Wren elaborated that the fleet’s religious pamphlets now serve a mission critical business purpose, and should be taken seriously.
“This little leaflet really accomplishes several key objectives, all very instrumental to our new marketing campaign,” Wren said.
The campaign she is referring to is being branded “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”
Fanning herself with a few copies of the meal tray psalms, Wren continued to emphasize the importance of these materials on flights: “The message we really need people from all walks of life to understand is that on Alaska Air, God is your co-pilot -- I mean, literally your co-pilot...because of all the cutbacks. The pamphlets double as our legal disclosure of the staffing shortages. We only have enough money in the budget to pay for the pilot-in-charge and one flight attendant. No first officer, no second officer, no third officer and no purser. We’re using Google Maps in place of a flight engineer.”
Wren discounted the seemingly one-sided Christian overtones as mere advertising metaphors to drive home crucial elements of Alaska Air’s cost savings experience.
As one example illustrated by Wren, planes will now fly as close as “legally permissible” to the upper atmosphere: “We are taking our valued customers right to the edge of Heaven, and for good reason. The air density is reduced at higher altitudes. The trade off between oxygen availability, engine efficiency, air resistance and speed -- in respect to fuel consumption -- equals more bang for your buck. Fliers might feel a little lightheaded or short of breath, but we’re saving millions on jet fuel costs, and we’re passing those savings on to our customers.”
But many passengers, as well as officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB), remain distressed and unconvinced that Alaska Airlines executives have made sound business choices.
“First of all,” said Albert Sam-James of the FAA, “flying above 45,000 feet requires official approval, not using a page out of the Bible as God’s permission slip. Second, printing up the Last Rites on the back of the card is causing undue panic among passengers. That’s a huge safety problem, too.”
Wren admitted but did not apologize for the presence of the funereal prayer included on the back of the psalms.
“That’s become part of our safety process,” Wren said. “During our preflight check, we clearly notify passengers that in the event of a water landing or sudden loss of altitude or cabin pressure, the back of the card may be used to administer Last Rites. Signing the top half of the card instantly ordains any passenger as a minister, legally capable of officiating Last Rites. And the bottom half of the card provides them with the actual words they need to recite. It’s quick and efficient. And again, because of the cutbacks, we can no longer afford to stock the planes with rafts, life preservers or in-seat flotation devices.”
Reporters from The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript noticed that the oxygen masks also seemed to be inoperative. Wren snapped, “How would you know? It’s impossible to tell if air is flowing because the bag doesn’t inflate.”
(c) 2011. See disclaimers.