Cranky on the Web – Bounty for Hacking Airplanes, Avatar Again, Media Mistakes, More

I’m on vacation through next week, but that doesn’t mean I’m leaving you hanging. I have new posts ready to go on the usual schedule, including today’s round-up which is pretty full. I will be slower at approving any flagged comments and responding to any emails. I’ll be back as usual on June 1.

Should airlines offer bounties to hackers who find security flaws in avionics?tnooz
I haven’t written about the airplane hacking story because it’s still not clear what’s happened. But I was asked to comment on the idea of paying a bounty to get friendly hackers to try to find holes in the system. It sounds great, but I’m not convinced it is.

Struggling start-up airline turns to crowdfunding for cashUSA Today
Struggling start-up airline promising no baggage fees, free WiFi and low fares aims to raise $5million through crowdfunding (and donors could bag a job as a pilot)Daily Mail
I couldn’t help but laugh at watching USA Today and even the Daily Mail try to cover Avatar Airlines with a somewhat straight face. They quoted from my post on Avatar, as well as others.

Travel Websites Allege Delta Air Lines Is Shutting Them OutThe Wall Street Journal
I was asked about my thoughts on Delta shutting down access to its fares and products to many third parties. In general, it doesn’t bother me to see small online travel agents shut out, but when you start shutting out Expert Flyer, well, that’s Jackass-worthy. (Unfortunately, this article didn’t get into that part of the discussion.)

Race for RatingsAPEX Experience magazine
I like writing for APEX, but I LOVED when they asked me to go on a rant about how the media gets things wrong when it comes to airlines. As you can imagine, it was hard for me to keep it within my assigned word count.

In the Trenches: When a Long-Time Part of the Team LeavesSmall Business Center
One of our long-time concierges finished grad school and has moved on. We had to deal with that and it turned out I learned a fair bit in the process.

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8 Comments on "Cranky on the Web – Bounty for Hacking Airplanes, Avatar Again, Media Mistakes, More"

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Southwest is not on ExpertFlyer, are they? Is that jackass worthy?

Miss Informed

How anyone can take Avatar Airlines seriously is beyond me. If people are that anxious to throw money away, I’d be delighted to accept cash or checks. In exchange I’ll be glad to give them a ride in the back seat of my luxurious 2012 Hyundai Accent to the nearest funny farm. Strait jacket rental not included.


Regarding airplanes and computer security, it would be an interesting culture clash if airlines brought in security hacking
experts. Back in the late 1990s, I was in my second stint at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL brought in several
computer security experts to address concerns. The experts came in with long hair, tattoos and piercings and gave
several talks. It was interesting to see various levels of comfort/discomfort amongst the IT staff and security staff
interacting with these colorful individuals.


Brett, a quick formatting note. Using a Mac and Chrome, it looks like the green boxes on the right of the browser
are overlapping the comment boxes and obscuring the right side of the comments.

David M

I’m getting the same thing with Safari on iPad and Firefox on Mac.


I’m seeing the same with Google Chrome on Win 7.

Jason Lemieux

That’s Cranky beta testing a secret new project for us. It’s all fixed up now. Let me know otherwise?

He’s a fantastic Crank, by the way.


I think it’s overdue for you to do a piece on the economics of commuting in this

high capacity world, don’t you? Just today I watched ten-plus employees buy tickets at the tail end of the memorial day weekend to get to work from DIA on the 5:30 a.m. Tues. And Weds too!