The aviation industry seems to believe that it can distract people. It believes that it can divert our attention from the terrible social media video with deployed oxygen masks on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 because a part of the jet broke off and fell into the sky. My attention is still fully focused on this incident. No marketing campaign featuring figures like Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift will distract me.
Following the Kansas City Chiefs 17-10 AFC Championship victory against the Baltimore Ravens, American Airlines added some flights between KC and Las Vegas – the location of Super Bowl LVIII. There will be a flight 1989 – Swift’s birth year and the title of her latest rerecorded album – from Kansas City International Airport to Harry Reid in Vegas. There will also be a return flight 87.
Not to be outdone, United Airlines is numbering some of their flights after the new Hollywood power couple. United has its own 1989 flight from Kansas City to Vegas. Its Xwitter handle posted that there will also be a flight 2287 and a flight 1587 – the latter flight should celebrate the Mahomes-Kelce union rather than a Swift song from 2009.
The entire hype around the Kelce-Swift relationship doesn’t bother me. They are public figures literally going out in public together. She’s at every game in the luxury box and even traveled to Buffalo in January. Swift could have waited until her beau was done in the locker room to congratulate him on the AFC Championship victory, but instead, she marched out onto the field amidst live TV cameras and a stage prop directly into the crowd on the field.
We’re supposed to make a big deal out of them going out. If these stories didn’t exist, media outlets like E! and TMZ might not have enough content to survive. The public romance between Swift and Kelce is a compelling story. The NFL is the most successful product in television history, and Kelce is one of the few players recognizable even without a uniform. Swift is the biggest pop star in the world. Eyeballs and clicks will follow this pairing.
What their relationship isn’t, is important to anyone other than the actual participants. Nice move by American and United Airlines, giving the two a Super Bowl buzz on some overpriced flights where there’ll be more people than ground beef.
These two industry giants won’t distract me from the problems that loom over my head from LAX every day. The aviation industry doesn’t inspect its planes as thoroughly as it should. Even large machines hurling hundreds of people 30,000 feet into the air are still not immune to the degradation of quality by unbridled capitalism.
According to James Surowiecki of The Atlantic, over time, the company became more focused on its bottom line when Boeing acquired the former aerospace company McDonnell Douglas in 1997 and not the product’s quality. He had an affair with an employee and stepped down after 15 months in the role. Because of this, the aviation industry faces challenges. Feel free to play some pop culture games with the modern Bennifer, but I’m still watching. I won’t be swayed by these silly flight numbers. I’m focused on the over $400 flight prices I have to pay when airplane doorstops fall off in the air.