Monthly Archives: June 2010

Okay, this is weird

Have you seen the new Bud Light beer commercial with the airplane crash survivors?  You can find it on Youtube if you want to watch it.  Anyway, we were watching television the other night and this commercial comes on.  I immediately pause the TiVo so I can look at the tail of the crashed plane, sitting there in the water.  Here’s what it looks like:

I thought, “Why in the hell did they use an Air France plane for this commercial? I mean hell, it LOOKS like an Air France plane, at least the tail. Take a look at this image of an actual Air France tail.

Okay, so they’re different in these two pictures.  But looking at it on the television for the 1.5 seconds it is on the screen, it makes me think of a downed Air France jet.  And with the recent mysterious downing of the Air France Airbus A330, that doesn’t help any.  Plus, one of the most common images of that flight is the remains of the tail of the aircraft being pulled from the sea.

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So I got laughed at last night…

Really.  And I thought I was being reasonable!

We went out to dinner last night, and ran in to a friend of ours that is a flight attendant.  He knows that I fly every week, and that I was to fly out this morning.  He asked how the Portland to Chicago flights were going for me on Alaska, and I told him.  But I also mentioned that I was going to fly PDX -> SEA, SEA -> ORD today.  He wondered why.

I told him that I normally fly the PDX -> ORD direct on Alaska, but going through Seattle on this trip, for the same price, I was guaranteed a first class seat.  See, Alaska lets MVP Gold members buy a certain class of ticket on their website and instantly upgrade.  LOVE THAT FEATURE!  The choice was obvious to me when buying tickets: Go for the first class seat.  But in doing so, my flight attendant friend laughed at me.  Yes, it’s an extra flight.  But it’s the same money, the same time line, and the same route basically.  Why not?  Besides, I get extra frequent flyer miles.

He wasn’t amused.  I think it’s a good strategy.  What do you think?

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A very special plane

I just took the Horizon Airlines Portland/Seattle shuttle, and flew on a very special plane.  This is Horizon’s Bombardier Q400, dedicated to Horizon founder Milton G. Kuolt II.  I love that they’ve actually forgone the QX designation and gone with the MK designation for the plane’s registration.

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From reader Nate: Pics from work

Can you imagine going to work and seeing these views?  Nate works for a subsidiary of a small airline that flies in and out of Juneau, Alaska.  I grew up in Alaska, and miss the spectacular scenery.  Nate, you’re making me homesick!

And thank you for all the wonderful shots!

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Filed under “WHAT IN THE HELL?”

So skimming the headlines today, there’s the normal stuff about the oil spill in the Gulf, some cool stuff about Emirates taking their total number of A380s up to 90, and the rest of the stuff.  Then I got to this headline:

As capacity falls, people find more joy in flying

My first reaction was, “What the hell?”, followed by a quick, “No way!”.  You see, the reason I say this is – well – maybe I see the snarky side of air travel in general, because I travel all the time.  Look at Facebook postings; when Alaska Airlines posted a comment on Facebook about upcoming meal changes (nicer meals, better options, etc), a good number of the respondents said something to the effect of, “I’m already paying too much.  I should get a free meal!”, etc, etc.  And of course images of cots in O’Hare, the plastered “DELAYED” signs all over airport flight screens, etc are all fresh in my head.  It just freaks me out that, with all of the capacity cuts and nightmare stories of people trapped on planes overnight, and hell, even the three passengers lately that have fallen asleep on the plane and been left by the crew.  And people are finding joy in flying?

Oh well.  At least congratulations are in order for my favorite, Alaska Airlines, in topping the traditional carrier charts in the survey, and JetBlue for topping the LCC segment!

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I love this contrast!

I absolutely love watching planes. Their immenseness is just insane, when you think about it. I took this picture as I was boarding AA5046, an Embraer 140 with a Boeing 777 looming over us.

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Air France/KLM: Profits & Convenience Before People

This is the kind of thing that really pisses me off.  Every day we get on airplanes, and we have professionals around us for our safety.  Flight Attendants aren’t there to serve you beer and soda; they are there for your SAFETY.  Don’t think so?  Listen to cabin crew talk about some of the incidents and accidents they have been in; it will make your skin crawl.  So why would an airline put their own people at safety?  It makes no sense.

What I’m talking about is the decision by KLM (parent company is Air France/KLM; one of the largest airline companies in the world) and how they have told their gay employees that they can NOT skip out of going to Iran.  Previously KLM has allowed female employees to avoid working on flights to Iran, because “unpleasant things happened to them there”.  Excuse me?  Yes, women face discrimination throughout the entire Middle East.  But HELLO!  When gay people are found in Iran, they are PUBLICLY HANGED.  Don’t believe me?  Click here.  It’s disgusting.  Hell, Iran sentenced one reporter for a PICTURE of their leader being printed that made Ahmadinejad appear to be gay.

KLM, put your PEOPLE before your profits and convenience.  If you don’t, you will have your own employees blood on your hands!

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Who gets the last laugh in a labor dispute?

Wow.  Just wow.  Yes, there are labor disputes galore.  And yes, the unions are the ones that usually give the concessions and the airlines are the ones that come out on top.  But it’s not always who wins, but who gets the last laugh that counts, to some degree.

British Airways is about to come out with mobile boarding passes.  That’s great!  They’re a great option for the traveling public.  To promote this in their recent magazine, they showed a photo of a mobile boarding pass.  Who was the boarding pass assigned to?  Osama bin Laden.  Not only that, but he was flying first class to Washington DC.

So while British Airways may win the war, they’ve been made a laughingstock.  And to the person who actually did it – good on you!

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