Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Great Ideas From Toulouse I: The A380 Straphanger

I must have been the last person in the world except for three guys in Greenland to hear about this story. Airbus is busily denying it ever happened, but the way things are going in the Toulouse Crackhouse these days, it only means that the particular publicity flack who is speaking hasn't heard about it, not that it didn't happen.

The way the story goes, Airbus is pitching a high density interior that will have passengers stacked up like cordwood or packed in like rolls of roofing paper.

Needless to say the blog world erupted in satire, gales of helpless laughter, outrage, and all points in between, all of which lightened up the atmosphere around here.

Nobody had a kind thing to say about the idea. Of course, it makes sense in a way. If you take and toss the seats from the A380, why, you may actually stand a chance of getting a few more people on board before you peg out on zero fuel weight, as we discussed last month. Then again you might not. And pitching the idea to the Japanese seems culturally insensitive as only the French know how to do culturally insensitive-which we've talked about here as well.

But only I know where the inspiration for this idea came from. It's simple really. The folks at the Airbus marketing department were, like me, watching Speed TV the other night and saw The Getaway, a nice chase/escape flick from 1972 which starred Steve McQueen and my heartthrob Ali McGraw. Our protagonists escape from the cops by getting packed into a trash truck courtesy of the fine folks at Waste Management.

Update 5/5/06: Michael Boyd, the aviation savant, has stated that the NYT article that started this whole thread was composed largely of wolf cookies. He may well be right. It does seem to be pretty tenuous in the source verification mode. Nonetheless, I stand firmly on the notion that this idea came from watching The Getaway.



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