Announcing the Nominees for the First Seven Cranky Network Awards

Cranky Network Awards

Time flies, doesn’t it? We are now just about one month away from the 2022 Cranky Network Awards presented by Ontario International Airport on February 24, streaming live from the University Club in Pasadena, California at 6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET for those who aren’t fortunate enough to join us in person. With the awards creeping up quickly, it’s time to announce nominees for the best in airline network planning in the US and Canada.

This year, we have 14 categories, and we’ll start by announcing the nominees for the first seven. You can watch the short video announcing the nominees below.

If you really just don’t like videos, here’s the line-up in writing.

Sexiest New Route – Short-Haul

  • Orange County – Aspen on United
  • Austin – Liberia on American
  • Seattle – Belize on Alaska
  • Vancouver – Hollywood/Burbank on Flair
  • Santa Barbara – Las Vegas on Southwest

Sexiest New Route – Long-Haul

  • Newark – Palm de Mallorca on United
  • New York/JFK – Doha on American
  • Boston – Athens on Delta
  • San Francisco – Ho Chi Minh City on Vietnam Airlines
  • Seattle – Helsinki on Finnair

Butterfly Effect Award

Southwest will be presented this award for its move into Hawai’i from Las Vegas and Phoenix. This seemingly small route move opened up significant connecting opportunities through the Southwest network.

Calculated Risk Award

Awarded to the airline stretching to take a justifiable risk, knowing that it may very well pay off.

  • Avelo’s Burbank Focus City
  • Newark – Bergen on United
  • St Louis – Frankfurt on Lufthansa
  • San Francisco – Ho Chi Minh City on Vietnam Airlines
  • JetBlue to London

Most Clever Flight Number

  • JetBlue 007 London/Heathrow – New York/JFK
  • Flair 806 Waterloo – Deer Lake
  • United 525 Washington/Dulles – Amman
  • United 510 Newark – Rome/Fiumicino
  • Alaska 777 Reno – Seattle

Some of these are easy to understand why they’re nominated, but others are more subtle. Stay tuned to the awards to learn what each means.

Rock Star Reception

Awarded to the airline that receive the most excited reception upon entering a new city.

  • Southwest in Eugene
  • JetBlue in Boise
  • Avelo in New Haven
  • Breeze in Charleston
  • Breeze in Tampa

Straight and Level Award

Delta will be presented this award for keeping the most steady and predictable schedule during 2021. This award is special this year due to the unique circumstances of the pandemic which make it that much harder and more impressive to see an airline keep schedule integrity.

That’s it for this week’s announcement. Remember, tune in at 6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET on February 24 to see who wins. And come back here next week to see the final seven nominees.

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8 comments on “Announcing the Nominees for the First Seven Cranky Network Awards

  1. CHS homer here, so I say this with very strong bias, but Breeze does NOT deserve an award for its CHS rollout. 8 months later, I’m still stunned at how weak it was. Its a growing market desperate for air service that doesn’t connect through ATL (there was a joke here in the 90s that even if you die in Charleston and go to Heaven, you’d still have to connect in Atlanta or Charlotte on your way there).

    Well guess what? Breeze gave the people what they wanted! …they just didn’t tell anyone about it. I was actually at the airport the day of their first flight and walked by the gate where their first flight was landing. I’d say it had about as much excitement as my neighborhood HOA meeting and thousands of passers-by had no clue why there was a small Airport Authority board meeting going on at gate A2. There was also shockingly little paid advertising in the area, and at the airport itself, for the first 4-6 months (although this has finally started to change… slightly).

    Anyway. Don’t give them an award for that, but DO throw Alaska’s SEA-CHS flight 787 into contention for best flight number ;)

  2. I wold think that SFO – SGN would be a pretty safe bet for VN. There are a lot of Vietnamese people in the Bay Area (especially San Jose). I guess we’ll see. I also like how the airport abbreviation is still for Saigon as opposed to its current name.

    1. Getting your IATA code changed, even if your city name is changed, seems to be pretty much impossible – besides SGN, Mumbai’s is still BOM.

      On a smaller, domestic scale, Fresno has tried to get its code changed from FAT to FYI (Fresno Yosemite International) for marketing reasons, with no results.

      I’m sure there have been changes in the past. Harare springs to mind, it’s HRE now but the city was called Salisbury at the time it was built in 1957, so I’d imagine it was something else originally. In recent times the only major airport I can think of that has had an IATA code change is Baghdad – it was SDA for “Saddam”, now it’s BGW.

      1. IST (Istanbul Ataturk) changed to ISL. New airport replacing Ataturk is IST. ISL is now freight.

          1. One of my favorite pieces of airport code trivia is that when Sioux City petitioned the FAA to change its airport code from SUX, one of the options the FAA offered them was GAY (not kidding).

            While accepting that code would have made for newspaper headline that a pre-teen boy would find hilarious (“SUX to be GAY”), the airport chose instead to embrace SUX, and the airport code is now featured on merchandise and slogans used to promote the area.

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