Rolling Aviation Thoughts

  • Back when I worked for Mesa Air Group in Phoenix, I used to travel regularly to the East Coast for business and for pleasure.  But I had a boss who liked to stay in touch – even when I was on the plane.  I had flight benefits on both America West and US Airways (this was pre-merger), but I favored US Airways because they didn’t have onboard phones. Planes used to be one of the last sanctuaries, but not anymore, as more airlines offer WiFi, as outlined in this New York Times article.  I will use WiFi on longer haul flights, but I still long for the days when my perfect inflight companion was a good book.
  • I’m a girl who loves her tech toys, so this Mashable article – 5 Business Travel Problems and Their Tech Solutions – really spoke to me.  I’m a big fan and regular user of number one. For number two, I’d use the Next Flight app instead of what was recommended. And I’ve already downloaded number four.
  • As a bona fide aviation geek,I always enjoy watching movies with that theme or plot line (yes, I’m going to see the new movie “Flight”).  I’m always looking for the authenticity or the fake in movies (don’t get me started about the cancelled show “Pan Am”).  So this article on,  “Movie Stars With Wings,” discusses how moviemakers handled aviation scenes before the advent of computer-generated images.
  • One time on a trip to Brazil, I used my cell phone to make a few calls. BAD mistake. The bill was astronomical, which is why I wish I had read this Budget Travel blog post – What’s The Best Way To Phone Home While Traveling? — before I left on my trip. My solution now? A good old-fashioned calling card.
  • Regular readers of this blog know that I believe allowing cell phones inflight is comparable to a circle of hell (read why here).  So I felt my heart rise when I read this Los Angeles Times article — “U.S. airlines in no rush to allow in-flight cellphone use.” I’m under no illusions. The airlines don’t want to do it because of the cost and the hassle to install the equipment on their fleets. But you know what? I’ll take what I can get.
  • I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this headline — “Airline to cancel federal subsidy for ND airport” in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.  It turns out that Great Lakes Aviation, which was paid $2 million a year under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program to offer flights out of Dickinson, N.D., says it no longer needs the subsidy and will continue to fly the service.  Increased oil production in the area has made the subsidy unnecessary. I only wish we could see more of this or a complete revamp of EAS, which I discuss here.


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