Although the courts are having their impact, and the administration is taking an aggressive bargaining position, it may be the airline company lobbyists that find the compromise solution.
The lobbyists are skilled at identifying what the problems are, measuring how strong the opposition is, and crafting compromise positions that meet most of the needs of most of those involved. This may involve conversations with administration officials or with legislators on Capitol Hill who might make their feelings known to executive branch officials.
American Airlines and U.S. Airways had a combined total of 59 lobbyists lobbying the executive and legislative branches during the second quarter of 2013, when they spent $1,990,000 for lobbying for all their issues. American Airlines hired 12 lobbying firms and used 40 lobbyists. U.S. Airways hired eight lobbying firms and used 19 lobbyists.
American Airlines paid Hannegan Landau Poersch Advocacy LLC $120,000 for three lobbyists; $110,000 to Venable LLP for six lobbyists; $75,000 to D-Squared Tax Strategies for one lobbyist; $70,000 to McBee Strategic Consulting for five lobbyists; $60,000 to Heather Podesta + Partners for two lobbyists; $60,000 to LHD & Associates for one lobbyist; $50,000 to Normandy Group LLC for two lobbyists; $50,000 to Ingram Group for three lobbyists; $40,000 to OB-C Group for seven lobbyists; $40,000 to Doerrer Group for one lobbyist; $40,000 to Empire Consulting for one lobbyist; and $20,000 to Denny Miller Associates for four lobbyists.
U.S. Airways paid $140,000 to Podesta Group for seven lobbyists; $50,000 to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld for one lobbyist; $50,000 to Gibson Group for one lobbyist; $40,000 to Mercury Strategies for two lobbyists; $40,000 to Cormac Group for two lobbyists; $40,000 to SBL Strategies for two lobbyists; $37,500 to Chesapeake Enterprises for one lobbyist; and an unknown amount to Poligentsia for one lobbyist.