Self-Propelled Cargo

The title, by the way, is how airlines (all of ’em) see passengers, and it shows.

Now, I know that technically, speaking, that happens to be true:  we are  just walking baggage — but that doesn’t mean that we want to be treated  that way.  About 80% or more of my business consists of taking sleepy executives to the airport in the pre-dawn hours, and let me tell you:  not one of them has anything  good to say about how the airlines treat them — and most of these people are Gold / Platinum / whatever the top rank is called.  So if these  people hate the airlines, how do you think we Economy-class passengers feel?

And it seems as though United Airlines — or their CEO, at least — understands this, and has talked about it at length.

Munoz acknowledged having to stay competitive with peers and match many of their offers, but he admitted passengers have had enough of paying the price.
He claimed: ‘Somebody asked me what advice would you give other travelers? I said empathy.
‘I think discourse between human beings is lacking, I have always lived by the concept that sharing is caring, and share with us.

Yeah, I’ll wait to see how this pans out.  Fine words uttered from on high are all very well, but let’s see how this translates to the flight attendants / ticketing agents / flight cancellation policy etc.

Many years ago, I worked for the Leo Burnett ad agency, who (at the time) had been United Airlines’s agency for decades — possibly even the only ad agency UA has ever had.  To say that it was a close working relationship would be a gross understatement, and in fact it was Burnett who had coined the genius “Fly The Friendly Skies” payoff line for United.

Then United decided that they wanted to change the thrust of their advertising, to be more businesslike, and even change the payoff line.  Leo Burnett disagreed with the change in marketing direction.  How much did they disagree?  They terminated a decades-long relationship — in essence, firing the client — because they thought it was the wrong direction to take.

Anyone know what United’s new agency replaced the Friendly Skies  line with?  Me neither.  And when United threw that unfortunate passenger off their plane a while ago, breaking his nose in the process, I can honestly say that while I was shocked at the action, I wasn’t surprised.  When they changed their marketing, I made a decision never to fly United again — and other than one (unavoidable) business flight in 2003, I’ve kept my promise.  (And just FYI, that flight was the worst trans-Atlantic flight I’ve ever experienced — Connie was actually sobbing with relief when we came in to land.)

I don’t think that United is going to change (despite their CEO’s unctuous words), and their skies will be just as unfriendly as all the other airlines’.  Why?

His comments came as United Airlines announced that its first-quarter profit doubled to $292 million as it carried more passengers and limited costs.

In a message to employees, CEO Oscar Munoz said the latest results vindicated a strategy of adding more flights, investing in customer service and managing costs.

United added more flights because the Trump-fueled economic growth has meant more people are flying;  not  adding more flights would have caused market share to drop.

As for their “investing in customer service”, watch Munoz’s little video towards the end of the article.  My bullshit detector went off like an alarm clock.  Yours should, too.  “Eliminating pre-assigned seating”?  The airlines have already done that, with sneaky little algorithms in the online ticketing process which deliberately splits seating assignments when booked together in the same transaction, and charging for the privilege of changing the seats.  Bastards.  I’m not fooled:  “managing costs” means “charging for stuff that used to be free”, or else “not replacing worn-out seats even when passengers are experiencing extreme discomfort”.  Feel free to add your own “cost management” examples.

As it happens, I may be flying the New Friendly Skies later in the year, and if so, I’ll let you all know how it comes out.  If I do, it will probably involve a stop in O’Hare (I know, I know:  I used to do 50-60 flights a year out of ORD).  If that isn’t a test, nothing is.

Anyway, you can color me cynical.  Right now, I hate all  airlines, without exception, and it’s going to take more than fucking “empathy” to change my attitude.

And The Last One Falls

As any fule kno, I hate change, especially change which won’t necessarily improve anything.  I also hate it when “change” is replaced by a euphemism such as “overhaul” — because “overhaul” to me means improving something or, at worst, restoring it to its original form or function after neglect.  Imagine then my disgust at this development:

Overhaul of Augusta National ahead of the Masters is sign of the times as golf seeks to be the ultimate family sport

  • Historic occasion for women’s golf on Saturday with first amateur Augusta event
  • It was the turn of some of America’s best juniors to play the course on Sunday
  • The club where nothing changed for decades is undergoing huge transformation

…and all the dreadful details are included in the link above.  Several comments come to mind immediately.

Unless the something that has been going on for decades is genocide, institutionalized child molestation or South African-style apartheid, there’s no need to change anything.  What has gone on for decades at Augusta National GC is a policy of men-only membership (only recently relaxed [spit] ) and a culture which creates a male enclave — and only to the most fevered feminist could this equate to the three horrors above.  I know, wimmens are going to say, “It’s not that important;  why are you making such a fuss?” to which my response is: “If it’s not  that important, then why the fuck  are you trying to change it?”  I’ve written about men-only places before, and the benefits of such places where men can be unholy assholes without some woman or girly-man taking offense at their language / behavior.  It’s a safety-valve  for such activity, and I for one miss it terribly.  I see nothing wrong with gender-specific institutions, whether female-only universities or, like Augusta, male-only golf clubs.  (Don’t even get me started  on military schools.)

So:  why allow women to play at Augusta, when there are thousands upon thousands of other golf courses for them to play at?  Pure symbolism, is why.  (And I’ll bet these Amazon golferettes didn’t play off the back tees, either.)

Then there’s this crap about golf as the “ultimate family sport”?  What the fuck is that all about?  Let’s be honest:  golf has always been a male preserve, except for the many lesbians who participate in the women’s tour and for the wives of male club-members who need to take a full day out of the week for a “Ladies Day” to get together and fuck around  — don’t get me started on the double standard involved with that.  (The truth of the matter is that male golfers prefer  a Ladies Day because women play too slowly and pathetically, and it beats having to wait for twenty minutes per hole while Agnes, Pookie and Frances each take four or five shots to reach a green easily reachable in two by a pre-adolescent boy golfer.)  And how can golf be the “ultimate family sport” when it bores everyone but the golfers involved to tears?

And Augusta’s decided to go along with this bullshit?  Why?  The Masters is already one of the most popular sporting events on TV, it’s already regarded as the world championship of golf by all golfers, and if even one of the tournament’s big sponsors decided to quit because feminism, other equally-large sponsors would get into fistfights to be their replacement.  (The Masters allows for only a few sponsors and severely-limited advertising time, which is probably a prime reason why it’s so popular.)  In other words, Augusta and The Masters are dealing from a position of strength, here, and — let me be quite blunt about this — they have no need to change anything.

But they’re going to, and that’s the pity of it.  And if Augusta goes, what chance do any of the other men-only clubs have of continuing?

It’s enough to make a man have a double for his morning gin.

Quote Of The Day

“We no longer glorify heroic deeds, we glorify heroic suffering.” — Greg Cochran

Yup.  To be a member of a “victimized” class (women, Blacks, LGBTOSHTFU, etc.) is the sine qua non of modern heroism.  But the holder of a Medal of Honor or Victoria Cross?  War criminal.

All of which reminds me:  it’s Range Day at this address.

More Corporate Nannies

Here’s a story which provoked an instant RCOB from me:

A supermarket advert that was set to appear on the London Underground was rejected by rail bosses…
The poster, submitted by online food delivery company Farmdrop, featured a family gathered around a kitchen island with the tagline ‘fresher, fairer groceries delivered to your door’.

Here’s the ad’s pic.  Try to spot why the thing was deemed offensive.

No, it wasn’t because one of the actors is a ginger.  Here’s the actual reason the ad was rejected:

…because it contained bacon, butter, eggs and jam.

The only possible way I could have been more angered was if it was banned because it contains a picture of a chicken, and the vegans complained about that  (I know, I shouldn’t give those poxy fuckers any ideas).

There’s only one remedy to overcome my rage at this point:

…and for the toast, some Irish butter and two of my favorite jams:

Bon appetit, y’all.

Eucalyptus Now

Can anyone else hear the hoofbeats?  No?  Then read this appalling news:

They were the must-have accessory of the eighties and nineties but quickly fell out of fashion.
And now the humble bum bag, also known in the US as the fanny pack, has made a surprising comeback with top designers and celebrities championing the once wildly-mocked accessory.
Fashion houses such as Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton have all showcased bum bags on the catwalk.
And unlike the garish bright, polyester styles of the eighties and nighties, designers have given the accessory a sophisticated makeover with smart leather styles often called ‘belt bags’.

And if that isn’t enough to turn your stomach:

Style-savvy models and celebrities have been spotted donning this sought-after accessory, including Taylor swift who was spotted sporting the ‘Ophidia’ bag by Gucci over the weekend.

Oy vey.  (No pics, because I refuse to be responsible for mass projectile vomiting.)

All that said, I have to confess to owning one of these horrible things.  It’s made of polyester, it’s in my SHTF bin, and it holds five 10-round 1911 magazines.  For emergency use only, when I don’t care what I look like and there are multiple goblins to be shot.