It turns out that my challenge to meet with Mark Malkoff, the man spending a month straight on AirTran airplanes, has paid off . . . sort of. It wasn’t in person, so I couldn’t bring him any food, but he did call me from an AirTran lav Tuesday afternoon and we spoke for just shy of 20 minutes. Once we finished, I realized that it was basically a podcast. So, I slapped some music on there, recorded an intro, and here it is in all its glory:
Shortly after I put my post up, I received an email back from the PR team apologizing that they couldn’t make it happen. They could, however, get me on the phone with him that afternoon during a layover at LaGuardia. Perfect. Not having any fancy recording equipment, I simply put my speakerphone next to my computer and recorded the whole thing. I know, I’m so technologically advanced. But it worked.
We talked about his fear of flying (“I’d say my anxiety is dwindling by the day”), the pain of being alone at night (“I feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining”), and yes even whether he prefers the 717 or the 737 (“What is it? 7 what?”). Ok, so maybe he doesn’t quite have the dork gene himself, but it’s an entertaining conversation.
Mark did mention that wifi is the only thing keeping him sane. (Considering the number of times wifi came up in the conversation, I’ll assume AirTran must give him food only when he mentions it.) If you’d like to help keep him busy up there, you can hop on Twitter and start bugging him at @mmalkoff. You can follow him online at http://markonairtran.com/.
And let me know your thoughts on the first podcast. I know it’s long, so if you do get all the way through, send me a note and tell me what you think. Not sure I’ll be doing this often, but it could be kind of fun.