Lobby Bar – May 22: Star-Crossed Lovers, Red and White Zones, Asterix and Obelix, and HAL

By Daniel Berg on 23 May 2014
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The Lobby Bar – An Irreverent Weekly Summary of Frequent Business Traveler News and Views

Let me sleep on it. How satisfied are you with award redemption opportunities from your favorite airlines? Will you love them forever or are you praying for the end of time?

Italia, Amore Mio. Jonathan Spira revisits one of his youthful haunts near fair Verona, the Villa Quaranta, where an Italian bellboy named Romeo serenades him on his balcony. It turns out that the young man is actually looking for someone named Julio, but Jonathan uses his skills in Italian, learned on a recent Alitalia flight, to convince him to stay.

Trans-Europe Express. Daniel Berg was sitting on a Paris train, but he emerged in London rain. It turns out that due to a slight error by the French rail company, all train service has to be rerouted to Platform 9¾.

Are you being served? An intrepid FBT editor attempts to reach a supervisor at Amazon Customer Service, but a metallic voice keeps telling him “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave”. Upon finally reaching a human being, he is told he needs Permit A38 to proceed.

The spice must flow.  The European Union funded a panel of soothsayers, witch doctors, and hedge wizards to discuss cleaner aviation solutions for climate change. An eerie blue-eyed sage determines that to conquer climate change, one must first conquer Shai-Hulud, whatever that means.

Play it again, Sam!  Jonathan Spira borrows Jesse’s time machine and goes back to the 1960s, where he convinces Ronny and the Daytona’s to call their hit song “Kleiner GTI,” despite their protestations that such a car doesn’t exist.  The song becomes such a hit in Germany and Austria that a well-known German automaker actually comes out with a car using that very name a few years later.

Iron Chef. Japanese Airlines experiments with new meal plans, but trial runs with water-type Pokemon tempura and Mothra maki don’t go well. They finally settle on the cost-effective “Neuromancer Menu”, which involves feeding passengers raw data through their headsets.

Half-court at 35,000 feet.  Jesse Sokolow flies to our nation’s capital on a US Airways flight.  Mistaken for a teenager thanks to his cool FBT t-shirt, he’s invited to the cockpit before takeoff and dismayed to find out that the pilot is Roger Murdock who keeps muttering “We have clearance, Clarence” over and over again.

Don’t call it Shirley. The People’s Republic of California has granted permission for the testing of autonomous vehicles on its soil. The cars are equipped with an inflatable autopilot and come with complimentary fish tacos. 

This Lobby Bar included attempts at humor from Jeremy Del Nero, Paul Riegler, and Jonathan Spira.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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