Monday, June 29, 2009

Crazy Airline Pricing: Hidden City Ticketing

What's up with that crazy airline pricing: Hidden City Ticketing (v2)

I recently bought some airline tickets. But somehow, I always feel like I am being cheated. I generally use or, then go to the airlines website to book. This time I was looking for the cheapest was to fly from Newark to my destination, Miami.

I started up and typed in Newark to Miami. I got a price of $400. Which I thought was a lot. So I typed in Washington, DC to Miami and got $275 but you had to change planes in, where else, Newark. What is going on ??

Well, it turns out airlines charge prices based, not on distance, but on demand for a particular route. So, if a certain route is highly competitive, like the route from DC to NYC, with no dominant carrier, then the price will be lower. And once you are on a particular carrier they want to keep you on that carrier, so the total price can be cheaper.

Airlines call this "Hidden City Ticketing". Hidden city pricing can save you some money if you are willing travel to another airport.

There are plenty of internet warnings if you take advantage of hidden city pricing.
1) Don't miss the first leg of the trip or the entire trip is automatically cancelled. So I cannot board in Newark but instead must get to DC first.
2) Don't check baggage. It will end up at your final destination with out you.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Why is the confirmation of L'Oreal's discriminatory hiring practices so important ??

Well for a number of reasons: 1) L'Oreal is the worlds largest cosmetics company; 2) L'Oreal uses well-known minority models and celebrities to market it's products; 3) L'Oreal is an image and branding company; 4) Discrimination suits are very difficult to bring in France; and 5) L'Oreal had help from a major personnel company, Addecco.

L'Oreal is a very large company. It has projected sales revenue of over 24 Billion (USD)(17.5 Billion Euro) for the year 2008. It has 67,000 employees and operates in 130 countries. It has a major presence in Europe and the US.

L'Oreal has used celebraties and models to promote products. L'Oreal uses or has used: Eva Longoria, Beyonce Knowles, Aishwarya Rai, Agbani Darego, Gong Li and Kerry Washington.

L'Oreals core European and North American markets are growing very slowly. It is look to expand to faster growing countries in Asia, Africa and South American, where people have darker skin complexions.

L'Oreal is an image and branding company. But the ultimate image and brand is the company's integrity and reputation. Someone with short sight apparently forgot that concept. So we must ask the logical question, was this an isolated incident or a symptom of a larger pattern. I would like to believe the former, but, L'Oreal has a history of other incidents and ethical lapses.

France has a long history of xenophobia and facial discrimination. Many minorities live in isolated suburban housing tracts. The French constitution does not permit the recognition of minority status. And France's civil and penal code forbids the collection of any data concerning religion, race or country of origin.

So what can you do. Consumers, collectively are in the drivers seat. L'Oreal is very dependent on the "whims" of the market place. Cosmetics are made for pennies, but marketed with millions.
My suggestion is switch to a non-L'Oreal product and brand. It is a good time to try out the competition. If you don't like it, you can switch back.

E-Mail is also a very effective response. Large companies are not equipped to handle a public image crisis. E-mail will let them know you are aware of their hiring discrimination practices. Be sure to list the reason why you are switching. Companies count the e-mails and the tone of the e-mail.

I found it difficult to contact the company regarding anything other than product compliments or complaints. But here is L'Oreal USA's contact information.

Friday, June 26, 2009

(June 24, 2009) A L'Oreal, subsidiary, Labs Garnier, was found guilty of racial discrimination in it's hiring practices by the highest court in France. The court affirmed a lower court ruling that Lab Garnier and it's personnel agency practiced racial discrimination in 2000 when it recruited sales persons fora new product line, "Garnier Style". L'Oreal is the worlds largest cosmetics company with over $27 billion in sales revenue. Garnier was fined 30,000 Euros. In addition, the Addeco personnel agency and it's subsidiary Districom (now Ajillion), were are fined 30,000 Euros for racial discrimination as well. The case was brought by SOS Rascism, a French anti-discrimination group.

According to news reports, in the year 2000, the recruiting agency was told to screen out non-white candidates during the recruitment of hostesses for a new Garnier product. "The court was told that only 4.65% of Garnier recruits were Black, Arab or Asian." said the Times of London Online Edition. In addition, a Districom fax detailing the requirements was presented as evidence. Verbal instructions to screen out minorities was also exposed.

L'Oreal employs or has employed several celebrities, including: Beyonce Knowles, Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria, to market it's products. L'Oreal denied claims in 2008 that it had lighten Beyonce's skin for a marketing campaign.

L'Oreal has many well known consumer and professional brands around the world some of which are: L'Oreal Paris, Garnier, Maybelline, Softsheen/Carson, L'Oreal Professional, Matrix, Redken, Kerastese, Mizani, Lancome, Biotherm, Logics, Dermablend, Helena Rubinstein, Kiehl's and the fragrances of Ralph Lauren, Viktor & Rolf, Diesel and Giorgio Armani. L'Oreal also owns the body shop cosmetic retailer which it acquired in 2005.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unemployment rises to 9.4%

The unemployment rate rose to 9.4% in May the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The rate of unemployment increased from from 8.9% in April. In addition, the number of unemployed persons increased 787,000 to a total of 14,511,000 persons. Detailed unemployment rates stood at 9.8% for Men, 7.5% for women, 8.6% for whites, 14.9% for Blacks and 12.7 % for Hispanics. The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.7%

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Black Unemployment Rate reaches 14.9%

Black Unemployment Rate reaches 14.9%

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released it May unemployment report showing the Black unemployment rate was 14.9%. April's Black unemployment rate was 15.0%. The rate has increase by more than 5% over last year. The May 2008 rate was 9.7%. U3, is the most commonly used unemployment measure.

The government also released the more representative U6 rate. U6 is at 16.4% for the whole US population. U6 is the highest it has been in 10 years. U6 measures unemployed workers plus part time workers who want full-time work plus marginally attached (MA) workers. Marginally attached workers have looked for work in the past and are willing to work but are not currently looking. Marginally attached workers include discouraged workers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to the "Evil Black Economist" web log. This blog is about economic, finance and business matters from a Black perspective. It is also a tool for me to learn about macro and labor economics.

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