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A Challenge For Mark Malkoff, AirTran Passenger Extraordinaire

Have you ever heard of comedian Mark Malkoff? Neither have I, and I’m guessing that’s why he was willing to subject himself to some of the worst torture ever invented. Waterboarding? Nay. He’s spending 30 days on an airplane. And this isn’t on some fancy corporate jet. It’s on AirTran. And now I’ve got a challenge for him.

This is actually a great promotion. AirTran wants to promote their new plan to outfit their entire fleet with wifi by the summer, and Mark, well, he gets to be the guinea pig. He’s been posting videos from the plane (many of which are actually funny), sending tweets, blogging, and more. It’s actually pretty clever.

Now, why Mark would subject himself to this, I have no idea. He says he’s afraid to fly and this will help him get over it, but I wouldn’t be so sure about that. If he’s spending 30 days in coach, that might send him into the fetal position for life.

Here’s how it works. He’s not sticking with one single airplane but rather moving around from plane to plane in order to keep himself flying. Sometimes he flies on redeyes, but on other days, he sleeps in an airplane in the hangar at night. Either way, he’s not leaving an airplane for longer than it takes to walk to another one. He did, however, get himself a shower the other day . . . from the fire department at Flint Airport.

Some of the other videos show him washing his hair with a bottle of water over the toilet in the lav. He borrows shaving cream from a passenger in another clip. I personally liked the video clip where they presented him with elite status after only three days in the air. Pretty impressive, and hopefully that means he gets free upgrades.

The only thing that makes me bitter? I was contacted about the promotion by a PR agency for AirTran trying to get me to write about it, so I asked if he would be coming to LA. He was, but after I asked for a short interview while he was there Double-Double Animal Style + Friesthey said they’d look into it and I never heard another peep. According to his blog, he was busy hanging out with Lisa Loeb. Booo on you.

So I’m not above resorting to bribery. Mark – If you come back to LA again on this trip, I’ll bring you an In ‘n Out Burger, no, make it a Double Double. Look at that burger. You know you want one. I’m out of town June 24 – 28, so you don’t have many days left to take me up on this offer.

[Update 6/22 @ 9a: Hmm, so I understand he’s a vegetarian. This Double Double bribe clearly won’t work. Fortunately, In ‘n Out makes a mean Grilled Cheese that is loved by vegetarians the world over. How ’bout that, Mark?]

[Photo courtesy of Scott Beale / Laughing Squid via Flickr]

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