Air Travel: Another Casualty of Pandemic Porn.


Grounding the airlines, in a very real way, pointlessly cripples the entire nation and endangers all Americans.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, appearing on CNBC, warned “there will absolutely be discontinuation of service to small communities, and there will be much less service to larger communities” without more coronavirus relief, he stressed.

Such service cuts devastate not only the airline industry and tens of thousands of airline workers, but also the lives, businesses and livelihoods of entire communities and in some places (e.g., Hawaii) entire states. Air travel is the lifeblood of commerce in a nation whose borders span three thousand miles east to west. Cut off the lifeblood of business and eventually, the entire body of trade, investment, manufacturing, jobs, benefits, health insurance and even the tax base dies a slow death right alongside the airline business.

The emergency orders that locked down the nation in the Spring were never intended as anything other than triage, yet here we are a half a year later still holding a tourniquet tightly around the neck of the nation. The consequences for the patient are glaringly obvious: save the limb, lose the life? Seriously?

It’s time to get back into the air in particular and into life general: kids can’t go without education, people can’t go without engagement and support, and business can’t survive without air travel. It’s time to stop the triage and start the rehab, before it’s too late: enact rational, proven, and credible safety standards to be enforced on the ground and in the air–then end the formal lockdowns and the informal thuggery of the “stay home,” hide under the bed social media terrorists. Resist the news media click bait of “cases” panic porn (6.3 million “cases” of the flu last year; over 300,000 traffic fatalities during the same period) and focus on the recovery and survival of the very nation, which so earnestly, vitally, and ineluctably depends on air travel.

Pass the relief package. Bring the airline workers back, keep our air travel network safe and robust, ready to connect business, commerce, trade, engagement and virtually every vital function of this nation.

Don’t passively acquiesce to the heartless Mekong Delta tragedy of Ben Tre in the very heartland of America: “We had to destroy the village to save it,” a soldier told war correspondent Peter Arnett in the aftermath of an Army massacre.

End the lockdown. Fund the airlines. Anything less is senselessly and blindly destroying the nation. —Chris Manno

Live the airline crew life, firsthand, from start to finish. From Amazon Books, just CLICK HERE.

7 Responses to “Air Travel: Another Casualty of Pandemic Porn.”

  1. A pretty biased and sensationalized post. I do agree with a lot of things in it (fund the airlines, pass the stimulus) but there is no “lockdown” as you say. What the heck are you referring to? And people are not flying because they are scared – and there are things we can do (and are doing) to help, but it will take more time. I encourage you to listen to a real epidemiologist (Dr Osoterholm, etc) and not the mainstream media. Geez. And I recall you were the same guy who said there wasn’t much wrong with the 737 Max and shortly afterward it was grounded.

    • Of course it’s “biased:” it’s my blog, so it’s my opinion. And what planet do you live on where there’s “no lockdown?” The SF Chronicle just published a story about schools there closed till at least January; same as most of California and many schools nationwide; businesses are closed or restricted in occupancy and revenue; restaurants are shuttered; bars, too; stadiums closed or occupancy cut to a fraction; theme parks, casinos; manufacturers have closed plants because of spacing orders, many states have restricted entry and invoked mandatory quarantine and none of this is simply because “people are scared.” And while you’re missing the point, there isn’t anything wrong with the MAX–as I said, it’s low-time, inexperienced operators of a complex machine that caused both spectacular panic-porn clickbait for you and the media. That’s based on my experience from firsthand qualification on the jet, versus your personal hysteria. Better find a panic blog to read–you can’t handle this one.

      • Thanks, Chris – appreciate the reply, and I apologize for the tone. When you said “lockdown” (with no qualifiers) I though you meant society-wide (similar to what many states had in May-June) vs what we have now. And you are right, lots of restrictions in place. Seems like cases though are rising dramatically and more restrictions are going to be put in place. What are the alternatives you recommend? You mention things we need to do relative to flying – I agree (and my wife has been on 7+ flights the past 2 months and thinks the airlines are doing a great job, I just wish the Feds would back them up more). I believe, based on the data I have seen, we need to open schools at least K-9, maybe K-12, keeping kids out of school is NOT backed up by almost every study (worldwide) I have read.. Enough, again, sorry for the tone, and thanks for your thoughts on my inappropriate MAX comment. Cheers. btw, the one person I have found I trust the most is Dr. Michael Osterholm – incredible knowledge, good communicator, and pragmatic.

  2. I too am disappointed at the misleading comparison between auto fatalities / flu cases and a virus which is deadlier than the flu and spreads exponentially.

    • I’m disappointed in your selective lack of concern about fatalities (add 45,000 breast cancer deaths too last year) except for the marquee pandemic porn you find exciting. That’s hypocritical, unless, of course, due to the “exponential” rise in unsafe driving “cases” (300,000 dead last year) you’re personally driving at only half the speed limit on the freeway until “cases” come down.

  3. I would like to challenge your statement „business can’t survive without air travel“. There will always be some business travel that is necessary, agreed. But most business travel is actually avoidable as the current situation shows. My company is under a full home office policy since March in the US and we are doing better than ever (and no, we are not in the tech sector). In fact, we have a work life balance which is a lot better as we no longer need to fly to our customers regularly. 95%+ of that travel is actually not critical as we found out. And with the saved time we can make more than up for the remainder.

    The airline industry has to realize that air travel will not come back entirely and will have to find a new business model (tourism?) to cope.

    • I don’t think your example of one disproves the theory of business travel for all. But where we do agree is the airline model: I’m not sure I agree on the lack of business travel, but I would say the new business model (and this is convoluted, but stay with me) will need to be a “non-Premium” market. Right now, business travel comprises most of the Premium market and as you said, it’s value and thus viability going forward is tenuous at best. In my crystal ball (caveat: I may be wrong), I see the mass market, primarily leisure travel as the bulk revenue of the airline business of the future. So I predict those carriers already built around that core constituency, such as Spirit, SWA, Jet Blue, and Frontier, will thrive in whatever post-Covid air travel market emerges going forward. While as you said, businesses may sidestep air travel, but vacationers still have limited time and basically cannot Zoom a resort or beach or theme park or casino, some mass-market liesure vacations I don’t think people are willing to forego indefinitely. The legacy airlines (UAL, AA, Delta) will adapt or will lose whatever emerges as the market to those carriers dealing in leisure travel rather than the $5,000 premium upgrade to Paris.

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