First Cranky Podcast – Mark Malkoff Calls From an AirTran Lav

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:

If you can’t see it, go to the post directly or click here for a direct link


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.


15 Responses to First Cranky Podcast – Mark Malkoff Calls From an AirTran Lav

  1. AC says:

    See if you can’t get a google voice account…it should be coming out of private beta soon, it’s free and one of its many features is allowing you to record phone conversations, then you can pull the mp3 from your google voice account

    http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html

  2. David SFeastbay says:

    I don’t twitter but you need to ask a follow up question. Were people who had boarded the flight surprised when this guy comes out of the toilet after 20 minutes, and were they afraid to go in there afterwards wondering what it must be like after some guy is in there for 20 minutes…..lol

    Well Cranky last week you were talking about writing a book, 30 days on an airplane sounds like book material to me. Will Mark be writing one after this, there are ‘afraid of flying’ books on the market, his would be a more interesting one for people who are afraid to fly.

    Also Mr CF you have a pretty good sounding radio type voice, maybe you should think about a radio career. Maybe be the ‘host’ voice on some of those music stations you hear on airplanes. Who knows you could be right up there some day with the likes of Rick Dees, Ryan Seacreast, and Wolfman Jack. :-)

  3. David says:

    Stick with text – takes only a few minutes to read through your daily post. 20 mins to listen to a podcast is too much time to take up during the day

  4. The Traveling Optimist says:

    Cranky –

    I agree with David in that during the business day the last thing anyone might want is anything that smells of a conference call or podcast.

    Having it as an option to listen to during the commute, however, may present a wider audience option for you?

    Make your podcasts downloadable for those interested parties.
    a) Give a voice to your daily posts. The timber and inflection DavidSFEastBay refers to will bring your thoughts life and character.

    b) Create original podcasts on other topics not covered in your daily post.

    c) Reach those who prefer blogs as well as those pressed for time who may be willing to lend an ear to your podcasts.

    That said, I admit not listening to the interview and not being particularly interested but I DO see value for you in both formats.

  5. Megan says:

    Podcast was fantastic, I’d love to see a series of these! Thanks for the interesting conversation.

  6. Meredith says:

    CF – you’re funny. I agree you have a nice voice, and I like the idea of podcasts on occasion… this topic/interview subject is interesting to me, whereas some of your other interviews may not be. Well done!

  7. Al B says:

    Cool podcast and thanks for giving the guitarist some … I’m going to monsterguitars right now.

  8. David SFeastbay says:

    I didn’t mind the 20 min podcast but I’m on the west coast and see your blog about the same time as you post them, which for me is before work. I can understand people in the other time zones who would be at work and surfing the web when they should be working (not that I’m doing that right now) who may not have the time to listen or for that long of time. But people could listen to them at home or on their days off if they were interested in the subject matter.

    I do admit 20 mins was starting to wear thin, but 5 mins would seem about right for a podcast. I know this time was special and unplanned so I stuck with it. Besides how many times do you get to hear an interview with one guy sitting on the toilet in an airplane. You know he wasn’t standing all that time leaning against the sink. Lid up or down, I’ll leave you all to decide that……lol.

  9. CF says:

    AC – I actually had a friend offer me a Grand Central account long ago and I never got around to doing it. I wish I had. I will definitely be watching for when it opens up again.

    David SF – Not sure if Mark will write a book, but this isn’t the first time he’s done stuff like this. He spent awhile living in an IKEA store and he even visited all 171 Starbucks locations in Manhattan in 24 hours. Send him a tweet and ask him if he’s going to write a book.

    Radio would be fun.

    Optimist – It is downloadable. I provided the direct link to the file right below the player for anyone who would want to take it with them. I certainly agree that 20 minutes is too long, so in the future I would try to cut it down.

  10. Lot of good articles on beating fear of flying at http://www.fearofflying.com/wordpress/

  11. David SFeastbay says:

    Brett I was looking at markonairtran.com and I noticed the top of the home page was directing people here to crankyflier to listen to your podcast. Good going.

  12. JS says:

    Nice one. I think a podcast on occasion would be a great idea, but I’d rather read text myself.

  13. JF says:

    Hey CF…I enjoyed the podcast and encourage you to do more of them on occasion…not to take place of the daily blog but they would be great when you interview industry insiders and such.

    Thanks!

  14. David SFeastbay says:

    Did you all see the last flickr pictures from markonairtran.com? Not only did he make the Guinness Book of World Records (most flights in a month), but AirTran put his picture on an airplane. A really big picture on both sides along with markonairtran and a nice ‘wifi on every flight’ message. Looks like they will be going with this for awhile.

    People can make fun of him and this whole promotion, but the man did something few people would want to do, has gotten a lot of media air time, got in the Guinness Book, and now has his very large picture on an airplane. How many people can say they’ve done all that in life?

  15. CF says:

    David SF – Yes sir. In fact, I’m trying to get a copy of one of those photos for an airplane post this Friday. (It’s a holiday, so I thought I’d go with something lighter.)

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