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Spin Cycle: Jetways and Art

July 9, 2008

By Jackie Burrell, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Jul. 9–Airfair?

Given the rising euro, declining dollar and soaring gas prices, it’s a wonder anyone even goes on vacation these days. If it’s that painful filling the SUV with unleaded, just imagine gassing up a 747. It’s like a Hummer of the skies. No wonder airlines keep trying to eke out a few more dollars via checked suitcase surcharges, priority boarding fees and cheaper peanuts.

So in the spirit of helpfulness, we thought we’d offer up a few more ideas for airline revenue enhancement: What about a surcharge for using the jetway, the tube that connects the plane to the terminal? Passengers who prefer a lower-cost alternative may, of course, shimmy up the airplane’s landing gear instead. Or how about a flight-deck viewing fee — $20 to peek into the cockpit. Or an oxygenation fee? In the event of a sudden loss in cabin pressure, the bright yellow masks that drop from the overhead compartment will actually contain oxygen. Note: Fee must be paid before takeoff.

Thank you for flying Spin Cycle Air.

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We’ve been scouring airline Web sites lately and wow, traveling with a pet is difficult. Primate air travel’s gotten dicey. Crustaceans are OK in the cargo hold, but ferrets are fraught, and there’s an embargo — an embargo! — on adult poultry. Now we’re worried about our pet vulture. Perhaps we can bring him carry-on.

But is it art?

Speaking of travel, if you’re headed for London, you might want to check out the Tate Gallery’s new performance art piece. In “Work No. 850,” a sprinter races through the museum every 30 seconds. Yep, that’s it. And it’s the creation of Martin Creed, the same artist who won the prestigious Turner Prize a few years back for a light bulb that went on and off and on and off.

That is so inspiring. We’re thinking of approaching the Tate about our new art installation, too. See, it’s a celebration of royal couture, only the emperor’s clothes — completely invisible.

— Jackie Burrell

Spin Cycle takes a quirky view of daily news and everyday happenings. Send comments to jburrell@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.

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