Flying None

Busking on a Boeing Although United Airlines had done a masterful job of promoting itself through the music of Gershwin, in the post-9/11 world, when airlines, with few exception, blame their travails on what happened on that horrific day, despite the fact that their treatment of customers is typically on par with what would be expected of patrons of a medium-security penitentiary, the Chicago-based carrier is going to use music of another vintage in order to, presumably, win back flyers.

Some film buffs may recall the character in Airplane, Sister Angelina, played by Maureen McGovern, the chanteuse of the hit “The Morning After” from the similarly ridiculous The Poseidon Adventure, who performed as all heaven broke loose. The folks at United undoubtedly hope that on May 4, on a flight from Chicago to L.A., things will be a bit different, as Sheryl Crow will be busting out the tunes live on the plane. The last time I flew United, there was but an infinitesimal amount of legroom. Dancing will undoubtedly be prohibited.

United’s PR ploy is part of an arrangement with Sony, wherein people who download music from Sony Connect (“The mission of Sony Connect Inc. is to crate a consumer friendly and device-integrated download service for Sony hardware owners, which offers a seamless audio experience and drives incremental sales of Sony music players,” in case you’re not familiar with it) will score or be able to use United Mileage Plus miles. Let’s see, the music industry is in the tank, next door to the tank that the airline industry is in… Yes! we’re talking synergy.

Unfortunately for the fans of Ms. Crow (and one can only wonder if there is some avian relevance to the selection of the artist), this is not a situation where you can go to Priceline and get a reservation on the flight from O’Hare. This will be for “invited guests” only. Did you ever notice how large corporations tend to forget just whom it is they’re supposed to be serving?

As for Ms. Crow: Is busking on a Boeing one step away from dinner theater?

5 thoughts on “Flying None”

  1. Christ, aren’t planes bad enough what with the screaming babies, and the drunk and obnoxious insurance salesman? Now we have to be subjected to Sheryl Crow?

  2. I’ve already been subjected—far too many times—to her abyssmal version of Cat Stevens’ “First Cut is the Deepest.”

    Next thing you know, they’ll enlist Counting Crows so they can sing their abyssmal version of “Big Yellow Taxi.”


  3. I can see why it’s “invited guests”. Can you imagine actual paying air travelers being subjected to this? It’d be pretty bad PR if some poor fucker has to bail out of the plane to get away from that dentist office music.

  4. yeah yeah yeah, well, at least United’s trying to appeal to “mainstream” America — that’s better than the immediate post-9/11 United, blowing their government money on side-projects for the rich ….

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