Tag Archives: Chris Elliott

My Pinterest Board: Art Deco Travel Posters – Cool!

16 Apr

As a travel buff since almost birth, I’m old enough to remember when airlines did destination posters that I thought were works of art.  When I was old enough to start buying my own art, I went straight for the art deco travel posters.

Back on Feb. 21, I did a post on how I’m using Pinterest to show off all my travel obsessions.  A funny thing has happened since then.  My board, “Art Deco Travel Posters – Cool!” has caught on like wildfire.  As of today, I have 93 posters and a whopping 239 followers of said board. I only have 118 total followers.

It seems I’ve struck a nerve with a lot of folks who are like me, nostalgic for a time long since past, or lovers of travel art.  And I’m just delighted by the folks following me and repinning my pins, including: Chris McGinnis, Johnny Jet, Chris Elliott, Meena Thiruvengadam, Sebastian White, Mira Lowe and Debbie Swiatek, to name a few.

Still not on Pinterest? Email me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM and I’ll send you an invite!!

Top Five Aviation Stories of Interest

23 May

Last week was a zoo, with me working on Geneva time for the European Business Convention and Exhibition, the big business aviation show for that continent.  You can read Aviation Week’s extensive coverage of EBACE here.

But there were also some other interesting aviation stories last week, and I still wanted to highlight them, below.

  1. My Aviation Week colleague Jim Ott writes about a speech that TSA Administrator John Pistole made before the 83rd annual conference and exposition of the American Association of Airport Executives, where he says the next decade of security screening will focus on operational assessments “to stay ahead of tomorrow’s threats.”
  2. Regular readers know that I’ve been a big fan of TSA’s efforts in social media.  That impression continues after Blogger Bob submits to questions from the readers of Chris Elliott’s website.
  3. USA Today’s Today In The Sky columnist Ben Mutzabaugh writes about a topic that makes my heart a little sad: the phase-out of United Airlines’ iconic tulip logo.  But in a bit of good news, United used its Twitter account to say it was keeping Channel 9. You can read my original appeal to UA on that topic here.
  4. Back in the day, I wrote about the regional aviation industry, which is why this admittedly geeky piece from good friend Bill Swelbar caught my eye.  I’ve been on many sides of the small community air service debate, writing about it for Commuter/Regional Airline News and Aviation Daily, protecting it during a stint at the Regional Airline Association and chasing after service working at Mesa Air Group. I don’t think this type of service should go away, but it is LONG overdue for a major overhaul.   I outline my thoughts on that here.
  5. I enjoyed this piece on Up Up and A Gay on sleeping in airplanes.  I am one of those people who can sleep anywhere — even in airplanes. When you’re tired, you’re tired!

I just didn’t have time to do Strange But True Aviation News this week, but I’ll leave you with this link from our friend Paula Williams of the Your Marketing Co-pilot podcast.  She was kind enough to interview me about my thoughts on personal branding and networking.  Enjoy!

My Top 5 Interesting Aviation Stories Of The Week

29 Apr

One of the things I like best about my day job is that I *never* run out of things to write about.  And we had the usual dog pile, making it tougher than usual to ferret out the most interesting five things this week.  But here we go!

  1. I have to give a big high five to the Town And Country Manchester Patch.com news site for some very good coverage on the tornado destruction at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport late last week into this week.  Their team of reporters covered every angle, and even managed to get in some video clips.
  2. When I worked in the airline industry, one of the banes of my existence was getting calls from politicians with requests — and complaints — that showed they had absolutely no clue on how carriers really operate.  Thanks to CrankyFlier.com for passing along this gem. The Sacramento Bee reports that Calif. state Sen. Ted Lieu is calling on Southwest Airlines to retire its fleet of Boeing 737-300s after that aircraft type was forced to make an emergency landing after it blew a hole in the top part of the fuselage.  Why? Because the planes are too old.  Aircraft go through a series of regular checks where they are practically rebuilt, allowing them to fly for decades.  There are still Douglas DC-9s out there that are older than me and I wouldn’t hesitate to fly them.
  3. New York Times travel columnist Joe Sharkey wrote an article — Piecing Together the True Cost of Flying — that tries to make sense of mounting airline fees.  I’m not a fan of fees, but airlines have to report to shareholders and make profits.  And since you folks won’t pay higher fares, airlines are using fees to make up the difference.  You don’t believe me?  A report released in July by U.S.-based IdeaWorks found that 96 airlines made $13.5 billion in 2009 on ancillary revenue.
  4. I recently had to check on my Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards account and realized I had an award that was mere days away from expiring.  I paid the $50 to extend for another year, so all is well.  But this story from our good friend Chris Elliott of Elliott.org is on what happens when those awards expire. Don’t forget to take the poll at the end of the story.
  5. I’m really enjoying the ArizonaBuffaPho blog.  The blog is written by a friend, a retired airline executive and air service consultant helping a new Vietnamese airline get off the ground.  Vietnam has always been on my list of places to visit, and he makes me want to go there — tomorrow!!

I’m still in mourning because there was no Airplane Geeks podcast, but we can all console ourselves with “Strange But True Aviation News,” which did not disappoint this week.  We had a very unusual case of lost baggage, the latest from the TSA police blotter and an interesting way to get from LaGuardia to LAX.

As a kid, I was a regular watcher of “The Carol Burnett Show.”  Please enjoy this hilarious 9:46 clip of a sketch that she, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway did, entitled “No-Frills Airline.” Enjoy!!

Why Banning TSA Screeners From Your Business Is A Bad Idea

23 Feb

I read with interest a Feb. 19 article by consumer travel advocate and journalist Chris Elliott about how a cafe at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were banning Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners.

Elliott quotes an employee who says the ban was put into place after the agency began installing more of its controversial body scanners at Sea-Tac.  The gist of the ban is screeners will not be let in until the cafe feels passengers are being treated with respect.

I felt very uneasy when I read about the ban.  I am a black woman who is only one generation away from a time when businesses could ban my father from entering their establishment based only on the color of his skin.

While I can understand the general frustration with TSA, but taking it out on those who are the nearest — like screeners — it just seems wrong.  These are folks who are trying to make a living or feed their families.  The screeners don’t set the policy — they have the unfortunate job of having to enforce it.  So why shoot the messenger?

A TSA screener at BWI Airport Photo by Benet J. Wilson

Back in April 2007, TSA let me spend an afternoon with transportation security officers at Concourse A, the Southwest Airlines terminal at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.  You can see my blog post on my time with the TSOs at BWI at my old Towers and Tarmacs blog.

I’ve also traveled regularly across the country and 90+% of the time, I have had nothing but courteous and efficient TSOs.  I was so impressed with the service at Jacksonville International Airport I filled out comment cards and sent a letter to TSA headquarters.

But I digress.  My point is I think it’s wrong to ban screeners who are doing a thankless job from buying a meal during their break time because someone has a problem with a policy created in Washington, D.C.  TSA Chief John Pistole has made it clear that body scanners are the future, and woe to those who oppose them.  But why should a screener be punished and have to hunt for a place to eat because of a policy they had no part in creating?

What do you think? Are you as uncomfortable as I am with the stance this Sea-Tac cafe is taking with screeners? Or do you think I’m crazy and way too soft when it comes to screeners? Or somewhere in between?


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