Fly the Unfriendly Skies

Last week, JetBlue Airlines announced they will no longer offer free checked baggage for their passengers. To add insult to injury, the frugal airline has also decided to add fifteen additional seats to their Airbus A320 planes resulting in less legroom. (See Forbes.)

Following suit, other airlines have decided to make cutbacks to get out of the red. In order to save costs on fuel, EconoJet Airlines is now using a large sling-shot to send their planes soaring.

“Take off can feel a bit … treacherous,” said Humphrey Garret, CEO of EconoJet. “But I assure passengers the sling-shot is mighty strong, and will get you in the general area of your destination.”

McAir Airways has decided to do away with landing costs – those pesky fees required by airports to use their runways. Instead of landing their planes, McAir passengers will need to parachute out.

“But please remember it’s B.Y.O.P (Bring Your Own Parachute),” Linda McFadden, President and CEO of McAir Airlines stated, “McAir is not responsible for providing passengers with parachutes. When we needed to make some cutbacks, landing fees and parachutes were included. These were difficult, but necessary cuts.”

McAir recommends all passengers pack lightly as heavy suitcases can be quite burdensome when parachuting. (And yes, there are still baggage fees.)

Another cost cutting method used by some airlines is reducing unnecessary safety equipment. Payless Planes has removed all seat bealts from their aircrafts.

“When you’re plunging thirty thousand feet from the sky in a fiery ball, what’s a seat belt really going to do? Upon the realization that seat belts do nothing in the case of an airline crash, we decided to include them in our cost cutting,” said Michael DeAngelo, Chief Financial Officer of Payless Planes.

But after much deliberation, Payless Planes has decided to not only do away with seat belts, but seats entirely. Passengers now sit on benches, hanging onto handles, subway style.

“I have certainly been on more comfortable flights,” Timothy Blummert of Irvine, California said, “but at least with this airline, I know we’re actually landing on a runway … if we land.”

Other airlines have decided to keep fuel, seats and the usage of airports, but have simply done away with flight crew. Fly-Mart recently announced they have laid off all flight attendants. Vending machines and self-serve coffee makers have replaced the smiling flight attendants of the past.

“It was a bit strange at first,” Macy Wallace of Des Moine, Iowa said when interviewed, “There was a line all the way down the aisle for the vending machine. When one guy’s Snickers bar got stuck, he got real mad and started shaking the machine and rocking it. I thought we were gonna crash! But other than that, it worked out alright.”

**The Underground Writer Reporting**

What Do YOU Advocate For?

Save the Children. Save the Planet. Save the Whales. Greenpeace. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Habitat for Humanity. D.A.R.E.

Chances are, you have heard of one – if not all – of the aforementioned advocacy groups. These groups use various forms of advocacy to influence public opinion to hopefully bring about change. Some actions used by advocacy groups to gain support and further their cause are mailings, fundraising, phone calls, and radio/television commercials (who doesn’t remember the infamous 1987 Partnership for a Drug Free American commercial: ” I learned it from watching  you, Dad!”)

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“I learned it from you, all right? I learned if from watching you!”

Yet, what about lesser known advocacy groups? The ones who don’t have the manpower to make annoying phone calls during dinnertime? Who haven’t partnered with large scale grocery stores that ask for a donation after you have recovered from the shock of your grocery bill? These groups are just as devoted and passionate about their cause as say, Doctors without Boarders or the SPCA. But they are just too small a fish in this great sea of thousands of advocacy whales (which, apparently, are being saved).

This is when The Underground Writer steps in to offer these start-up groups some assistance. After much internet perusing, I have decided to shine the spotlight on 5 groups that are lesser known … and for a reason.

1. Americans for Common Cents

Don’t I mean “sense”? No, actually, I don’t and for several reasons. Americans for Common Cents (Click HERE if you don’t believe me) is an advocacy group for the penny. Who knew the penny needed an advocate! Have no fear, you little copper coin, because there is a whole group of penny lovers devoted to your preservation. Consideration has been given to stop producing the penny since it costs more money to produce each penny than they are actually worth (2.4 cents per penny, according to the Citizens to Retire the U.S Penny – a group advocating to STOP penny production). For many, this seems logical. All one has to do is dig deep into their winter coat pockets, couch cushions or car seats to extract errant pennies. Pennies can be found easily most anywhere. But for others? A coalition to stop the killing of the penny’s creation was necessary. Hence, Americans for Common Cents was born.

2. Save the Pigeon: New York City Pigeon Rescue Central

Established in 2004, Save the Pigeon: New York City Pigeon Rescue Central was established to, well, save pigeons. Volunteers (or Pigeon People as they call themselves on their website) care for wounded or sick pigeons. To quote their Facebook page, “New York City pigeons have a very hard time … New York City makes no provision for their care.” For shame, NYC!  With all of that real estate, I would think a pigeon hospital would be a viable option. Complete with little pigeon ambulances. If you, too, wish to be a Pigeon Person, click HERE.

3. Use Plastic Bags, Save Trees

Not only is this group hugging trees, they are hugging plastic as well. Per “Use Plastic Bags, Save Trees,” plastic bags take up less landfill space than paper bags because plastic bags weigh less. (Never mind that paper bags are biodegradable and plastic … isn’t.) To quote this fascinating advocacy group: “Our mission is to let people know how good plastic is for the environment.” Clearly in its beginning stages, “Use Plastic Bags, Save Trees” was established as recently as August 2014. Should you want to help support the cause of furthering the use of plastic and not trees, click HERE.

4. The Flat Earth Society

Ferdinand Magellan schmellan! Who says the earth is round? Not the Flat Earth Society, that’s for sure! After a rocky history that included several presidents and one big house fire, the Flat Earth Society was resurrected in 2004. In October, 2009, the society opened its big flat doors to new members. (Should you want to join, but you MUST think the earth is flat.) Their mission? “To promote and initiate discussion of flat earth theory and to encourage free thinking and debate.” If you have always had an inkling that the Earth is not shaped like a globe but instead, a pancake, and want to advocate for this belief, click HERE.

5. Save Pink Bathrooms

About to swing a sledgehammer to that nightmare of a grungy pink bathroom in your 1960s-era ranch with plans of replacing the stained, cracked tile with something modern? Well, don’t let Pam of Save The Pink Bathroom know! According to this group, fifty year old pink tile is something to be savored. Whether it is considered a part of the home’s history (to quote their website: “Pink bathrooms are a wonderful part of our home design heritage”) or now en vogue, this group encourages you to put that sledgehammer away. Supporters of pink bathrooms can sign a pledge to preserve these bathrooms, and can also purchase a “I Saved a Pink Bathroom” t-shirt that announces their bathroom altruism by clicking on THIS LINK.

Perhaps in a year or two … or twenty, Americans for Common Cents, Save the Pigeons, Use Plastic – Not Trees, The Flat Earth Society and Save Pink Bathrooms will be large scale endeavors that are as prominent as the American Heart Association. Stranger things have happened.

 

**”I learned if from watching you, Dad!” photograph is property of Google Images.*