Thursday, July 4, 2013

Just a few steps to foiling murderous plot

A murder is about to happen.


Will you help to prevent it?


Here's the story.


It's about Hopkins Airport.


Cleveland needs it.


We need it.


You can't be a  center of commerce without a major international airport.


If Hopkins dies, we become irrelevant.


Northern Ohio dies.


And by the way, if you haven't noticed, as the economy recovers  nationally, our beautiful Land of the Western Reserve is still barely on life support.


And if that airport near Berea is going to survive, it must be a hub for a major airline.


A hub is  a carrier's focal airport for  distribution of flights throughout the country.


The lucky hub city buzzes with activity.


Think of it this way.


Great Lakes Mall has major anchors in the form of Dillard's, Macy's, and J.C. Penney.


But without these anchors, Great Lakes Mall would fade away into oblivion.


It's the same for big airports.


And that's why there's danger lurking.


You see, Cleveland functioned as Continental's hub for many years.


This served us well.


The airport's operator, The City of Cleveland, did anything and everything to keep Continental happy.


That smart.


Unfortunately, United Airlines recently acquired Continental and United doesn't need Cleveland for a hub, especially since Chicago fills the bill so nicely for this part of the country.


In fact, United wants out.


They've told the politicians that if fares continue to decline, they will have to say "adios" to Cleveland.


And then all of us are screwed as Hopkins turns into a sad shadow of its former self.


What drives me nuts is United's intentionally offering poor service to Northeast Ohioans so that business here will continue to decline.


That way, United can say Clevelanders are to blame if we are suddenly found horribly hubless.


United recently disgusted me by disconnecting three phone calls made to its 800 number.


Each time, waiting interminably on the phone  for a chance to re-explain  my problem.


Each time cut off by their faulty internet-based phone system.


I finally had to drive to the airport to resolve the issue with a United agent in person.


The airline rep looked me in the eye, admitted that the 800 system is a disaster, and apologized.


Meanwhile, Clevelanders seek solutions with United's competition.


And that's what United wants.


So they can leave.


And then Hopkins and Cleveland will die.


Call Mayor Frank Jackson at City Hall at 216-664-2000.


Everyone in our community has an interest in stopping the untimely demise of this great airport.


I'm hoping you can  convince our leaders to stop United from intentionally strangling this airport.


The airlines has its fingers around your throat, Clevelanders.


Peal those hands off from around your neck and strike back.


It's time for all of us to stop this murder.


Tell the  Mayor to protect our jobs and our region's future by  keeping United's hub here in town.


Tell him to do what it takes to get the job done.


We all hate murder.


Now you can stop one.


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