Happy - hiccup - Anniversary
Now, this is an anniversary worth celebrating.
Officials will gather in New York on December 5 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition in the United States. They also will hold a news conference at Frankie and Johnnie's on West 45th St., one of the three remaining "Speakeasies" in New York city.
Thirteen years of prohibition came to a close on Dec. 5, 1933 when one of the states became the 36th state in the union to ratify the 21st amendment to the U.S. Constitution (an amendment that repealed the earlier amendment that brought prohibition in to begin with if you get our drift).
What strikes this corner as weird is that the state that caused folks to break out the bubbly was, wait for it, Utah. Seems rather odd (note we're not misusing the word "ironic" here, folks) considering the liquor laws in the great state of Utah, but there you go.
Incidentally, the folks from the NYC hospitality association who provided the information on the Dec. 5 festivities say the phrase "speakeasies" came about because folks who wanted a tipple or three during the "dry" years in the U.S. would go into certain establishments and be told by the bartender to "speak easy" when ordering their whiskey and rye.
Bigwigs at Air Canada recently sent a memo out to folks suggesting they do a little Avis rent-a-car imitation and try harder. With West Jet continuing to do well in the Canadian marketplace, Air Canada employees were told the only way they could lose market share is by not being as service-oriented as those pesky, happy West Jet folks. The suggestion was made that a few smiles to snarly customers at YYZ and YVR and such would go a long way.
It's not clear if the message got through. A recent flight from Toronto to Vancouver solicited nary a smile from any of a half-dozen Air Canada people this particular traveler encountered. (I didn't smile first, as that wouldn't count.) Anyway, it was much better on a trip from Los Angeles to Toronto the other day. The main flight attendant in our cabin was actually quite funny and happy. Nice to see.
TALK ABOUT A MERGER
Anyone see where British Airlines is talking about a $8 billion (or more) merger with Qantas? Yikes.
The Guardian reports BA already is negotiating with American Airlines and Iberia in Spain but that it surprised shareholders the other day by announcing they also had cast a covetous eye on the Aussie market. The paper says a combined British Airlines/Qantas airlines would have 71 million passengers a year, with 474 aircraft reaching more than 230 destinations.
That's kinda big.