: barons, Doktor Jekyll and Mr Hide one hand you had been in doing this in very serious legitimate stand up non partisan research through J Ai, which I thought of his being his doctor, Jekyll Side yeah and then, on the other hand, as other life, he was the publisher executive chairman of bright Bart NEWS, which was this loud obnoxious crusading, sometimes offensive right wing new site that that I think of his being more like a MR hide, the combination means ban and can deliver the same message but package differently for two very different audiences fans of the right wing talk, show circuit and subscribers of mainstream media. Let's break down one example of how this
works. Last year, presidential hopefuls were still testing their chances and Harper Collins published a book called Clinton cash. The story laid out can since between foreign businesses and patients to the Clinton foundation. It was written by g vice President Peter Schweitzer, based on informing gee. I researchers had dug up in alleged that Clinton abused her position. As secretary of State an early copy wound up in the hands of several mainstream media outlets, including the Washington Post. We pursuing Otto Storylines involving Clinton's, the posts, deputy national politics, editor Peter Walston, New Schweitzer from his previous publications, try to doesn't only go after Democrats, he wrote a book in two thousand and eleven revealing insider stock trading by many members of Congress that got a law changed into. Doesn't thirteen Schweitzer accused republican leader John Vainer, essentially charging
companies need to get hearings uncertain bills. Treacherous reputation is part of why the Washington Post paid attention Peter Schweitzer called me up tomorrow and said that he had an amazing story tip for me I would listen to what he had to say and then I would side, whether it's worth pursuing and and then we would, if we pursued it, we would report it to the. Ireland, and figure out whether it was a story in two thousand and fifteen articles investigating Clinton Foundation and foreign donations spread throughout the mainstream media. Some cited leads from Schweitzer research. Then bright bark came back in the picture. The site posted a list of eleven explosive facts in the Clinton book it said were verified by the mainstream media Bloomberg Joshua Green says this is a perfect example of what balance backers call his brilliance governor Bright board. They could run these rolling narrative, saying, look as not just
thus saying that Hilary is nefarious and evil and corrupt here's. The New York Times sing it over here and here's a story from the Washington Post here sixty minutes and he could both excite the right wing populist base. Why at the same time, disillusioning Hillary Clinton core of support. Whether Steve Ban in his going after Hillary Clinton or Republicans in Congress. His big beef is what he calls crony capitalism, people who profit from their political power in that Vatican speech two years ago, ban in bragged about bright Bart, helping get republican majority leader air canter. Now out of office by a tea party candidate, higher sermon, showing you If you peel back the layers, this fury at politicians getting rich,
is at the core of banning motivation. It may also be his Achilles heel, democratic, Senator, Jeff murkily says bans. Boss, Donald Trump campaigned against money influencing Washington, but key cabinet positions so far signal the opposite I think many folks thought he really would take on the corporate culture. That kind of symbolized by. Rain. The swamp However, he is not doing this. All the motions draining the directly into his cabinet. Mercury is a trump opponent, but even some trumps course supporters have started to air similar concerns about crony capitalism within the White House as Chumps Chief White House strategist. The question is how Might abandoned, respond that so it was produced by
reveals Emily hairs. So what to Steve dating you really believe it, and where do those police come from reveals Amy Julia Harris has been listening through his speeches and talking to people who know him so Amy what you find out the things that make headlines for Steventon. Are him making disparaging comments about women and he's told some of his friends that he thinks that some people are genetically superior to others that only property owners should be able to vote he's been kind of extreme and a few of these offhand comments that is made, but the recurring theme throughout his speeches saying that Emily touched on in her story what he sees as crony capitalism, and that really really anger is ham. Bright Bart NEWS was built.
And the rise of the tea party in their whole platform, was based at anger on the elites in the existing system that they felt like wasn't working for them and Steve Ben. I got in the trenches with the tea party. He was travelling around the country with them and here is at a rally in New York City and twenty ten really laying out. What's on his mind in the last twenty years, our financial elites in the political class taking care of themselves and lead our country to the brink of ruin. Decent crony capitalism is banning number one issue or is there anything else, it's kind of vying for that spot. South Steve Barons really worry about the unwavering of american society, saying that were losing our judeo christian Centre. Our values are sort of under attack any sees that going hand in hand with the rise.
Of Islam and the secular station of the West and we're just Johannes fascist. This warning is one tat sizing brigantine garbage can can analyse so here he is speaking to the Vatican in twenty fourteen laying out the threat he sees of radical Islam. He likes these big big fights. I talk to one of his friends who said that he sees life as an epic battle between good and you ve all that's how he views everything so Amy? Where do you think these views came from? I think there are a few different moments and Steve Ban in life that really crystallize his political thinking. One of them was his time and then Navy in the late. Seventy is early eighties.
Serving under President Jimmy Carter. He was on a destroyer and was sailing around the Persian Gulf, and I talk to some of his navy friend. He said that time really made Steve Ban and even more conservative, because he saw Jimmy Carter as weak. He didn't like being pushed around by the Soviets and was just kind of embarrassed by America foreign policy. So Reagan's presidency really resonated with him Steve been and after he left Goldman Sachs was me king, this documentary about reg and it was initially gonna- be asleep hindered by OPEC, but then September LE
happened, and that really changed its thinking. I'm curious his co producer TIM Lichens, laying out how stupid and thinking shifted, nine eleven happened and a kind of change our perspective on the whole idea of the film we found kind of this thread throughout Vinyl Reagan's youth and into his public life, and how he had a strong disdain for communism, so that kind of change the whole direction of the film were making into what ultimately became today, and the thesis of a kind of came out of that was life is a battle of good versus evil in history repeats itself. So this guy's going to be in the White House he's going to have the president's what do we expect? What kind of advice is he gonna be given Donald Trump yeah? I think we sort of have to go on what he has said he's come out strongly against illegal immigration and some immigration, and he said that he's very pro typical conservative
values, family values he's pro life. People have said that those are sort of the guiding principle Steve Van and those are gonna, be the things that he tells Donald Trump figure. Very much reels, Amy, Julia Harris and for the record we requested an interview: Steve abandoned, but his office didn't get back to us. Team here reveal will continue to investigate the incoming Trump administration would bring these stories over the coming weeks and months coming up with the holidays just around the corner of a lot of us will be packing our bags and our gives in heading two, an airport to visit family and friends, and for some of us things will go according to plan like put these folks to save money by flying a budget airline pay off, urges care care. If no one had any clue what was going on where to go? What to do there,
signage in real life wolves. Do we just get our bags and sleep in the airport or at you know, what's going on, but no frills travel nightmare next on reveal from the center for state of reporting and p r exe from the centre for investigative aborting NP are ex. This is reveal a mallet it's Christmas time and act not tell you how happy I am to be talking to you now because I love the holidays non. A little quenching know me talking to you right now means that this year I am not working on an airplane. You see many years ago before I got into my current line of work, I was a flight attendant,
for almost ten years Wharton for regional airlines that, for the most part, was a great job except during the holidays. It gets rough planes are oversold, people tend to pack their brains with their luggage and well folks can be challenging, but even when it's not the holidays, travel can be stressful. Everyone has a nightmare story in this. Next one comes to us from our executive producer, Kevin Sullivan or actually his sister
Erin, verifiable scientific off around eight o clock, from Baltimore and on Thursday and within an arrive to Paris until about five o clock on Saturday. In her husband book, the flight with a discount airline out of Iceland called wow ere, they were flying two pairs for Europe, twenty sixteen. Apparently this is a big deal in the world's soccer. Sorry, I know nothing of this anyway, when they get to the airport. They go to the gate and I doubt their flights late, so they're gonna miss their connection in Reykjavik. We are running a lot of ITALY and we were a kind of happy actually let the flight was delayed a little bit and then they told us right away that window
no way, we will be making it to our destination the next day and we were actually really excited about it because we never been directly back and that things like a good idea. So a night in Iceland is no big deal for them in its oppose, be beautiful right, but other passengers are so happy, like dogma column from Chicago, whose also a big sacrifice. I was travelling with their business school friend. We just graduated mate and were going to see a Euro twenty sixteen tournament in France dug in his had been above the day before so this flight, with his second try to get to Paris. Another guy wasn't too happy foundered: Hacker Clement, Austin, Texas and I'm Republic relation Andrews. Well Gate agent. What they can do about the delay and the woman says he can bail out of the trip and get a full refund, but seriously we're not going to plan an international trip for months and then just cancel it at the airport. We figured: how long could it possibly be
we get the pair of popular destination will be. There are no, so they all get on the plane in fly to regulate hoping for the best brains. You says when they get their care, who just care care, had any clue what was going on where to go? What to do there, no sign edge and we're like what do we just get our bag? you can the airport or you know, what's going on, they finally find the guy who supposed to help them get to their hotels. Two people were like wondering throwing their passports cream in their name datum and were asking him. You know where these hotel, they, what are we doing ones the next light and heat bed? I don't work for. While I have no information, I'm just here to put you on the shuttle, but the next morning, how to be ready, for I am at the hotel, where I were, but Rob
that's going to the airport, people started to notice that they were being Reebok but to Amsterdam user that right, Amsterdam. Now, let's forget they leave more Thursday spend the night in Reykjavik than Friday morning. They find out. They have to fly to Amsterdam. Figuring they'll, be put another flight two pairs, but will they get to Amsterdam? Things get worse, this is one Andrey loses his luggage crack Andrew no offense, but this was when I was a boy tell me the two Andrew. I don't remember that, but I this woman at the airport to help them, but it turns out she doesn't work for wow. She works for another company that well hired This is a common way: low cost carriers save money and the one that was in charge of escorting ass to what we found out
could be the train station. Yet the train station turns out. Wow has not put them on a flight to Paris; instead, they have to take a train. So now there essentially stranded in Amsterdam. If they want to get to the EU. For two thousand sixteen in Paris. They have to pay their own way three hour delay to turn into forty eight hours and this poor girl. She was very empathetic and apologetic recorded would happen there on her phone ass. It is annoying. How we treat like I do I don't know what to tell you like. This is all I know they told me to take. You here drop you off, and that was it and she was so stressed out that she did start to cry quite a bit indian. They take the train to Paris. They also filed claims with wow
It took a long time in a lot of twitter, shaming of wow, but Dugan Andrew eventually got reimbursed for most of the expenses. Aaron did not badger, while in six months later, as not received a dime, and so after All of this you doesn't gone on an odyssey. What is it that you take away from like? What will you learned? Don't fly? You know I'll tagline as they leave you with a well feeling and they accomplish their mission. I mean that is one hundred percent sure. We realise that the well feeling in a statement well admitted to us that everything they could go wrong. We draw back in June and that the situation could can have a better and while a lot of you listening might say, okay, I got it, I'm just not going to fly with our other ultra low cost carriers, like spirit or allegiant. The truth is these budget airlines are affecting the entire industry because they are making so much more.
And if you go and look at the earnings report for an airline like spirit you're, going to see how much money they are is it deception or good business. We get the backstory on this count. Air travel and meet one of the people responsible for all those extra fees. Airlines are now charging gap thanks for that, that's next on reveal from the centre for investigative reporting and p r eggs from the centre for investigative reporting and p R. Ex this is reveal. I'm outlets in air travel meltdowns, like the one we just heard about on well aired, don't happen every day reporting and p r ex this is reveal. I'm outlets in air travel meltdowns, like the one we just heard about on well aired, don't happen every day, but They are more likely to happen when you're flying low budget, no Frills airlines and the delays are. The only thing people complain about.
How can we get it? You believe my spirits spirit was to be better at explaining other differ from other airlines. Just try to keep airfares love their solemn and less money. People have been helped them get it. It's a gipsy, cheap ass. This video was produced by Spirit Airlines, a small low budget airlines based in Florida. They know they are the poster child for cheap, travel in America, and they also know that people really hate them No matter where you look for customer feedback spirit is at the bottom of the heap. Customers complain about spirit, a higher rate than any other airline six times higher other? U S, airlines in two thousand fifteen, according to the Department of Transportation. So what are they so upset about? Well, the sea? really cramped more than one in four flights arrive late, that's one of the worst wrecked in the U S, but one of the most vocal complaints,
is about being nickel and dime to death judgment carry on many paying for a lotta, no less room nice, as rather we might asperity here's. The thing, though, as hated as it is spirit, also makes a ton of money with profit margins that sky high that's why? Even major carriers are following spirits, led lowering fares in charging extra for stuff that needs to be included. So we want to know how this all started in what we can do about it. If anything, we asked reporter Karen Pelon to look into I'd, never flown on Spirit Airlines, and since I had to travel for this story, I wanted to give it a try using spirits website. My flight from Portland, Oregon to LOS Angeles, was at one hundred and eighteen dollars, but then clicking through the site. I was first offered hotels or rental cars. No thanks about luggage. One carry on please thirty. Five
but I want to pick my c sure why not? I chose the quote big front seat, which is basically a large comfy seat like you'd find first class on any other airline. Twenty five bucks do I want to be able to choose my itinerary? No, not for forty five dollars. I don't check in online for free or at the airport, for ten bucks. That's no brainer travelling. France for fourteen dollars, nope and lastly, do I want to join spirits, nine dollar, fair club. No, my total one hundred and seventy eight dollars. At that point it wasn't my cheapest option, but I wanted the spirit expense. Something like a couple weeks later, I'm waiting at my gate to board, and I chat with fellow passenger Matt who's, been experimenting with spirit on his last trip. Although spirit was cheaper than the competition when he first book the ticket, Matt,
A painful lesson about carry on bags: they charge more for them at the airport. Then, if you pay ahead of time online, realize that I will have to pay an extra fifty to sixty dollars. So when I ended up getting dinged for the carry on and are being silly more expensive than the alternative, what if that had tried to sneak on the plane with his carry on bag without paying at the counter, it would have cost him one hundred dollars, that hundred dollar bad for you at the gate should probably two thousand now it's not a fee. It's fine! we don't want to happen. That's been ball dance. The man whose probably more responsible than anyone for making Spirit the bare bones airline. We know I'd hate to day. He was speaking to students at the University of Chicago in twenty fifteen Ben was ceo of the company from two thousand six. Until last January, but he still got his hands in the industry serving on the boards of a couple frills airlines, including wow, remember them, but I found him
head of a smallish classroom, George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia last week. You all gotta We have the case three, which is the distribution case in there's, probably some things in their that didn't make perfect sense to you. So I want to talk about that for a few minutes and his mid fifty's professor ball dancer is built like a ressler, stout and full of energy, Girls on a White Board in front of about twenty students, teaching a new elective, old airline economics and tonight's topic, frequent flyer programmes in two thousand and two it was the pet of marketing for use. Airways Ben tells the story of how U S Airways revamped its frequent flyer programme. It was just the first of many things over the years that would shape Ben reputation of being a real well jerk. You can in this didn't go over very well. So. What happened is a whole group of customers that were affected by this
creating a sort of advocacy group and they call themselves the cockroaches They said that the airline was treating them like averages and creating an award for me and name. Maybe two thousand and three asshole of the year and gave me a plaque, and I have therefore been harsh reputation at. U S. Airways followed him to spirit where he put in place. Even more rules. We hate like strict, no refund policies or charging for water? Yes, water, It all made Benda Scrooge of the friendly skies, but back in the classroom. Students love him
They are drinking his Kool aid here is nineteen year old, sophomore grandpa terrorists, a definite feel, like spirit being a low cost cares. If we like the way forward for the industry, I think consumers really like not having to deal with any of the bee us extra things, that's included when they can just pick and choose what they want and pay extra for him, but paying for those bs extra things is what most people hate. Those charges are called. Ancillary fees and Ben has a much different. Take the boy beautiful thing about ancillary fees, though, is it puts the pricing power. In the consumer's hand, you can't, as a customer, decide what fuel to put in the tank. What wage am I going to pay the pie? but you can decide how many bad you take, whether you eat in the airport or bring your own food or by the airlines food. You can make those decisions and putting that pricing our consumers answers are very empowering thing great wrong. According to this,
in the airline industry. This is not a free market. This is an oligopoly. That's consumer advocate Chris Elliot who said, All that decision making power Ben talks about all the choices the industry claims. We now have its misleading it's for you, lines controlling eighty percent of all air travel domestically talking about American United Delta and southwest all that Consolidation he says has given the airlines too much power and they hold consumers over a barrel even big airlines have draconian policies like charging too your dollars to change a ticket and then there's all those other fees you discount airlines that are charging you to carry a bag on the plane. Does anyone out there think that that's not absurd? Well, Last night I had dinner with Ben belt. How has been doing he's doing great he's teaching a classic George.
The university students are very enthusiastic about airline economic. Oh my gosh schooling to unleash a whole classroom of them on the world I found Chris to be rather then, but on the inside he's raging. He says he daily breathing exercises to cope with all the negative mojo in his work. For almost twenty years he's been, fighting the airlines on behalf of disgruntled passengers, their people, like your parents, like my parents who don't fly very often they see low fair. They assume that it's gonna be just like flying on a legacy carrier on South West or like flying was before deregulation. Where everything is included, they show up your boarding, pass costs money to print out. You have to pay for me else. Really anything. That's not nailed down, there's a fee for and if you go in
the earnings report for an airline like spirit you're, going to see how much honey. They are making in ancillary fees. They are wildly profitable there holders love them and their profiting by deception. Profiting by deception is a serious accusation and those who feel deceived keep Chris Elliot, very busy So I wanted to know. Are we getting sick burned by the airlines? It does seem in industry? Where people sometimes feel deceived, industry analysed, set Kaplan blames a lot of that feeling on how airlines like Spirit rolled out their feet, programmes. They were desperate to raise revenues and stay afloat and didn't really think it through. In spirits case for a while, if you weren't, paying very close attention, if you're booking on their site, you might have thought that you had to pick a sea and pay for it at sea to Simon, or else you know who knows. Maybe there will be a seat for you, and I wasn't.
I mean they always would have assigned you see when you checked in at no cost, but it wasn't necessarily clear you know. People did feel deceived. So how did we get here to a time when airlines are charging for all this stuff to ensure that we have to go back to a time when they didn't? It was all included in the price of your ticket. Here's a nineteen, seventy commercial, featuring sports, CASTOR Vince. Golly the voice of the Dodgers, abortion Continental, you don't know, stay in your seat all the time to have a good time. You can get angle into the only code palm in this guy in the body you can relax with French, enjoy free popcorn or play exciting electronic upon the airport toward that crowded the seats in the airplanes work. We quite nice and quite large and lack of space then while remembers those days I meet up with him at his
Modern palatial home in Arlington Virginia his two feisty dioxins, curl up beside him on the couch, larger airplanes may have had a piano bar in the past. Really. I am PAN Am and things together re almost like you might think of like a nice cruise ship people would dress up for flights. You wouldn't see people in short and t shirts. You got me. Oh Anne, you check as many bags as you want. Ribeiro Geological Junior, you got fed even until relatively short flights was generally very country. Club is kind of experience, but for all about luxury there were definitely drawbacks. The good old days were not so good. Again. Industry analysed Seth Kaplan anybody first, while who talks about how great things used to be in the nineteenth century. These on aeroplanes is actually revealing that there are one of an elite group of people who could afford to fly at all in the eighteen. Seventy, because most Americans couldn't fly them, it's been
and that only fifteen percent of Americans had ever been on a plane in those days and yeah. It was pricey, for example, in nineteen. Seventy seven around Europe, I Don T W way between New York and San Francisco cost. For her twenty dollars in today's money. That's over seventeen hundred bucks about two to three times. Would you can expect to pay these days but back in the seventies, even If the airlines wanted to lower fares, they couldn't because the whole industry was regulated by the Current airlines had no commercial freedom to decide where they would fly or how much they would charge. That says something as simple as I want to fly from New York to Orlando Let's go to the government to get permission for that, and the government told them how much they could charge and it actually, guaranteed a lot of them. A certain level of profitability, but it also limited their ability to grow quite clearly, and I very much look.
The number of people who can fly in nineteen. Seventy eight all that changed when the government passed, the airline Deregulation ACT, Suddenly airlines had to make their own decisions about pricing and rules, but they also had to deal with unexpected things like oil embargoes and recessions without help from the government and then the biggest blow of all nine eleven a lot of people just stopped flying a lot of airlines, went bankrupt, liquidated and merged spirit. Airlines was teetering on the brink of collapse, but then in two thousand and six Ben. I'll. I came into the picture as the new ceo. Everyone
in the business knew that lowering fares would sell more tickets, but then in spirit figured out the magic formula, we're not going to compete for customers based on having a nicer product or having a more flexible schedule. We're just gonna have the lowest fair dammit and so the company started thinking about how can it lower its cost of production flying the plane more hours per day say what's wrong with midnight to six. I am looking to every are the apparition lower costs at the other side, we said well, why make people pay for things that they are not used, at the time? We noted that something like only seventy percent of our passengers, even check the bag. So he said well, the thirty. Checking a bad. Why are they pay for all the bag infrastructure? We can charge them a lower rate and spear went through a process over a number of years of eddying ancillary charges and
perspiringly lowering the fair sounds reasonable when you put it that way, spirit has offered some screaming deals over the years. If you're lucky, you can find one way fares for just under fifty bucks, sometimes even twenty. And that new model paid off big time. Just a few years, spirit from being an airline that could barely keep the lights on to one of the most profitable, in the world around us not to say they made more total money than the Big airlines. They just had higher margins, and those fees are a big part of that they make up more than forty percent of fear its total revenue. But, as we have said, they also confound people in the spring of twenty ten. The today shows Matt Lauer, asked Ben to pay, Please explain spirits announcement that it would soon become the first to charge for carry on bags, something that even today, passengers find on believable Mister Bell: don't
Google do last night. He could you know you are a good business man. You know the aviation industry you're a smart guy. You had to know this was going to go over like up far and church. Pardon the expression, when you announce there's. Why do you think this is a good idea? certainly when you look at just a theme on its own, it can cause some outrage it. Maybe outrageous, but it also worked and spirits. Three pronged strategy, cutting costs everywhere outside of safety law, pouring fares and charging for all the frills was contagious, so ultra low cost carriers take the first unpopular step, then that lower noted the legacy airlines follow suit smacks used to be pray, but on United passengers now pay anywhere. Frida nine dollars for amid flight treat your first check back on air traffic. Will such a back fifteen bucks, but one of them passengers feeling deceived
knowing about all those extra fees when booking their tickets and can be especially confusing when booking on third party websites like expedient well over the past few years, spirit as vastly improved its own website and has, along with other airlines, negotiated terms with those third party companies to help crystallized their booking policies, analysed Seth Kaplan. Now it is more clear they really tell you it's not in real fine print, but it's still not quite as clear as if you book directly on the airline site. So here's the best advice. I can give you book directly with the airline. When I did that for my Spirit flight, it was very clear what I was paying for and what I wasn't, but something You won't see on an airline's website is the fact that ultra low cost airlines are tiny. They don't have a lot of planes they die partner with other airlines, and they don't fly very often. That means us
Single delay or cancellation can leave passengers stranded. That's what happened to our friends who flew wow in Iceland this summer, something else about ultra low cost carriers, lot of the people, you think, are their employees really aren't they work for another company. Heard by the airline. This saves money, but it also means when things go wrong at the airport, there's nobody. The airline to help passengers another problem with, while this summer, In the years since deregulation, we went from having comfortable entertaining flights with onboard pubs and video games that almost nobody could afford to mostly uncomfortable annoying and cramped flights that almost anybody can afford. It's been a painful fusing and mysterious ride for both airlines and passengers. But here we are set Kaplan says the Indus he is a stable as its ever been, but will at last and that's the question is: have decreased
It is a more sustainable industry where the boom and bust, like all isn't going to be as extreme as it was in the past. They think they have we'll have to wait for the next big crisis to know. If that's true oh, but there is no doubt that spirit, airlines and Ben Ball dancer made their mark on the industry and Ben has no real. You know I'm immensely proud of what Spirit built and speed, move the industry in some ways that not everybody's happy about what has been better for the industry, the industry's more stable. Because of that- and I am very proud of that- all that said there were very rough times its spirit and they were He had a good understanding. It spirit that the airline we were building wasn't necessarily the airline we ourselves would always while fly, but it was serving a demographic, a specific demographic in a better way than any other airline was addressing, and we like that fact. We like the fact that we were changing the world with
our own little space. That story was produced by Karin pellet. Flying is definitely not what it used to be in the old days, who knew it be so bare bones, after being so luxurious and Sixtys and Seventys the airlines No idea the government definitely didn't know what would happen when it be regulated the industry, but as it turned out, there was just one person, just one who predicted no frills air travel was heading our way years, even decades. Before became a thing now. This is he. I dare Carol Burnett calling my goodness, you just made my entire life mapping. Yup, that's Karel Burnett! I gotta talk to Carol Burnett. I grew up what
her tv show every time it came on. My family sat around the tv and we all washed it just like millions of Americans, truly an honour to talk to her so back in nineteen. Seventy four wind, I am in Tee w a rule. The skies people actually dressed up to travel by plane, and so carols team thought lot about then thought it would be absolutely absurd for people to fly. No frills, so they dreamed up skid about flight attendant Harvey Avail, first class and can confirm and he's right right behind Harvey. Oh, yes, I'm in the sea. By behind you there, I'm in the no frills section there s a lot of money on that way? You know like they say and other back the blankets and sometimes a front. That, of course, is TIM Conway in the first class passenger is played by Harvey CORE me.
Say forty bucks. I go on this way. Don't get including the internet browser You show me nearby meals with forty dollars no way, but everything else is the same. But just passengers today find out when they go cheap. It's not the same at all. First Conway discovers his overhead been, is crammed with spare parts for the plane which come crashing down on the head when he pops it open, then he notices that section of the plane has low carbon. Excuse me, no frills, section years get your foot off our work. It is worth stewardesses. These are take on so careful checks to make sure the passengers a first class at their sea built on. But totally ignores the no frills people S.
My seat belt is a so. It isn't fastened to the don't, have one right cost them a rope. I put a rope It's funny to me that too Like so many years later, we are looking back on a scale that you did, that that is still relevant today and I'm curious, like How do you do then comedy? How do you make something that like can stand the ears for intercepting what what we did not do would be to make everything were relevant was what was happening at the time, so we just went for laugh and I dare anybody to look at no frills and not laugh. Then that's over forty years old, an idea I get fan mail bag from ten year old and- and I also get let us think why can't allotted shows me that funny today
that was the great care Burnett confesses that the skin was her. Only experience flying no frills air travel. For those of you who are all too familiar with economy, fly check out this kid on the web or on DVD I have just one last request for you and then I will let you go, but would you I do in the tourism sector. By God, are here. We go notably scared. The hell out of my kids, lucid, It was amazing. We hope your holiday travels. Are better than the ones that we ve described in this show, and please please, please be nice
flight, is headed. Our show with edited by targeting needs care impelling Emily Harrison. Amy Julia Harris produce today show our sounds. Zante is the wondered twins, my man, Mister J, Breezy, Jim breaks in clear seed. Note Molly that additional help from Peter contact I hit studios crisis are from birth, piles. Editor in chief Suzanne Rivers are executive, enter and our executive producers Kevin Solvent. A theme music is by comrade of lightning support for veal. Guided by the Raven David Logan Foundation before Foundation, the John Dene Catherine T Macarthur Foundation? The Jonathan
games all night foundation and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation reveal is a co production of the centre for investigative reporting and p r x amount lesson and remember: there is always more to the story. These are last few shows of the year, and let me tell you in twenty twenty we are bringing the fire launching some of our most embassies projects we ve ever done. I can wait for you to hear them reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter and this kind of investigative journalism. Well, it takes time and it costs money. These are the final weeks
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-21.