Extorted At 30,000 Feet

Folks, normally when I am discussing the high flying hi-jinks of the airline industry I am referring to either the TSA or Jet Blue Airlines. Who can forget the “Misadventures of Clayton Osbon and The Quest to Visit Jesus“? Or how about the “Toddler of Terror: TSA finds the Most Dangerous Threat to Grace Our Friendly Skies“? Hell, this time I am not even talking about that guy who turned his dead cat into a “Kitty Kopter“!

No, today we are going to talk about some car-pooling rules…in an airplane. See, if you aren’t rotating out drivers, you are expected to chip in for gas, right? This is in edition to the payment you make in the form of coffee’s or doughnuts or lunches. So why shouldn’t airlines have a similar rule?

Well apparently, Air France does! This past Wednesday, Air France Flight 562 was forced to make an emergency landing in Damascus, Syria. Now this could be understandable…maybe an engine went out…or maybe a rabid squirrel was running amok…or maybe they were filming “Snakes on a Plane 2”. But no, the truth is much more horrifying – the plane had run out of gas.

They had just left Paris on a flight Lebanon…and couldn’t make it. That’s like a 30 second flight. Even on empty they could have been able to just coast into their destination…but no, apparently they had to land to fill up. This doesn’t seem like a complicated issue. Just land at an airport and use the company credit card to fuel up the plane…only…Air France must not have had a company credit card…because they asked their passengers to pony up for the gas if they wanted to reach their destination!

That’s right – they actually asked their passengers to buy the gas for the trip! Isn’t that included in the ticket fare? When you buy a plane ticket, isn’t it just assumed that the ticket covers the entire cost of the flight?

But that would be way off the mark to make those assumptions, because Air France obviously uses “airpooling” rules! See, the ticket you purchase just reserves you a seat, kinda like buying coffee for the guy driving your carpool does. If you actually want to go somewhere, you have to offer additional compensation!

Obviously the passengers were all up to date on airpool etiquette, because after they were asked to contribute gas money, they raised £17,000! These guys know what the score is!

Now I know what you Americans are thinking: “Isn’t that extortion?” What is to stop other airlines from following a similar policy? What if they tried to extort money using other tactics like sending the plane into a nose dive then selling parachutes from $5,000 a piece?

Well, the answer is simple: nothing. I think the airline industry needs to spice things up to make flying more exciting and they need to create ways to become and stay profitable! Think about it, if you never knew what random thing could happen in flight that would require monetary donations in order to survive, wouldn’t that make the flight much less boring? Hell, who needs an in-flight movie with this business model!

They could come up with hundreds of great ways to nickel and dime flyers! Besides, since this extortion takes place at 30,000 feet, does it even count as a crime? Isn’t there an International Air Policy that limits liability due too the lack of governance over the atmosphere? They should technically be able to murder you and not be held liable!

When I had first heard of this story, I was told that it involved Jet Blue Airlines. I, of course, believed that because let’s face it – Jet Blue is the airline equivalent of the movie “Titanic”. That’s because it was an over-hyped piece of crap that everyone was secretly looking forward to sinking at the end – after we were forced to listen to Celine Dion for 3 1/2 hours and watch the most far-fetched romance this side of the one in Marky Mark’s “Planet of the Apes”!

But, I was wrong…this didn’t involve Jet Blue at all…so, I offer an apology to them.

Dear Jet Blue,
I am sorry that I thought you had come up with the most revolutionary idea in the history of flying. I thought that maybe you were trying to further redefine air transportation much like you did with your “Voyage to Jesus”, only this time in a crazy like a fox way – not a bat shit crazy way! I am sorry that someone else trumped your shrewdness and successfully convinced patrons to pay for what could at first be considered bad judgment or improper management.

The Airline company didn’t actually take their passengers money…maybe they traded croissants for the jet fuel? Regardless, it all worked out and they flew them straight on to their destination. That’s probably because this was just a test of the new Airpool Rules that Europe will soon be using and they needed to see how likely passengers would be to accepting them!

Air France, I commend your bold attempt at establishing new Airpool guidelines and can’t wait to see this imported into our own airline systems!


2 comments on “Extorted At 30,000 Feet

  1. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

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