Saturday, January 30, 2010


Glen Stubee, Star Tribune Company

According to Suzanne Ziegler, writing in the Saturday, January 30, 2010 Minneapolis Star Tribune, opening the new "Delta North" headquarters is one of the "final steps toward completing the "Deltafication" of Northwest after the Atlanta-based airline purchased Northwest in October 2008."
"Deltification." Hmmmm.
Bill Lentsch, Delta Air Lines senior vice president for Minnesota operations, and himself a former Northwest leader and employee, acknowledges that Delta has a challenge connecting the Delta brand and the Delta family to the community. He says, "The Northwest history is something that we're all proud of and and we're all fond of, but I think the excitement that comes along with being a part of the biggest and the greatest airline in the world is something that is just overwhelmingly positive and wipes all that other stuff away."
Delta has already "wiped away" all NWA branding from airports, and expects all NWA airplanes to be re-painted in Delta livery by the end of the first quarter. That is the end of March, 2010.
Well, Mr. Lentsch and Delta, you're not going to wipe my "stuff" away, and you're not going to wipe away all the "stuff" and the dedicated volunteers at the NWA History Centre in Bloomington, near the MSP airport.
Check it out at
Then c'mon out to the museum, where red tails can still be seen.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Commemorating 'Sully's' Extraordinary Feat, One Year Later

Captain Sully Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 have been catapulted into national fame. They have become living legends. Neither pilot flies much anymore, now mostly flying desks, instead. What a shame. We need them "upstairs."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Illegal You Say? Sounds like fun to me!

What we need around here is a slightly looney idea for a sunny winter day. Take our minds off mega-airlines and banks, for instance!
So a couple of Minnesota fellows complied with our wish. Hans Meyer, of Burnsville, and his buddy Mike Doherty, of LeSueur, Minn., wanted to go flying yesterday and were captivated by crystal clear views of the Minneapolis skyline. It was around Noon on Monday, January 10. Why not land on Lake Calhoun, park our airplanes on the ice and grab a bite to eat on Lake Street?
Why not, indeed?
When they returned from lunch, along came a couple of spoil sports from the Federal Aviation Administration led by a Minneapolis Parks police officer. Each pilot was issued a citation for not having a permit to land on Lake Calhoun. No federal flight rules were violated, but they bumped headlong into a city ordinance.
The moment of apprehension.
Park Police Capt. Robert Goodsell said that in many areas of the state, landing a plane on a lake is legal and common. "But for us, it causes alarm. The pilots didn't know we had ordinance against that", he said. "They were very apologetic." From the Minneapolis StarTribune, January 11, 2010. Photos by Jennifer Simonson, StarTribune.

It's in the Bag. . . the profit, that is!

We read today that Delta, the biggest airline in the world, has again hitched up the fees for checked luggage.
Well folks, it is our own fault. If we were willing to pay more for our tickets, there would be no need for fees. The irony is, however, that once imposed, additional fees rarely go away. So even if they hike up the price of tickets, we'll still pay extra for checked bags, aisle seats, etc., etc. You know who invented this cash cow?
You betcha! The Banks.
Our banks/investment houses/big borrowers of taxpayer funds/big bonus bottomfeeders/con artists, invented the whole fee thing. If you remember the golden age of passenger flight, you probably remember a time when banks were solid members of the community. They lent money to members of the community for fixed-rate mortgages, which they held for the duration of the loan. The money they lent to homeowners came from the deposits we made into our savings and checking accounts and the certificates of deposit we purchased. Banks kept a very low profile. Little advertising. The only competition was between Savings & Loan institutions, who hoped toasters and sets of dishes would snag new depositors.
One day they looked askance at their profit margins and cast about for ideas on how to improve them. The bank card was born. This was a time when debt was considered a good thing. Leverage, they called it. We were allowed to deduct bank card interest from our income taxes. Spend, spend, spend, the theory went, and the Me, Me, Me generation fell for it hook, line and sinker. Oh, and at the same time the value of our homes started going through the roof. Home equity became our personal banker. Borrow more, spend more, the value of your home will only go up. That old "leverage" again.
We're still dealing with the fallout.
Maybe if we get rid of all of our excess "stuff" we won't have so much to fill our suitcases with. We could even maybe get by with just a carry-on. Be prepared, however. If we do that, sure as shootin' a "fee" for carry-ons will magically appear. Profit margins, you know.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Museum lives on to remember NWA | Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's Over. Northwest Airlines is no more

A bittersweet New Year dawns as Northwest Airlines is fully absorbed into Delta Air Lines effective today. The FAA has determined that Delta has fully complied with all conditions it placed on the acquisition and issued a "single operating certificate" effective January 1, 2010. A few terse lines from Investors Business Daily tell the story.
A glance at a time line of the merger illustrates how quickly this all happened. Step by irretrievable step, an 84 year old airline with a rich history has disappeared.
But has it really?
The volunteers who operate the NWA History Centre don't think so, as they continue their work to archive and display Northwest Airlines artifacts at their museum in Bloomington, Minnesota and tell fascinating stories of the venerable old airline in their quarterly newsletter, Reflections.
Lady Skywriter doesn't think so, as she continues to blog about the golden era of passenger flight and Northwest Orient Airlines lore.
And I'll bet there are thousands of people out there with ties to their "hometown airline" who will miss seeing the signature red tail flying overhead.
Help preserve the memories. Have a story to tell? Please share it.