Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dear Aeroflot: YOU SUCK!

I knew that things weren’t all that good for gays and lesbians in Russia, but I didn’t know it was this bad.  In 2011, a gay male flight attendant started a GLBT organization for Aeroflot in response to the denigration of gays and lesbians in Russia, as well as at Aeroflot.

What did Aeroflot do in response?  They gave the man an ultimatum: Either get married to a woman, or lose your job.

What the frick, Aeroflot?

I know that I’m not in the Russian Federation, and honestly will probably never fly Aeroflot.  But I also know that Aeroflot is part of the SkyTeam Alliance.  Hey Delta, Air France/KLM?  Do you want to be associated with these people?  If you want to keep your business with the GLBT community in the United States and Europe, how about you dissolve your partnership with Aeroflot?  I know that I’m personally more apt to work with companies that support GLBT causes, and shun companies that either support or turn a blind eye to the abuse of minorities.

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Who’s Buying Who And Merging And What Now?

So what in the hell is exactly going on these days?

First, AMR, the parent company of American Airlines (but then again if you’re an airline junkie like I am, you already knew that!), filed for bankruptcy.  And almost immediately, there were rumors swirling around about Delta possibly putting together a bid for AMR.  And then there were rumors about another group (TPG Capital), a private equity firm, also looking into buying AMR with the help of British Airways.  Finally, there was a rumor of US Airways buying American Airlines.

Now there’s a rumor that Delta is thinking about buying US Airways.

What the hell?

Honestly, now that Delta is tied up with Northwest, SkyTeam Alliance (474M pax/year) is very well positioned in the United States.  American, now the third largest airline in the United States (and probably going to shrink considerably based on their bankruptcy) is oneworld (303M pax/year), which is having all sorts of problems.  I mean JAL, long-time OneWorld partner almost bailing?  Wow…  And on the other hand is United/Continental and US Airways as part of the Star Alliance (604M pax/year).  And with United/Continental being as gargantuan as they are, is it really doing US Airways any good being part of Star Alliance?

What should probably happen (in my personal airline-geekdom opinion) is that any bid by Delta be tossed out.  Delta is already huge; should the be allowed to get even bigger?  But US Airways?  If they want to stay viable with the big boys, I think they need to do two things.  First, they need to bail on Star Alliance and join up with oneworld.  This would make the playing field a little more equal with Star Alliance (minus US Airways) at 543M pax/year, SkyTeam Alliance still at 474M pax/year, and oneworld upped to 365M pax/year alliance-wise.  That would be a first good step.  And then, just like Continental bailing on SkyTeam and then United buying them (keeping the United name but the Continental brand, thereby shedding a bad image since Continental was more well liked than United), US Airways needs to buy American Airlines, and shed their US Airways image (though take over the company, again a la Continental CEO Smisek taking over United post merger).

Just my personal opinions about what needs to happen with the big guys.  We’ll see how it plays out.  And in the meantime, maybe I should put together some ideas for the smaller carriers.

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Developing: Sen. Rand Paul Detained at BNA

Okay, so there’s a developing story out of Nashville that Senator Rand Paul has been detained because he refused to go through the full porno-patdown.  From my research, it appears that Nashville has the full body scanners, though I don’t know if they are the backscatter radiation kind or the milliwave radiowave kind (though both give naked porno images of every person that goes through them).

If it turns out that Senator Paul is able to get through the Nashville airport without going through either a body scanner machine or getting a full body patdown, I AM GOING TO RAISE HELL!

UPDATE: So it appears that Rand Paul went through the body scanner and set something off.  He refused the patdown, and wasn’t let into the secure area of the airport.  He got another ticket and went through the body scanner again, and this time didn’t set it off.  For someone that is a libertarian, Rand Paul sure as hell shouldn’t be in support of the body scanners.  I protest their existence by opting out of their use and forcing the TSA to do a search of my person.  Still unconstitutional (Hello 4th amendment and all your talk of unreasonable search and seizure!), but it’s my own little form of protest.

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