Cranky on the Web: Making Travel Safer

Cranky on the Web

Flying in 2020 and 2021: How Airlines Are Adapting and How Passengers Can Stay
Wendy had Gary Leff and me on a Zoom call with her readers to talk about the current state of air travel. Here’s an abridged version of our conversation.

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6 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Making Travel Safer

  1. Dear CF, I Google Earthed ATL as you suggested, just to have a look, and was shocked.  I can’t imagine when the satellite passed over, but most of the employee parking lots are full, yet there are only four Delta MD-80s (or similar) at any gates, plus one in what looks to be a cargo bay, and another on the taxiway.  No other planes at a quick look, of any kind or airline, at any gates, no dropoff cars or pickup cars visible on the roadways.  Too weird.  Am I missing something here?  This can’t be Covid normal today?  When could one of the busiest airports ever be near empty?  John Shannon

    1. Shannon – Google Earth images are composites taken at different times. I don’t know the details of when these specific images were taken, but I’m sure there wasn’t a time with 4 MD-88s on gates and nothing else.

      1. I honestly don’t think so.  If you look at LAX from satellite view above, there are airplanes everywhere, at most of the gates.  I have a feeling that moving cars are not seen in satellite view thru some algorithm that wipes out what’s not there 10 or 30 seconds later.  But that’s only a wild guess.  Why, I don’t know.  Street View is full of cars, and they even intentionally blur license plates.  I had a friend who was worried about stalkers and found it was easy and quick to ask Google to blur out a house, but not “disappear” it.  I’ll try some other airports, too.  I wish Google would be clearer about some of its policies.

      2. Dear David M,  [ten minutes later]  Weird, I just looked at SFO and they were devoid of planes at the gates, including the new 380 gates, so maybe it’s some kind of policy.  Why?  I’m afraid to look back at LAX, and discover the world has changed on me.  

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