I am an experienced airline pilot flying commercially for the airlines and have been flying for over forty years. I was flying before I had my driver’s license and am still young enough to fly for years to come. However, I have not flown in over a year due to mask requirements, nor am I looking forward to going back to that nightmare. I aspire to found my own airline and am constantly reminded to do so by my wife who cites John 8:36 KJV. But what about the obstacles? Preserving our freedoms by starting a maskless airline in the current environment will only catch the ire of the federal government. If you have some insight into how to do so, please advise.
Captain Future Transportation Mogul
Dear Captain Mogul,
The first thing I did upon received your email was to go for the Bible, to figure out what you were saying to me. The passage you cite reads: “If the son shall make you free, you shall be free in deed.” Then I yelled aloud, I liked it so much. Great reference. I would like you to embrace that, Sir.
Let us go over what it takes to start an airline.
Requirement 1: Planes — You need someone to allow you to charter flights, or you need someone to loan you planes, and then you need gate space. That stuff you know better than me. If you do not know how to do that, you hire people who will do that. You and I can brainstorm a hundred different business models that could work.
Requirement 2: Money — You need someone to cover you financially, or you self-finance the endeavor. Money is everywhere at present. You might help the economy by sucking up some of the sloshing liquidity and to use it for good in the world, and I think the good you are proposing is a recession-proof service that will never go out of style and will inspire people for decades. Maybe even centuries. Lysander Spooner used the free enterprise system, rather than government largess, thereby seeking to free people from the tyranny of the postal system. James Hill built the Great Northern using private money to cross the continent by rail rather than using government largess. Your name could be known alongside great, principled men such as the two of them.
Requirement 3: Paperwork — There is a bunch more paperwork. That is the cost of doing business. You hire people who know how to do that.
Requirement 4: Staff — You need staff. The staff you choose will help form the culture of your airlines. I bet we could figure out a way for you to absolutely raid the best talent from the other airlines.
Requirement 5: Gumption — The question you really have for me is none of the above, though. All that above you likely understand far better than me.
The question you really have for me is this: “I have all that understanding, what I really want to know is how I summon the guts to do this?” You may not even realize that is your question yet, but that is your question precisely. It is not government standing in the way of men flying freely. It is the will of private citizens stopping them from flying freely.
Please allow me to elaborate.
Brave Airlines Already Exist
There are regional carriers and small airlines operating from small airports that do not require face masks and have never required them, at least not the way United, American, and Alaska lockstep required them. The simplest resistance from a passenger on the types of airlines I am describing left a passenger unmasked from beginning to end. This was very different from the high pressure tactics of bigger airlines, but especially those three mentioned.
What Forces Are Really Involved In Masking Passengers? It’s Not As Many As You Think
Let me start with the common scapegoat on the face mask on flights topic — TSA. TSA is an imposition on a free people and government overreach, and it does not make America any safer. It is total sham security theater. As much as I hate the TSA, and believe they should dissolve into the ether, TSA does not deserve any blame for face masks, at least not based on any 1.) TSA document, or 2.) any TSA interaction that I have been able to find.
TSA is not to blame. TSA customer service is very kind on this topic. They are generally well-trained. They give in at the slightest resistance. On this particular topic, I have high praise for TSA.
In the summer of 2020, the airline CEOs were demanding a mask mandate from the White House. Trump would not give it to them (a concrete detail that should be kept in mind by anyone who dislikes Trump and dislikes masks). Biden, however, gave in on his first day in office, though massive exemptions remained.
The Quick And Dirty Power Structure Of Masks On Flights From January 20, 2021 Onward
Here’s what then happened 1.) Biden talked tough on masks publicly, 2.) Biden talked tough on masks to the media, 3.) The media parroted the Biden line in a totally over the top compliance and fear campaign, 4.) FAA and DOT talked tough on masks to the airlines, 5.) Airlines talked tough to customers, 6.) Airlines blamed TSA for the mask mandate to customers, 7.) Airlines talked tough to the media, 8.) The media parroted the airline line in a totally over the top compliance and fear campaign, 9.) Regular people parroted to each other the airline line, the media line, and the Biden line in a totally over the top compliance and fear campaign.
Except. . . Almost None Of Them Will Enforce Their Tough Talk, Making It Nearly Meaningless In The Face Of Genuine Resistance
There was lots of bluster in that all. It was all meant to frighten people into unquestioned compliance. It was manufactured consent by means of 24/7 repetitive fear porn. If you spend much time probing any segment of that process (as I have done), you see how quickly the following weak links in the chain fall apart: TSA won’t enforce, FAA and DOT won’t enforce, Biden won’t enforce, media won’t enforce, some flight attendants will enforce, some passengers will push the issue of enforcement. That whole big tough chain in the process comes down to maybe a flight attendant gets after you, and that is only maybe.
Dear Reader, I Am Concerned You Have Bought Into That Same Fear Campaign
There is a big fear campaign, some people really fell for and voluntarily complied with. I believe, you, dear Captain, dear reader, are also falling for it.
Starting an airline in 2022 should be as easy as starting one in 2019. The only difference is this: 1.) more cheap money sloshing around, 2.) more fed up customers who will hand you fists of cash if you can return to flying the simple joys that they once knew. So really, it might actually be easier to start an airline in 2022 than it was in 2019.
Do you hear me?
Nothing is standing in your way, except for whatever excuses emerge from the space between your ears. With their fear campaign, they convinced you not to even consider this. I am asking you to examine that hoax that you have allowed access to your mind and to forever deny it that access. You believing that lie is simply too costly to the world.
I Think You Are Negotiating Against Yourself
You write, “Preserving our freedoms by starting a maskless airline in the current environment will only catch the ire of the federal government.”
I spend a fair amount of time with people in the startup environment. I like helping others get their projects started. Sometimes I catch people negotiating against themselves. I see that you are negotiating against yourself. The proper process of negotiation looks something like this.
How Negotiations Done Right Look
Other guy: I want your X.
You: I will sell it to you for (the amount you want plus a really big amount).
Other guy: Too expensive. Best I can do is (the amount you want plus a small amount).
You: I could let it go for (the amount you want plus a medium amount).
Other guy: It’s a deal.
Everyone wins. He gets what he wanted, plus the satisfaction of having gotten a deal. You got what you wanted, plus a little more.
How Negotiating Against Yourself Looks
Now, this is what I see you doing. This is your approximate negotiation strategy.
You: Allan, it’s impossible, why even try?
Me: That’s one way to look at it.
You: Allan, I am sure I am going to lose.
Me: With that attitude, you will.
You: They are so much bigger and tougher than me.
Me: Ever hear of David and Goliath?
You: That’s a good point.
Me: Or Gideon and his tiny, tiny army?
You: Another good point.
Me: Or Israel going up against Jericho?
You: And another good point.
Me: Or, basically anyone God ever sent to battle in His name. Sometimes the little guy wins. In fact, I find it to be a trend with God. He sort of likes the odds to be so mismatched that no one misses who the glory is supposed to go to.
You: Well, He is not calling me to do this, then.
Me: Then maybe you shouldn’t do it, but if you were called to do it, it would not be the impossible mission you think it would be.
This Era Of Supreme Cowardice Made 2020 Possible, And Now It Is Time To Bring That Chapter To A Close
Captain Mogul, we live in an era of supreme cowardice. All the weaselly Dilbert descriptions of corporate America from 20 years ago are now 20 times as bad in the current era and not just in corporate America. Everyone from taxi drivers to carpenters to music teachers to parents to professional athletes, almost everyone in every corner of American society is weaselly, full of show, and lacking courage.
That is the only way 2020 was able to happen as it did. All the real men went on hiatus. And you know what, that might have been the smart thing to do. I have no idea what would have happened to a man in your position who did not. Others probably would have blown up a pretty good job over the values I promote. Most people who stood up, though, found it to be much easier than they thought. In fact, one of the great lessons from Covid has been: Always follow your values boldly, because it often turns out better than you thought possible and seldom is it even a fraction as difficult as you feared it could be.
You may have done that to date. You may have not. That is the past. The present is this: this nonsense does not end without the real men coming back from hiatus. And that means you.
Someone is knocking on the doors of your heart to start this airlines. I am certain you can do that and make it a success.
Why do I think so?
This is what happens to every company as it grows — without careful effort, it gets further and further from its values.
And if you have not already read my other piece on starting an airlines, please do. It fits any entrepreneur in this environment looking to combat this evil and turn a profit while serving his customers. Let me just off the top of my head propose a few aspects that you can include in your founding vision that will set you so far apart from the competition and will recreate the concept of customer service in the airline industry and will perhaps many more industries if done correctly.
You Are A Company That Puts Principle First
From the start, make it a company that stands against the government for the passenger. Government wants to implement a new $4.70 per ticket tax for you to pass on to the consumer? You will respond by charging a $10 per ticket legal fee to your customers as you take the government to court and fight the tax out of principle. If you pitch this right, you will have a mass of loyal customers happier to pay you $10 more per tick than to fly cheaper with the other guys who gave in and paid the $4.70 per ticket. Your company will never let more regulation or more taxation be placed upon the passenger. It will only ever allow a reduction.
You Are A Company That Fights When Pushed
Perhaps the government implements vaccine checks. You response is to take the government to court and will under no circumstances enforce their order. This attitude will be built into the genes of your company and cooked into the business model.
You Are A Company That Treats Its Passengers And Staff Like Humans, No Matter What
While one of your flights are in the air, government implements temperature checks on that specific flight. When you land, you will not allow the pilot to deplane until you have a lawyer for every passenger and two armed security guards for every passenger to make sure no one, and you do mean no one, will force a single temperature check on a single passenger. You are that kind of airline that says to its passengers and staff, “No matter how much it costs, no matter how great the risk, we will always find the will and the muscle to have your back.” Do you think any government wants to have an armed standoff over temperature checks? What do you think 2020 would have looked like if just one company were that serious about standing up for its employees and costumers.
Lobbying For Good Is Your Standard
In DC and in state capitals, you lobby for reduced regulations on passengers and reduced size of government. From the very beginning that is how you build your airlines. No new taxes. No new revaluations. You are a constant voice in the industry. Every legislature at every level knows it is not worth proposing new regulations on air travel because it is not worth fighting with you over.
You Won’t Just Pitch Your Airline In Ads, You Will Pitch Freedom And Criticize Its Enemies
Your media, marketing, and PR teams will eat, sleep, and drink Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Paine. From the start that is who you will hire. No pronouns. No wokeness. Root and branch, those toxins have no place in your company, because you care about your shareholders and you know “Get woke, go broke,” is one of the few bits of truthful, original wisdom to have emerged from this era.
The Defining Characteristics Of A Company Can Start Early And Last For Decades
Apple was built to be about design. From the ground up that was going to be a distinguishing feature of Apple. Cost meant little. Bill Gates built a company with next to no regard for software. Some of the buggiest, junkiest software on the planet comes from Microsoft. Bill Gates was not aiming for pretty software; he was aiming for tough lawyers. From the early days of Microsoft to the present, the Bill Gates specialty that distinguishes Microsoft is how to cheat people using superior legal power.
Imagine what could happen if you built a company that was only intended to make the world more free. What would that look like? Would it have one jet or a thousand? Would it charge cheap airfare or expensive? Would it have hubs and puddle jumpers? I have no idea. No one has ever done it. This time is the time for that. The culture is being reshaped. The rules are being rewritten. Will you be one writing those rules? Or will you be one following the rules of others?
Each one of us is faced with that question at a time like this. If you are not willing to stick your neck out and put up with a fair amount of ire, you will have answered that question.
Now Is The Time To Do This — This Is Why
There are two things that say now is the time for that project to succeed:
1.) We live in a very controlled era, and 2.) We have a tremendous amount of money in the world economy.
If you want to do this, now is the time.
Cowardice Has Been The Mark Of The Airlines
Captain Mogul, I do not know what airlines you fly for, but my guess is that you are well aware of the cowardice that led to such a mess in the airline industry in 2020 and beyond. Every executive was looking out for himself. Everyone was so heavily specialized that they fell for “believe the white coats” or “trust the science.”
Had you been running those airlines and had you spent the last twenty years since 9/11 preparing the right corporate culture for this environment, you would have been the airline that single-handedly stopped the masks and the vaccine mandates. You would have expanded flights when the others had to pull back. You would have hired pilots when the others furloughed. You would have bought planes when the others sold.
You would have been Isaac building wells during a famine.
You missed that opportunity, but 20 years from now, when the next plan comes along to really deal a death blow to America, or maybe it will be two years from now. Where will you be?
Don’t say on the sidelines.
What kind of a team will you have playing for you?
Don’t say no one.
What kind of force to be reckoned with will you be?
Say a formidable one.
A formidable one for freedom.
If I had to guess, there are 100 pilots like you in the United States thinking of doing what you are doing.
90 of them will not read this. Five of them will not do anything after that reading this.
If you five start five new airlines, you will change the face of air travel in the world. If only you do, Captain Mogul, you will have done all you need to do to protect air travel from the next attack on American prosperity and freedom.
Sir, if not you, then who?
If not now, then when?
Say no to the nonsense. Push back. Lead. Read the bestselling “Face Masks in One Lesson” if you don’t know how. Read “Face Masks Hurt Kids” if you don’t know why. These books are about so much more than face masks. Signup for Allan Stevo’s hard hitting newsletter at www.RealStevo.com (www.RealStevo.com). Refuse to be enfeebled by their nonsense. You can lead yourself, your family, and the world around you toward better.
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