Crandall(‘s) Call

Bob Crandall, the CEO of American Airlines placed a telephone call to Robert Putnam the CEO of Braniff Airlines on February 1, 1982. Unfortunately for Crandall, Putnam recorded the call, which was memorably laced throughout, on Crandall’s part, with remarkably profane and indeed blasphemous language. Stripped of most of the foul language (so as not to upset those of delicate sensibilities (and the original publisher’s editor)), the core statements in the call were:

Crandall:“I think it’s dumb as [a location alleged to be very hot] . . . to sit here and pound the [scatology] out of each other and neither one of us making a [profanity] dime. . . . We can both live here and there ain’t no room for Delta. But there’s, ah, no reason that I can see, all right, to put both companies out of business.”

Putnam: “Do you have a suggestion for me?”

Crandall: “Yes. I have a suggestion for you. Raise your [blasphemy] fares 20%. I’ll raise mine the next morning. . . . You’ll make more money and I will too.”

Putnam: “We can’t talk about pricing.”

Crandall : “Oh, [animal excrement], Howard. We can talk about any [blasphemy] thing we want to talk about.”

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