Friday, September 4, 2009

Airline Industry Amusements

These are courtesy of the Vanguards...

The TSA bought 207 "puffer" machines in 2004 for a total of $30 million. These machines are designed to detect bomb residue on boarding passengers. I remember they were tested at the Kansas City, Mo. airport and I had to slide my purse across a flat table screen.

TSA installed 94 of them in 37 airports; storing the other 113. They broke down frequently (dirt and humidity in airports) and were repaired at a further cost of $6.2 million. Now dubbed "unreliable" TSA is removing them at a cost of $1 million.

Speculation is rife about the longevity of the 250 body scanners TSA purchased for $170,000 each.

The Admirals Clubs (American Airlines) have begun recycling wine corks (!) to keep them out of landfills. Working with ReCork America and Sodexo, the corks will be collected from 24 locations in the US and San Juan PR. ReCordkstated that 13 billion natural cork wine closures are sold each year and the vast majority wind up in landfills. (Ed. note: not in France; they've been put in special trash bins for some time now.) ReCork will divert them to the people who manufacture footwear and flooring.

In 1973, American Airlines hired the first female pilot for a major airline and followed that up by being the first to hire a female captain in 1986. Today AA runs Women in Aviation Employee Resource Group, est. in 1996, to "promote hiring, professional development and promotional opportunities for women in aviation."

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