On the ride to Washington National on Friday, the hotel's shuttle bus was shared with a flight crew from an airline I don't typically fly.  After that ride, I'm glad I don't.  These airline employees in uniform spent the entire fifteen minute ride complaining about their work environment.  Especially interesting was how the flight attendants referred to their colleagues/management as "them" (as in an us vs. them mentality).  I was so tempted to remind this crew that when they travel in uniform, they are representing their employer in public.  Disparaging comments don't do much for the company's image.  I've seen this happen aboard my primary airlines as well -- flight attendants in the galley devolve into a gripe session (or worse).  "Shop talk" has its place in any organization, I just don't think that place should be within earshot of customers.

In other travel news, American Airlines has announced a couple of nonstop Eagle flights from Chicago to New York's JFK, starting December 15.  For those not in the Chicago area, this announcement might be surprising in that it seems like a route that would have existed for 40 or 50 years.  Well it hasn't for many years, except for one Delta Express flight a day.  Chicago travellers who want to connect to a JFK flight have to fly to Laguardia and connect via bus or taxi.  Why is this interesting?  JFK is one of the most competitive interantional travel gateways in the country.  I believe that the airlines deliberately made it difficult for passengers from Chicago to get there, in order to protect their higher-priced international flights out of Chicago.  It will be interesting to see how the new flights affect international travel options and prices from Chicago in the future.  It should lead to lower prices and increased options -- supply/demand economics at its finest.  (See, I was paying attention in E104 back in college!)

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