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Cheap Flights From Austin Guide – All You Need to Know About the Airport, Airlines, & Flights

Whether you live in the capital city of Texas or are simply passing through, you can use online airfare pricing tools to help you find cheap flights from Austin. The airport offers tons of nonstop flights to areas in North and South America and Europe.

The major airlines all serve the Barbara Jordan Terminal, and a few bargain airlines like Allegiant, Sun Country, and Via Air serve the South Terminal. American Airlines tends to offer very low airfare out of Austin to other major cities, like Chicago and Miami. If you need to fly to South American countries like Brazil, check out what Delta has to offer. There are dozens of other airlines as well, offering both domestic and international flights.

The Austin Bergstrom Airport (AUS) serves over 10 million passengers annually. There are over 150 departures every single day to nearly 50 destinations. Southwest is its biggest carrier, but the other big name airlines operate at a huge volume as well.

If you’re interested in some REALLY cheap flights from Austin, you might want to head to Orlando, Denver, Phoenix, or Vegas. No matter which part of the country you need to visit, you should be able to find low airfare to a nearby major city. If you need to get to an international city, it might take a bit of time doing some price comparison on discount travel sites, but you should be able to find whatever you need. If you need to fly to London from Austin, you might be able to save if you take a connecting flight to Dublin. It depends on the time of year and weather conditions. Nonstop flights are available to London as well, although they might not always be the cheapest option.

Where to Park When Taking Cheap Flights from Austin

There are several parking garages and parking lots near the Austin airport, so if you plan to return to the city after a few days, you have no shortage of parking spaces to choose from. There are a variety of both self-park and valet options. You can take a shuttle to and from the parking area and airport entrance in just a matter of minutes. Complimentary veteran parking is available for vehicles displaying license plates with a DV or other Military Honors designation.

If you can’t find a good deal today, don’t worry – there will be plenty of chances in the future. There are multiple flights available from Austin to all major cities a week. If you want to fly to Vegas, for instance, there are nearly 30 flights a week from the AUS airport. Just sign up to receive deal alerts and install discount travel apps on your phone to track airline prices. Keep an eye out and you’ll surely find cheap flights from Austin.

Use online discounts to get not only cheap flights from Austin, but affordable hotel rooms, car rentals, dining packages, and more.

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Internal Customer Service Is Herb Kelleher’s and Southwest Airlines’ Strategy for Success

One of the seven strategies in “The Amazement Revolution” is Walk the Walk. That means that you don’t say one thing and do something else. You are genuine and what you see is what you get. One of the role-models in this strategy is Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines.

If you’ve read my Shepard Letter or any of my past books, you know there has always been an emphasis on internal service. The Employee Golden Rule, as I call it, is to treat employees the way you want the customer treated – maybe even better. Herb Kelleher and Southwest are model examples of that rule in action.

From the very beginning, Kelleher believed in an employee-first approach which, at the time, was considered an extremely controversial first principle as management philosophies go. But Kelleher really meant it, and he insisted on it for sound strategic reasons. When you build a company around the idea of taking care of employees, taking care of customers becomes easier for everyone. As Kelleher himself put it:

“Years ago, business gurus used to apply the business school conundrum to me: ‘Who comes first? Your shareholders, your employees, or your customers?’ I said, ‘Well, that’s easy,’ but my response was heresy at that time. I said employees come first and if employees are treated right, they treat the outside world right, the outside world uses the company’s product again, and that makes the shareholders happy. That really is the way that it works, and it’s not a conundrum at all.”

This was Kelleher’s “mantra.” He lived and breathed the strategy that the success of the Southwest Airlines starts with service to employees. It became embedded within the working culture of the company. Kelleher’s insistence on this point is, I believe, the real reason that airline has succeeded so memorably at a time when so many of its competitors have faltered. Following this philosophy, Kelleher built a community of employees who walked the walk, and he eventually handed the company over to executives who walked the walk. The transition was seamless-one of the reasons why Southwest is still an amazing organization!

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North American Low Cost Airlines

A low cost airline is a carrier that offers generally low fares in exchange for reducing many of the traditionally offered passenger services, by no means compromising the security of the travelers. The general characteristics of the low cost airlines are:

Flying to cheaper, less congested secondary airports and flying early in the morning or late in the evening to take advantage of lower landing fees; short flights and fast turnaround times, allowing maximum utilization of the aircraft; direct sales of tickets, especially over the Internet, avoiding fees and commissions paid to travel agents and reservations systems; eliminated in-flight catering and other complimentary services, replaced by optional paid-for in-flight food and beverages.

Since the early 1990’s a number of these airlines have sprung up all over North America as an alternative to the major, long-established carriers. The most successful low cost/charter airlines operating in the United States and Canada are:

ALLEGIANT AIR.COM

Serving flights nationwide flying out from Las Vegas, running significant bases at Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport

ATA AIRLINES

A low cost airline based in Indianapolis, Indiana, operating scheduled passenger flights throughout the US mainland and Hawaii, as well as commercial charter flights around the world.

AIRTRAN AIRWAYS

Based in Orlando, Florida, AirTran operates over 700 daily flights throughout the eastern USA and the Midwest, including over 200 daily departures from Atlanta.

AMERICA WEST AIRLINES

It is the second largest low-cost airline in the US, providing service to approximately 100 destinations in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The main hubs are Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada

FRONTIER AIRLINES

Based at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado, the carrier operates flights throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It’s major US destinations are west of the Mississippi River.

JETBLUE AIRWAYS

It’s one of the major American low-cost airlines, serving destinations in the United States (New York-JFK, Long Beach, Oakland, Boston, Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, Washington-Dulles), along with flights to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, and Mexico.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

America’s largest low cost airline, having notably large operations at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Chicago’s Midway Airport, Houston’s Hobby Airport, Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport, Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Nashville, Oakland, and San Diego.

SPIRIT AIRLINES

Serving flights nationwide, as well as destinations in the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Mexico.

SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES

Uses nearby Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport as its main hub, and operates flights to destinations in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

WESTJET

A Canadian low-cost carrier based in Calgary, Alberta, that flies across most major cities in Canada and 11 cities in the United States. WestJet was rated the second-best low-cost airline in North America.

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The Burlingame Endgame Murders Dilemma: What Really Happened to American Airlines Flight 77?

The old mystery conundrum, “Who killed Cock Robin?”, has promoted the creation of many attractively scheming works of literary fiction over the last two centuries in which the creative authors have endeavored to give the human mind puzzling homicide scenarios to contemplate with the hope of solving. While a great many Americans spend countless hours of their time reading Agatha Christie, James Patterson, Dashiell Hammett, and the numerous other contemporary writers of murder mysteries, some grotesque real-life homicides, 3000-plus, were committed on September 11, 2001, on one day, which required at that time an equal, or greater, amount of deductive reasoning and sound forensic investigation to solve. Sixty-four of those murders might be case-filed under the name, “The perplexing Burlingame Endgame Murders,” named after the command pilot of the American Airlines Flight 77, and the fifty-eight passengers, and other five members of the crew, on-board the Boeing 757, which, according to the federal government, was allegedly flown into the west wall of the Pentagon at allegedly 9:37 a.m. on 9/11 by an Arab hijacker, Hani Hanjour.

My thought processes were acutely stimulated recently while listening to the Larry O’Connor Show, on WMAL, 105.9 FM, on Tuesday September 11, 2017. During that radio show, I was intrigued, if not very puzzled, by the statements of Debra Burlingame, the younger sister of the deceased Flight 77 pilot, Charles Burlingame, about what supposedly happened on September 11, 2001, at the Pentagon. Debra, supposedly a veteran lawyer, has, since 9/11, continually parroted the federal version of what happened to Flight 77, a scheduled American Airlines Boeing 757 jet flight from Washington, DC to Los Angles, California being hijacked in-flight and flown by the high-jacker, Hanjour, into the Pentagon, insisting that her brother, and the other 63 crew and passengers who were listed on an American Airlines Flight 77 manifest, were killed when the jet airliner made impact with the Pentagon’s western wall at, supposedly, 450 mph at about 60 feet above the ground. What is utterly baffling about these alleged facts is why Debra has supported, for nearly sixteen-years, a series of assertions about the death of her dear brother, which could not have possibly occurred due to scientific impossibility.

Since 9/11, many scientifically “correct” facts about what “really” happened at the Pentagon on that awful day have emerged from thorough forensic and scientific examinations and analyses of the dubious facts alleged by the federal government immediately after the Pentagon incident and, later, in its published 500-plus page tome, “The Report of 9/11 Commission.” As a former deputy sheriff for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, I graduated from the 72nd San Diego County Sheriff’s Academy in June 1985 after an intense exposure to criminal forensics. Before that, I had studied inorganic chemistry for one year in an engineering program at Tyler Junior College (TJC), in Tyler, Texas, and, after completing a baccalaureate degree at U.T. Tyler, I completed my first, and only, year of law school at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in San Diego, California. Later, in 1992, I took an M.A. Degree from the University of Texas at Tyler, which included a graduate-level course in forensic chemistry. Hence, I came to view the events, and federally alleged facts, at the Pentagon with the eyes of a suspicious forensically trained cop, which led me to see a completely different set of facts, as I will set forth in this article.

Invariably, when large military or commercial jet aircraft crash into mountains, into the ground, and into buildings and skyscrapers the crashes of these airplanes leave a great deal of wreckage, especially engine component wreckage. The composite structure of a Boeing 757 contains ten-tons of titanium and steel engine components, which should have been quite visible after such an aircraft crashed into the western wall of the Pentagon, and the damaging impact of those engine parts should have caused the grassy well-kept grounds around, and near, the crash site to be greatly disturbed, gouged, and plainly messed-up. Yet, the facts show that the first media news crew to arrive at the Pentagon site directly after the alleged crash, a CNN news-crew presented a seventy-second broadcast wherein the CNN reporter, Jamie McIntyre, stated that he “did not see a crashed Boeing 757 jet airliner on the west side of the Pentagon, where the wall was damaged.” He had flatly stated that “if there was a crash of a large jet, it must have been short of the Pentagon, for the wreckage that is on the Pentagon grounds must have been that belonging to some type of much smaller aircraft.” In the news-clip, McIntyre looked plainly confused, and that seventy-second broadcast via CNN was never again shown on national television on, or after, 9/11. Thank goodness for the invention of the DVR, for if recording devices across the nation, in the living rooms of millions of television watchers, had not been running at that moment, that television broadcast segment would have been lost to history, and, in all probability, the existence of it would have been denied by CNN and the federal government. Jamie McIntyre’s subsequent denial, in 2002, of what he had reported seeing at the Pentagon came in early 2002, when concerned citizens who had seen and heard his short-lived news-flash began questioning the federally alleged facts. The denial by McIntyre about what he had seen and heard on the morning of 9/11 was clearly coerced through some type of intimidation; as much as was the 1947 denial statement of U.S. Air Force Major Jesse Martel, the Air Force intelligence officer who had first stated that he had clearly seen the remains of a crashed flying saucer near Roswell, New Mexico. He had later confessed that had been ordered by a commanding Air Force general to appear in an officially published Air Force picture and say that what he had seen was from the crash of a weather balloon, instead of what he had really seen. A movie was subsequently made about Martel’s denial, featuring Martin Sheen as a reporter who had found and interviewed Jesse Martel at an Army Air Corps reunion.

Another startling factor that enters into the Flight 77 conundrum is the fact that the “only” evidence for the hijacking of the Boeing 757 was the alleged cell phone calls to Theodore “Ted” Olson, the USDOJ’s solicitor general, from his wife, the well-known CNN correspondent Barbara Olson, supposedly during the flight of AA 77. Olson had reported that his wife called him twice from Flight 77. Borrowing from Chapter 5 of Dr. David Ray Griffin’s 2011 book, “9/11 Ten Years Later: When state Crimes Against Democracy Succeed,” “Chapter 5 turns to the chief method through which the (conspiratorial) perpetrators convinced the American people that the attacks had been orchestrated by Muslims: the apparent phone calls from the 9/11 planes, through which Americans were first told that Middle Eastern men had hijacked four airliners. This information was provided by a leading member of the Bush-Cheney administration, the Department of Justice’s solicitor general, Theodore “Ted” Olson, who told CNN, and hence the world, that his wife, well-known CNN correspondent Barbara Olson, informed him that her plane, American Airlines 77, had been hijacked by men armed with knives and box-cutters. In 2006, it became public knowledge (by means of the FBI’s evidence provided for the trial for Zacarias Moussaoui) that Ted Olson’s report – that his wife had talked to him twice from AA 77 – was not true. This could hardly have been more important, given the fact that the alleged phone calls had provided the evidence that the planes had been hijacked, combined with the fact that the first and most important conveyor of this reported evidence was Ted Olson. And yet the American media, which have the responsibility of reporting the information to the American public have never reported the FBI’s acknowledgment that the Olson calls never happened. This chapter also treats other evidence that the “phone calls from the planes” never happened.”

As far as actual pictures, or video camera footage, showing a Boeing 757 flying toward the Pentagon, circling the Pentagon in the sky, and flying from the west at 60 feet above the ground into the Pentagon’s western wall, there are none; except one that was released by the federal government over three years after 9/11 showing only the “extremely unidentifiable nose” of some type of aircraft pointed toward the western Pentagon wall; which was, and still is, totally inadequate in determining that it was a Boeing 757. There were, however, working video cameras installed at an operating Citgo service station adjacent to Pentagon, and on a high floor of a nearby hotel, which were aimed at the sky where the 757 jet had allegedly approached the Pentagon. The tapes for these particular cameras were suspiciously seized by the FBI not more than ten minutes after whatever hit the Pentagon had done its damage, and have never been revealed to the American public. Currently, the FBI claims that “there were never any such tapes, and, if there were, they cannot be found.” These suspicious facts make the (only) two eye-witness statements for the federal story, which claim to have seen a Boeing 757 approaching the Pentagon, highly dubious; for if there were two reputable people who saw the plane, there must have been many more who saw the same thing. Now, about what spokes-people for the federal government, people from the NIST, the FAA, and the FBI, said about the wreckage of the Boeing 757, which should have been very visible on the Pentagon grounds after such a crash on 9/11. During those weeks, months, and years following 9/11, federal representatives stated over-and-over, with straight faces, that the entire jet aircraft, the entire Boeing 757 fuselage, air-frame, and the ten-tons of titanium and steel engine parts were totally “vaporized” by the fiery heat produced from the crash of the jet into the Pentagon wall.

Well, I’ve seen the pictures of the wreckage of crashed U.S. Air Force C-141 Starlifters, when the aircraft and the four large jet engines crashed into mountains and the ground at approximately 500 mph., and there were great amounts of engine wreckage remaining. You see, the JP-4 kerosene jet fuel fire created in the crashs of large jet aircraft will cause those aircraft to burn at no more than 850 degrees Fahrenheit. For steel and titanium to melt, much less vaporize, there must a temperature of more than 2,000 degrees. In the real crash of a Boeing 757 jet airliner into a brick/concrete wall, a fire would be created that would burn at no more than 850 degrees, and an 850 degree fire would not cause steel and titanium to vaporize, much less melt. For an aircraft to vaporize in a crash, the fire and heat must be, at least, 10,000 degrees, since all matter must go from a solid state, to a liquid state, and to a gaseous state through stages of elemental change. For pieces of steel and titanium to instantaneously transform in a gas, or vaporize (bypassing the liquid stage) the temperature must be extreme, and in some cases, greater than the heat created by the most potent chemical accelerants known to man.

Therefore, there is no reasonable doubt that if a Boeing 757 had crashed into the Pentagon’s western wall, a great amount of wreckage would have remained, which makes CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre’s first, suddenly disappeared, television report a correct observation of the Pentagon at approximately 9:30 a.m. on the morning of 9/11. So, if the American Airlines Flight 77, from Dulles to LAX, did not crash into the Pentagon, what caused the 16-foot gaping hole in the Pentagon wall and the homicides that occurred during the melee; and what happened to the real Flight 77 that left Dulles at 8:20 a.m. on 9/11? The years of hard investigatory work done by noted engineers, physicists, and forensic experts, who have freely contributed their efforts to the ongoing pursuit of truth by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth.org), have produced some astounding results that are beyond dispute. Some other type of airborne missile or much smaller aircraft was remotely projected or flown into the Pentagon wall.

The very obvious lies and deceptions that were made parts of the 200 million dollar federal 9/11 investigation and its lackluster product, “The Report of the 9/11 Commission, convey to the reasonable human mind a particularly sinister depiction of what could have been nothing less than the horrible results of criminal conspiracy. The “Report’s” particularly incriminating omission of any mention of the complete collapse of the Solomon Building, WTC Building 7, at free-fall speed in a manner identical to remote controlled demolition at approximately 5:15 p.m. on 9/11, is a fact that contributes to the verbal testimonies of numerous eye-witnesses, who normally worked on different floors of that particular building; that the federal employees of the CIA office, on the 10th floor of Building 7, were busily involved in the operation of a peculiar, obviously secret, project during the morning and early afternoon hours of 9/11, and that they, and all the other building occupants were suddenly evacuated from the Building at approximately 4:15 p.m., for some reason unknown to the occupants. One of the witnesses had heard that Building 7 was going to be “pulled,” a term used in the process of “controlled demolition.”

The deductive conclusions formed by AE911Truth.org investigators were that WTC Building 7 was the CIA/NSA command center for all of the 9/11 conspiracy implementation operations (for the WTC, the Pentagon, and wherever else operations were being conducted). Confidential informants for AE911Truth.org have provided information that intelligence agencies of the federal government, mainly the CIA and the NSA, were responsible for the collapses of the WTC Towers and the events at the Pentagon. Is this hard to believe? Of course it is! What rational member of the American electorate would believe that the federal government would conspiratorially orchestrate the murders of over 3,000 innocent human beings? That was the expected human reaction on which the federal government agencies involved in the conspiracy were counting. So, extending the reasonable deductions beyond the collapses of the WTC Towers and Building 7 to Flight 77, the reasonable person must consider that if 3,000 innocent human lives perished needlessly in New York, why would the lives of the 58 passengers and six crew members of Flight 77, plus those people slain at the Pentagon, matter to the federal government?

Do you suppose that Wendy Burlingame, the 33 year old daughter of Charles Burlingame, had started to deductively put two-and-two together by 2006, in order to conclude that Flight 77 had not crashed into the Pentagon, but, instead, had been flown from Dulles to some unknown out-of-the-way airstrip, the passengers deplaned by CIA/NSA agents, and executed in cold blood? Is it reasonable, or merely fantasy, to suspect that Wendy was subsequently murdered in an arson fire that consumed her in her U.S. Army veteran boyfriend’s apartment on December 6, 2006, to permanently quiet her vocalized suspicions and allegations? The arson investigators who officially probed the fire included two, unnamed, federal agents, according to the Guttenberg, New Jersey City Fire Department, which had responded to the two-alarm fire. In most cases, a fire-chief of a particular city has the sole responsibility of publicly reporting that a fire was not the result of arson, but, in this particular case, the Hudson County District Attorney, Edward Defazio, took the role of stating publicly for the record that “no accelerant was used in the fire” and that arson could be ruled-out. Hence, there must have been an original suspicion of arson and criminal activity emanating from the county D.A. that surrounded the unusual conflagration. Several independent investigators certainly thought so, which leads the reasonable person to suspect that the fire might have been deliberately set, in some manner, to murder Wendy Burlingame; since the crime of murder is defined as the unlawful killing of one human by another with malice aforethought, or criminal negligence.

Like I said at the beginning of this article, pure unadulterated scientific fact will, in nearly all thorough murder investigations, eventually trump conspiratorial lies and misrepresentations about speculative events and happenings. Inquiring human minds with knowledge of physical science and forensics, minds that are deductive and intuitive, will always succeed in ferreting-out the unscientific and illogical discrepancies in a criminal investigation, even if false public perception, created by the media, keeps those conclusions from being believed. The willingness of the human mind to accept fact over contrived fiction, and the propaganda that promotes I false perception is the crux of the issue. The investigation of the suspicious deaths of truth-revealing witnesses and whistle-blowers in the wake of a criminal conspiracy promotes a cogent linkage of evidence that will lead, directly or indirectly, to the identification of the conspirators. As such, to add to the suspicious death of Wendy Burlingame, the mysterious death of Beverly Eckert, who lost her husband on 9/11, thickens the plot and adds weight to the evidence for conspiracy. Beverly, like Wendy, didn’t buy into the federal explanation for 9/11, and was one of the original 9/11 victims’ families who organized to seek truthful disclosure about what really happened to the WTC Twin Towers and Building 7. According to Beverly, before she was killed she was offered a considerable amount of money from agents of the federal government to remain silent about her 9/11 concerns, but she refused the money and was adamant about not remaining quiet. A week before she died in a very mysterious commuter airplane crash, on February 12, 2009, Beverly Eckert met with Barack Obama at the White House representing 9/11 victims’ families advocating a new full fact-disclosing investigation of 9/11. Was Beverly murdered, along with the other human beings in that commuter plane crash, by the federal government to silence her persistent 9/11 petitions?

The mysterious death of Kenneth Johannemann, a janitor for both of the WTC Twin Towers, who was working on 9/11, was another incident that smacks of conspiracy. Kenneth was working in the north WTC Twin Tower on September 11, 2001, when he distinctly heard explosions coming from the tower basement and from upper-floors of the tower. In fact, Kenneth rescued a victim of full-body burns from the basement explosion, which occurred at the base, and not the top, of the North Tower. On October 31, 2008, seven years after 9/11, Kenneth was found dead, the victim of a gunshot to the head. A note was found saying that Kenneth was depressed after being evicted from his residence; but Johannemann’s large caring family testified that one of his cousins had offered him a place to live, and that he wasn’t a person prone to depression. According to all that knew him, Kenneth was not depressed in the days and weeks leading up his death, and regularly told his account of what he had scene and heard in the North WTC Tower to public gatherings. Perhaps that was his fatal error, stating the truth of really happened in the North Tower on 9/11. An article by Montreal journalist and writer Craig McKee regarding William Rodriguez, a fellow-janitor at the WTC, and friend of Kenneth Johannemann, indicates that he, both, saw and heard exactly what Kenneth had observed on the morning of 9/11. A portion of the article is included below:

“No matter how well known he (Rodriguez) is within the 9/11 Truth movement (in fact he’s one of its best known figures), very few others have heard the things he has to say – things that make the purveyors of the official federal story very nervous. That’s because if what he reports is true, then the official story can’t be true. That official version contends that airplane impacts and the resulting fires were solely responsible for the collapse of the Twin Towers. But if his account of explosions in the basement of the North Tower is true, then there must be a great deal more to the story. In the documentary, “9/11 Mysteries,” Rodriguez describes what happened while he was in the building’s sub-basement, level B1: “All of the sudden, we heard a huge explosion. It was an explosion that came from under my feet, meaning that it came from the sub levels between B2 and B3.” Rodriguez adds that after the basement explosion, he heard the impact of the impact that has been reported to be Flight 11 hitting the North Tower. “And there was a huge explosion at the top of the building. You could hear the difference from the bottom and all the way to the top. The one from the top, which was actually seconds after, was very far away. The one in the basement was pretty loud and you felt your actual feet moving with the floor. There was a tremor through the walls, that the walls cracked and the false ceiling totally collapsed.”

Therefore, in summation, ALL of the true relevant and material facts surrounding what actually happened on 9/11, at the Pentagon and in New York City, totally conflict with the federal version of the pernicious happenings reported on public television by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and published in the “Report of the 9/11 Commission” and on national cable television, which cost the American taxpayers over 120 million dollars from start to finish. Yet, do you expect a group of shadowy, pragmatic, and sadistic federal conspirators to freely own-up to their heinous crimes and the mass murders they committed; to finally get some conscience and make public confessions? No, you can’t expect them to do that, but you can expect them to make errors in judgment in attempting to cover their tracks and eliminate all of the incriminating evidence linking them to a 9/11 criminal conspiracy. The bottom line crux of this article is that a Boeing 757 jet airliner, carrying 58 passengers and 6 crew members of American Airlines Flight 77, did not crash into the Pentagon wall, and that two Boeing 767 jet airliners, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were not flown into the North and South WTC Twin Towers. Instead, carefully constructed jet drones closely resembling Boeing 767 jet airliners were used, which were built over a two-year period by private federal contractors working secretly for the CIA/NSA. And the kicker was that the federal contractors had no idea about the real purpose for the secretly-built drones. As for the total free-fall collapse of the two WTC Twin Towers and the WTC Building 7, the three super-structures were completely collapsed through the use of controlled demolition using an incendiary super-heat producing explosive called military-grade nano-thermite.

Until a very indignantly vocal minority of the American national electorate (the aggregate U.S. citizen voters over 18 years of age), or an equally clamerous majority of them, are convinced of the true and correct facts about the mass-murders committed on 9/11, the truth cannot be realized. These murders which were perpetrated by federal conspirators to implement a neo-conservative agenda for a very fascist “new American 21st Century,” planned several years before 9/11. By blaming 9/11on radical Islamists and securing the passage of the unconstitutional Patriot Act, the federal government instigated a continuous unwinnable state-of-war against the “terrorism” of its own making thereby drastically changing the American republic after 9/11 into a nation of People coerced by continual fear. And it will continue to plod along in apathetic ignorance as it did in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. It took nearly 35 years, after the fact, for the American public to accept the sordid reality that Franklin Roosevelt had deliberately concocted the plan to kill over 4,000 American soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors in the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941 in the name of pragmatism. The Japanese attack was a harrowing surprise to the men and women in uniform at Pearl Harbor on that fateful morning, but not for FDR, who knew about the pending attack 72 hours prior to it happening. He could have warned the Pearl Harbor Naval Command about it. But he didn’t, because he had promised his cousin, Winston Churchill, in 1939, that he would see to it that the United States entered the European war against Adolf Hitler’s Germany. It was, then, a devious backdoor to war! History has proven this to be the gospel truth, but that truth really hasn’t mattered to a late 20th Century and early 21st Century American electorate, who, it seems, don’t really care about the scourge of conspiracy. Nearly sixteen years have elapsed since 9/11, and the false federal propaganda and the progressive media have dominated the duped minds of a large percentage of the current American electorate to cause them to believe the federal explanation for 9/11. Over a hundred million American men and women turn 18 years of age, and become members of the electorate, every calendar year. Will another sixteen years inexorably elapse before the awful truth is known? Or will it ever be known. God only knows!

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All You Need to Know About the Budget Airlines

For the difficult days when traveling around the world seems like a dear dream, budget airlines can turn out to b amazing in every manner. On the surface, a lot of people have created their own image of these low-cost airlines. Some can't look beyond the cheap fares, while others can't get over the average services provided by the airlines.

No matter what you think, millions of passengers opt for these airlines for flying around the world. Even though there are many travelers who don't consider these to be safe, hardly any airlines have been part of any air mishaps. Let's look at both the sides of flying with these airlines.

Pros of Choosing Low-Cost Airlines

Of course, the low fare makes it an obvious choice for traveling. If you book early, the fares get even better for the travelers. This is a huge advantage for the frugal flyers that make ends meet to fulfill their desire of traveling around the world.

Because the low budget airlines have a strong competition, they introduce promotions every now and then for the travelers. But since these will be available only for a limited period, travelers need to stay alert if they don't wish to miss out.

When you save through those airlines, you can spend more money on the actual trip. This means you could probably explore more destinations or shop if you fancy.

With all these benefits, there are a few compromises that travelers will have to make when they opt for these budget airlines. Here are some of them.

Cons of Choosing Low-Cost Airlines

No matter how much you're tempted to think, you aren't compromising over your safety high up in the air when choosing kind of airlines. However, there are plenty of hidden fees that you might fall victim of.

Budget airlines are often criticized for charging low fares and compensating these through taxes, insurance cost and other hidden charges. Before you book, ensure that you've gone through all these and know what you're paying for.

Because you're paying less for the ticket, it might mean you'll have to fly at really odd timings. Most of the budget airlines have a very odd schedule, mostly early mornings or midnight.

Baggage restrictions are a common problem when choosing these low-cost airlines. Most of these only allow you a carry-on, that too with specific restrictions. If you are checking in any bags, you might have to pay a dear amount to get it through.

When flying with budget airlines, you have little flexibility. However, the airline might still enjoy this. A lot of travelers face the misery of last minute rescheduling done by these airlines. They might even end up changing your seat because of certain reasons. In times like these, it's best to stay updated so you don't have to face any last minute misery when you travel.

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Cheap Flights From Las Vegas: Overview of the Airport, Airlines, and Airfare Deals

Millions of air passengers fly in and out of the McCarran International Airport each year, making one of the busiest airports in the world. Everybody loves looking for cheap Vegas vacation packages, but what about those who need to leave? How can you find cheap flights from Las Vegas? It’s actually pretty easy. You just have to use price comparison tools and check with the latest offers from the airlines themselves.

When using price comparison tools, just enter Las Vegas as your departure city. If you don’t have a destination city in mind, you can simply leave that box blank. Click the “search” button to view all of the current deals.

There are a number of airline carriers that provided flights in out of the LAS airport. Each week, there are around 243 flight and 71 carriers to choose from. No matter where you want to go in North America or in the world, there is probably a flight for you. It’s best to book 4 – 6 weeks in advance so that you can get the best deal possible.

April is a good time to find cheap flights from Las Vegas, especially if you want to fly with Delta, Spirit, United, or Frontier. Whether you’re just looking for cheap airfare itself or want to book a hotel room and car rental in addition to the flight, there are options to do so.

Keep in mind that the Terminal 1 Building and Terminal 3 Building are not physically connected. Each building has its own parking garage, baggage claim, check-in/ticketing area, and restaurants. Make sure you know which building your gate is located in before you arrive at McCarran. Allegiant, Spirit, Southwest, American, and Delta are all located in Terminal 1. The other airlines have gates in Terminal 3. Double check at McCarran’s website before you go in.

Possible Destinations of Cheap Flights from Las Vegas

When searching for cheap flights from Las Vegas, you’ll probably come across some deals to fly into cities not only in the Western US, but in other parts of North America as well. A few examples of possible cheap airfare include:

• Newark, NJ

• NYC, NY

• Mexico City

• Denver, CO

• Cleveland, OH

• Chicago, IL

There is no rule that says you have to fly directly out of McCarran International. You might find a better deal if you fly out of a nearby city, like St. George or Bullhead City.

If you’re not particularly picky about when you leave, it might be worthwhile to wait around for a last minute deal to pop up. They are available on occasion. Just join budget travel newsletters or download an app to receive an alert whenever cheap flights from Las Vegas are available.

With online discounts, it’s very easy to find cheap flights from Las Vegas. Use travel sites to find roundtrip airfare, vacation packages, hotel deals, and more. Just use the search function to find deals and compare all of the offers.

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Do Your Trip With American Airlines

Setting The Stage

Let's set the stage for your trip with American Airlines. You are just recently entering the job world and your new boss wants you to schedule a meeting with one of your clients to discuss them buying into a new product that your company just introduced that they think would really help your clients be more efficient.

Bullet List For Preview

Now there are a lot of things that you have to do in this situation so let's just give a bullet list of them:

Set a date and time that the meeting will be held.
Scheduling a time that you would like to be arriving into the area that your client is at.
Buying a ticket and getting everything set up correctly so you don't have any problems at the airport.
Packing your baggage in a manner that will be most constructive and beneficial to you.
Getting to the airport and actually flying to your client.
Doing great at the meeting with your clients and getting that successful transaction for your client and you.
And finally flying back to your home.

Setting A Date And Time With Client

Now with all these variables it is always best to stop at the top of the list because it is easier to complete. Setting a date and time with your client is crucial for an actual meeting to happen so you can actually have something to fly to and be there for. Where as if you just showed up that might be just a little weird for you and your client because they have no idea what you are showing up there for. So set a date and time that is good for your client and good for you as well.

Schedule Your Arrival Time

The second thing that you want to do is to schedule a time that you would like to be there so you feel comfortable and prepared for your meeting. Let's just say that your client doesn't have much free time so they would like to have the meeting at 8'o clock in the morning. So once you look and you thought there was a flight from ORD, Chicago, to BOS, Boston, that would leave ORD and get you to BOS before 8am, but unfortunately there is no such flight in your case. But in your luck there is a flight that leaves the night before at 6pm from ORD and gets you into BOS at 10pm. You feel good because that flight will get you there the night before and you can have some time to relax and make sure everything is working and correct for your meeting the next day. So you decide to take that flight and thus begins the next step in ticketing and reserving your flight to BOS.

Buy Those Tickets

Now that you are in the step of ticketing and reserving your seats roundtrip to and from BOS one thing that you want to make sure that you do is to correctly put in your information so you do not have any problems in the airport when you get there . The best way to do this is to use the put in the exact same information that is on your drivers license or passport, whichever you want to fly with is perfect for domestic travel, because this is what they will use at security and in the check in process at the airport. If your name is misspelled there might be a problem and will incur you spending more of your time getting stressed about something that you could have just easily done when you were booking the flight. Now that you successfully booked your flights on aa.com, American Airlines, you are ready to get packing your bags and ready to fly out for that important meeting.

Pack That Bag

Since you are ready to pack your bags and get this show on the road one thing that is best to do is to correctly pack on what you would like to bring with you on your trip. There is always a lot that you think you should bring with you so in order to complete know what you should bring with you is to initially take out everything that you think you could possibly need, then reduce the things that you wouldn't really need Because you don't want to take too much with you if it is going to be a short trip with only one or two meetings. You are not packing to travel the world for a year long journey.

Petal To The Metal To The Airport

Now that you have efficiently and effectively packed your bag for your trip to your meeting with your client you now need to get to the airport to actually fly to your meeting. Now a lot of people do really well until they get to this step and this is the point where they break down and start the meltdown of what is going to happen on the plane, the nervousness of missing a flight, and every other fear that you could imagine. The best thing to plan for traveling with American Airlines is to go online the night before your flight and just simply check in to your flight. Once you do this it will usually allow you to get your seats and boarding pass. One other thing that might make your life a little bit easier is to print these boarding passes or to download the American Airlines app and get the boarding passes on your phone. This will allow for relaxation knowing that you don't have to go to a busy counter or agent to get boarding passes, unless you have a checked bag. Now the next best thing to do is usually to show up about 1.5hr-2hr before your flight if it is at a big airport or 1hr at a small airport. This will allow enough time to go through security, get to the gate, go to the restroom, and any other needs you would need to address before you get on the plane.

If you have done all these steps you sure most likely to have a high success rate of getting to your gate with as little stress as possible. You will surely be on the road to success and you will get to your meeting and win those clients over with the new product that you want them to buy. You got this!

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Low Cost Airlines Flight Information

Low Cost Airlines Flight Information offers details about the cheap flights operated by the different airlines of the world. The cheap rates of flight tickets make them popular among travelers within a stipulated budget. The flight information of the low cost airlines helps you plan your travel in advance and book flights accordingly.

Flight information of the following low cost airlines of the world are available as follows:

Operational since 1971, Southwest Airlines is one of the popular airlines offering flights connecting all major parts of USA. The 64 flight destinations of Southwest Airlines include Birmingham, Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Albany, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Nashville, Washington DC and so on.

A joint endeavor of Discovery Americas I and TACA airline, Volaris is one of the newest airlines operating in Mexico. The main hub of the airlies is the Mexico City International Airport. The destinations flown to by Volaris flights include Baja California, Campeche, Aguascalientes, Guerrero, Chiapas, Jalisco, Guanajuato and many others.

Established in 1997, Allegiant Air operates scheduled and charter flights from its hub at Las Vegas in Nevada, USA. One of the popular airlines of America, Allegiant Air flies to destinations like San Diego, Mesa, San Francisco, Colorado Springs, Santa Maria, Idaho Falls, Orlando, Green Bay, McAllen, Knoxville and others.

An airline operating from Singapore, Tiger Airways runs regular international flights to various destinations around the world. The flights operating on a weekly basis range from 3 to 100 flights. The destinations flown to by Tiger Airways include India, Australia, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and so on.

Low Cost Airlines flight information makes it easier for you to plan your travel. The numerous low cost airlines of the world including Southwest Airlines, Volaris, Allegiant Air and Tiger Airways offer cheap flights to several destinations across the globe.

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The History of Royal Jordanian Airlines

1. Early Jordanian Carriers

When Jordan attained its independence in 1946, it sought to increase its identity by establishing its own airline, which took form on January 1 of that year as Arab Airways. Inaugurating service to Beirut, it spread its wings to Baghdad and Cairo by August of 1947, and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) became its principle investor.

Evolving into Arab Airways Jerusalem, Limited, six years later, it operated a fleet of twin-engine de Havilland Rapides from Jerusalem itself to Beirut and Cairo, but eventually added Aden, Amman, Baghdad, and Jeddah. It was not the region’s only carrier, however.

Air Jordan, established in 1950 by H. E. Ismail Bilbeisi Fasha, had itself commenced service from Amman with Airspeed Consuls, but a 1953 cash infusion by Trans Ocean Airlines, a non-scheduled carrier that operated charter and contract flights, enabled it to modernize its fleet with 21-passenger Douglas DC-3s. These ultimately connected Amman with Kabul via Kuwait and Kandahar.

Mirroring what had now become its competitor, Arab Airways Jerusalem equally acquired this aircraft type.

Vying for much of the same passenger base, but facing competition from other Middle Eastern airlines, they elected to merge and form Air Jordan of the Holy Land.

Initially operating two Convair CV-240s leased from Trans Ocean, it purchased a DC-4 in 1960, with which it was able to serve longer routes, such as those to Rome from its Amman hub. Despite the promise this larger, quad-engine aircraft offered, the fledgling airline was forced to cease operations on September 1 of the following year when its license was canceled.

Only a month elapsed before a successor was established-in this case, Jordan Airways, which was jointly owned by private interests (40 percent), the Jordanian government (25 percent), and Middle Eastern Airlines (also 25 percent), the latter of which provided it with three leased, turboprop-powered Vickers V.700 Viscounts and flight crews. Its reign was equally brief.

2. Flag Carrier

Seeking to create the country’s definitive international carrier, King Hussein of Jordan, who himself was a pilot, asked Ali Ghandour, then vice president of Lebanon International Airways, to devise plans for a flag airline, intended, according to the king himself, to serve as “… a national carrier to be our ambassador of goodwill around the world and the bridge across which we exchange culture, civilization, trade, technology, friendship, and better understanding with the rest of the world.”

Named after his eldest daughter, the resultant company was christened Alia Royal Jordanian Airlines. Although its structure was only finalized on December 8, 1963, the king issued one additional request-namely, that it become airborne within a week.

Achieving what could only have been considered an impossible goal, Ghandour was able to transform plans into planes, acquiring two Handley Page Herald 207s leased from the Royal Jordanian Air Force and a single Douglas DC-7C, with which he inaugurated service from Amman to Beirut on December 15. Cairo and Kuwait were added the following week and a second DC-7 enabled it to serve Jeddah.

Piston engines subsequently yielded to pure-jet ones, with the acquisition of Sud-Aviation SE.210-10R Caravelles, the first of which was delivered on July 29, 1965, and the type facilitated high-speed, above-the-weather services to Europe, principally to Rome and Paris.

Ever combating adversity and obstacle, however, it once again faced an enemy. Seizing control of Jerusalem two years later, in June, Israel instantly pulled the plug on two of the country’s most important resources–tourism and agriculture-significantly decreasing demand for the new carrier’s services, which resulted in low aircraft load factors.

It was during this latest crisis that the Jordanians discovered a third resource-namely, themselves-and only with determination and dedication did Alia remain aloft. The government’s subsequent acquisition of it gave it the necessary financial support.

Having successfully navigated its latest turbulence, it marked its entrance into the 1970s with the acquisition of its first long-range jet aircraft, receiving the first of two Boeing 707-320Cs on January 19 of the following year, and these facilitated route expansion, specifically to Karachi in the east and Madrid, Casablanca, and Copenhagen in the west.

A joint, although brief, service was also operated from Karachi to East Africa with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The 707 was only the first of several Boeing types acquired. Two 720Bs, for instance, were obtained in 1972 for medium-range, lower-density sectors, while three 727-200 Advanced tri-jets were purchased for short- to medium-range operations. Equipped with a more flexible and economical fleet, it was able to expand within the region and to the European continent.

Entering the widebody era, Alia received the first of two Boeing 747-200Bs on December 15, 1976, which facilitated the launch of transatlantic service from Amman to New York and Houston via Vienna or Amsterdam in July of the following year, the first Arab carrier to do so. It became the first of two widebody types to be operated.

Deviating from its all-Boeing fleet, it ordered six Lockheed L-1011-500s. Entering service in October of 1981 between Amman and London-Heathrow, the tri-engine type enabled the carrier to serve European destinations and several Middle East destinations, such as those to the Gulf States, with widebody aircraft for the first time.

Supplementing its 747s, it operated the Amman-Vienna/Amsterdam-New York routes on select days, as well as a newly inaugurated one to Los Angeles with an intermediate stop in Chicago. The JFK sector was also upgraded to nonstop status and some flights operated through Montreal.

By 1982, it operated seven 707-320Cs, one 720-030B, six 727-200 Advanceds, three 747-200Bs, of which two were in combi configuration with main deck cargo loading capabilities, and two L-1011-500s.

After retirement of the four-engine narrow bodies, by 1985 its fleet centered around the 747 for long-range, high-density routes, the TriStar 500 for medium- to long-range, medium-density segments, and the 727 for short- to medium-range, low-density sectors.

December 15, 1986 marked several milestones: the Jordanian flag carrier celebrated both its tenth anniversary of Middle East-United States service and its silver, quarter century jubilee, marking the occasion with a new corporate image and name, the latter amended from Alia to, simply, Royal Jordanian Airlines, in order to emphasize its identity.

“The new corporate name,” said Ali Ghandour, its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, “is the embodiment of our sense of heritage, as well as our sense of destiny, of our accomplishments and aspirations, and in the process the ‘royal’ connection that we have maintained since the very beginning is identified, emphasized, and recognized.

“Last but not least,” he concluded, “I wish to stress that we did not seek change for its own sake, but to demonstrate to ourselves and to the world that we are progressive in our outlook, determined in our efforts to forge ahead, and confident as well as full of hopes of a bright future.”

Royal Jordanian’s route system, as of January 1, 1987, consisted of 41 cities in 34 countries on four continents.

Of these, three were long-range North Atlantic routes, including the Amman-Vienna-New York, Amman-Amsterdam-New York, and Amman-Vienna-Chicago-Los Angeles sectors, and two were long-range Far Eastern ones, inclusive of Amman-Bangkok and Amman-Kuala Lumpur-Singapore.

Two North African routes were established, from Amman to Tripoli and from Amman to Tunis and Casablanca, while a single destination was served in the former Soviet Union, Moscow.

European destinations included Amsterdam, Athens, Belgrade, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul, Larnaca, London, Madrid, Paris-Orly, Rome, and Vienna.

Not surprisingly, a heavy Middle East route concentration encompassed Abu Dhabi, Amman, Baghdad, Bahrain, Cairo, Damascus, Dhahran, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Karachi, Kuwait, Muscat, Riyadh, and Sana’a.

Its sole domestic sector was that between its hub and Aqaba.

Two joint services were also operated–those to Beirut with Middle Eastern Airlines and to East Berlin with Interflug.

During the five-year period from 1979 to 1983, the annual number of passengers carried included the following: 1979: 915,000; 1980: 1,100,000; 1981: 1,440,000; 1982: 1,667,273; and 1983: 1,457,334.

3. Subsidiaries

Aside from the airline itself, Royal Jordanian counted several airborne- and ground-based subsidiaries within its portfolio.

Of the former was Arab Air Cargo. Succeeding Jordanian World Airways, which itself had been established in 1974, it was founded in March of 1982 as a joint Jordanian-Iraqi venture and inaugurated cargo service on May 1 of the following year with two 707-320Cs in freighter configuration.

Both a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it flew to cities such as Amman, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Brussels, Dubai, Larnaca, London, and Rome. Six hundred twelve flights were undertaken in 1985, during which 4,521 revenue hours were flown and 21,166 tons of cargo were carried, netting $16.6 million.

Arab Wings, its second subsidiary, provided rapid, on-demand business jet charter service to remote and inaccessible parts of the Middle East and was then the only operation of its kind in the region. Jointly financed by the government of Oman (one-third) and Royal Jordanian itself (two-thirds), it inaugurated service in May of 1975 and operated two six-passenger Gates Learjet 35s and a single eight-passenger Rockwell Sabreliner 75A from Amman and Muscat flight bases.

During the three-year period from 1981 to 1983, it respectively carried 1,636, 2,116, and 1,390 passengers.

A separate branch, Arab Wings Flying Ambulance (AWFA), provided aeromedical service and first took to the sky in 1978.

Sierra Leone Airlines, its third subsidiary, was formed in 1982 to succeed the 1958-established Sierra Leone Airways and inaugurated service that November from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to London, with shared ownership by Royal Jordanian (20 percent), private interests (20 percent), and the Sierra Leone government (60 percent).

Subsequent expansion resulted in the inauguration of international services from Freetown-Lungi to Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Las Palmas (Canary Islands), London, Monrovia (Liberia), and Paris, while domestic flights, based at Freetown-Hastings, connected the airport with Bonthe, Kenema, and Yangema, all with one 707-320, one 720, and two Britten-Norman Trislanders. These were later replaced by CASA C-212-200 Aviocars.

Aside from these subsidiaries, Royal Jordanian also had several ground-based ones. These included Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA), which opened on May 25, 1983 and featured two inter-connected terminals with 12 gates and could annually handle up to five million passengers.

Hospitality Service, which had the capacity to prepare 20,000 daily meals for in-flight catering purposes, the terminal restaurant, the snack bars, and the staff cafeterias, managed the four-star, 315-room Alia Gateway Hotel, which opened in 1985 and was used by transit passengers and flight crews. It also oversaw the airport duty free shops.

Royal Jordanian’s training center was subdivided into the Technical Training Institute and the Commercial and Management Center.

Consisting of both civil and military branches, the Royal Jordanian Air Academy, yet another subsidiary, was designated the Regional Technical Center for the Middle East in 1985 by IATA.

Several other concerns included the Queen Noor Civil Aviation Institute; Arab Air Services, which was the engineering consultative branch that aided in the design and construction of the airport itself between 1979 and 1983; the Royal Jordanian Folklore Group; the Alia Art Gallery; and Royal Tours.

4. RJ Today

Fleet modernization marked the last decade of Royal Jordanian’s 20th century history and signaled a loyalty shift from long-time Boeing and Lockheed products to Airbus Industrie aircraft, the first of which was the A-310-300.

Powered by two high bypass ratio turbofans and flown by a two-person cockpit crew, it replaced the 727s on routes where demand exceeded its capacity or proved too thin for its L-1011s, yet offered twin-aisle widebody comfort. Because of its range capability, it even operated the one-stop Jordan-US transatlantic sectors, particularly during reduced-demand periods.

These, however, were primarily flown by a second Airbus fleet addition, the quad-engine A-340-200, which eventually replaced both the 747s and the TriStars.

Bonafide 727 replacements, on regional, Middle Eastern, North African, and European segments, took form as the twin-engine, narrow body A-319, A-320, and A-321 family, while short- and regional-range routes were flown by yet another type, the dual-class configured Embraer E-175 and E-195, which respectively accommodated 72 and 100 passengers. Both were well-suited to the 45-minute hop between the capital and the Red Sea resort of Aqaba.

Accepted as a member of the Oneworld alliance in 2007, Royal Jordanian continued to upgrade its long-range fleet, acquiring 233,000-kg A-330-200s configured for 24 Crown and 259 economy seats between 2010 and 2011 and 227,930-kg 787-8 Dreamliners respectively accommodating 24 and 247 passengers between August and November of 2014. The A-310s had intermittently been converted into freighters with upward-opening, main deck cargo doors and the A-340s, because of their no-longer economical, four-engine fuel consumption, were altogether removed from service.

Poised on the threshold of its golden jubilee on December 15, 2012, Royal Jordanian introduced a 50th anniversary livery on one of its aircraft, which re-enacted the carrier’s first scheduled route to Beirut.

Having combated obstacle and regional conflict, it had served as a vital contributor to the country’s culture and economy. With few natural resources, and its agriculture and tourism having once been locked in the occupied West Bank, it had served as the air bridge to the rest of the world, becoming one of the country’s primary revenue sources, and for this reason viewed connecting passengers as vital to its continued existence. As a result, it had, to a significant degree, served as the foundation upon which the country itself had depended.

Reflecting on the carrier’s history during the golden jubilee ceremony held at Queen Alia International Airport in December of 2012, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nasser Lozi, said, “When His Majesty King Hussein launched Alia-as RJ used to be named-on December 15, 1963, he wanted it to be the national carrier of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with the aim of contributing to the progress of Jordan and promoting interaction with other cultures and establishing relations with other nations… (Today) we are proud of being the national carrier that connects Jordan and the Levant with the world.”

Looking back at its growth, which saw its number of annual passengers increase from 87,000 in 1964 to more than 3.3 million in 2012, President and CEO Amer Hadidi said, “Royal Jordanian has been a pioneer in establishing a solid base for the air transport industry locally and regionally.”

Operating three E-175s, five E-195s, four A-319-100s, six A-320-200s, two A-321-200s, three A-330-200s, and five 787-8s by the end of 2014, Royal Jordanian served 54 destinations on four continents and seemed well profiled to continue the mission its founder established.

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Countdown: The Last Days of Austrian Airlines’ Station JFK

I

2009 was a transitional year for Austrian Airlines as a company and in North America. Increasingly straddled with debt and unable to reverse the plummeting financial situation created by low cost carrier competition, escalating fuel prices, and the economic recession, its very existence was threatened until a July agreement with Lufthansa-German Airlines, under which it assumed its monetary obligations and acquired the majority of its shares, was concluded. European Union approval of the acquisition was obtained two months later.

Like many worldwide companies that have been forced to outsource functions and then surrendered to takeovers, it was subjected to several fundamental changes, particularly at its JFK station.

This is how its final chapter unfolded.

II

Seeking an investment partner to restore its financial viability, Austrian Airlines explored several options, but the first step to a solution occurred on March 2, 2009, when Lufthansa made a public offer for the tri-carrier Austrian Airlines Group after it reached an agreement with the state holding company to purchase a 41.56-percent stake in it. The 4.46 euro-per-share offer, however, was contingent upon it receiving antitrust immunity and the approval of 500 million euros of restructuring aid from the state holding company. It also hinged upon Lufthansa’s acquisition of at least 75-percent of its permanent voting shares.

For North America the clock was already ticking, and nothing foretold its fate more than the series of duty trips undertaken to negotiate new agreements. Although Austrian Airlines celebrated both its 20- and 40-year transatlantic service jubilees on March 26, the occasion was bittersweet, since it seemed unlikely that it would achieve another, at least not with its own staff.

Indeed, during one of the earliest duty trips to Toronto, an agreement was reached in which all operations would be assumed by Lufthansa, eliminating the need for its employees. It became only the first of three to be signed.

Spring usually signaled renewal, but not of Austrian’s staff contracts. A second Canada trip, in April, marked the transition, with JFK Station Manager Michael Steinbuegl overseeing the Centralized Load Control and Duty Manager Dorit the passenger handling components of it.

With the dawn of May, the first of JFK’s staff members also departed. Jenner, who had been employed as a Ticket Sales-Reservations Agent for three years, was laid off because of “budget-necessitated reductions,” and the empty seat next to Sidonie, head of the department, appeared like a void, symbolic of a strongly missed family member.

The dismantling continued. Whitestone, Austrian Airlines’ North American fortress, passed its reservations torch to Lufthansa on the tenth of the following month, or what could have been considered the airline version of “black Friday”

If there were any doubts about the hammer hitting the nail, they were eradicated on August 28, when the European Commission officially approved Lufthansa’s acquisition, which itself consisted of 500 million euros of restructuring assistance from the state holding company and the merger between the two carriers. In order to achieve the required antitrust immunity, however, Lufthansa agreed to relinquish key flight slots and reduce the number of frequencies between Vienna and Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, and Stuttgart.

Austrian Airlines itself was slated to become one of its many independent, European hub carriers-in this case, a Vienna-based one feeding traffic to its Central and Eastern European destinations.

The fall fell hard-emotionally-for Austrian’s JFK staff members and the duty trips, during which the plugs to its North American stations were pulled, continued.

Lufthansa employees were versed in Austrian’s ticketing procedures, while two managers departed flew to Vienna to discuss ground-handling details in New York.

Confirmation of the stations’ inevitability signaled its death knoll: Lufthansa would assume all ground-handling later in the year and all but the single JFK station manager and its two duty managers (the author included) would be released from their contracts at that time. Even these, however, had six-month limitations.

The news, the equivalent of removing the wing of an aircraft in flight, caused emotions to spiral to the ground, resulting in disbelief and depression, and this was only exacerbated when the head of ground operations informed Swissport that its JFK contract would be canceled on November 16.

Sharing the station’s fate with his full-time staff members, Patrick, Austrian Airlines-Swissport Account Manager, attempted to cushion a blow that words could not achieve.

Sadness, demotivation, and resignation hung in the air like thick jet fumes.

The clock’s hand continued to unwind and the expected parting words began to filter in. Long-time Austrian Airlines Station Manager at Washington-Dulles International Airport, Regula, for instance, sent the following telex on September 14.

“As you may have heard,” she wrote, “Lufthansa will take over the handling of our station tomorrow. Therefore, it is time for me to say good-bye.

“It is not easy, as I have met a lot of great people during my years at Austrian Airlines and I had an opportunity to learn a lot. With this, I would like to thank you for all your support and friendship over the last few years.”

Like a short string of dominoes, Washington was the second of the three North American stations to fall.

Of whatever small value it served, I elected to end each daily briefing with a “group therapy” session so that Austrian Airlines and Swissport employees could explore their emotions about the pending “family break-up.”

On September 15, Michael Steinbuegl, JFK Station Manager for four years, was promoted to Key Account Manager, North America, and became responsible for all three North American stations: New York, Toronto, and Washington.

The only thing anyone had now was the future. The head of Ground Operations discussed the reasons behind the station changes with the two remaining JFK duty managers, and they subsequently met with the Lufthansa Station Manager to discuss potential integration. Patrick held a meeting with his own management to explore the migration of Swissport personnel to other JFK accounts.

As the calendar flipped into October, one of the staff members noted on the washboard used to detail the daily flight information: “Countdown: 45 days.” And in the “Notes” section of the daily briefing sheet, I urged, “Smile while you still can. The days are running out.”

Clarifying the events, Paul Paflik, former Area Manager of North America, wrote, “Due to the economic environment, I regret that we, as a company, had no other choice to survive but to exploit the full cost synergies with Lufthansa wherever we could. This includes close cooperation at the stations worldwide. It is sad for some of our dedicated staff, but, again, we had no other choice if we wished to survive as a company.”

The rest of the Austrian Airlines’ route system equally fell victim to this reality.

A former JFK colleague, for instance, who had since worked at several other stations, wrote, “Finally, the ax has come round to smite me down as well. I will leave Austrian Airlines after 20 years… It seems as if I am no longer needed within this Austrian ‘New Generation.’

“We walked a 20-year path together, which has predictably terminated with the long-awaited ‘Anschluss’ we joked about many times, but we had somehow always narrowly avoided. Now that the inevitable has come, it means the end for many of us.

“There is an ironic parallel to the Star Trek saga here. It seems that we, the old, original crew, have been left behind in our old ship to drift away out of sight, replaced by Lufthansa. The good ship ‘Austrian” is gone forever.

“So I say farewell with no regrets and a bag full of fond memories to take with me slung across my shoulder.”

Andre, an Austrian Airlines Cargo Sales Manager, summed up the prevailing feeling.

“What can I say,” he wrote? “From the start, through the middle, and to the end, your life experiences bring out your emotions.”

The integration had already begun. Introduced to Lufthansa operations, I was asked to observe one of its 747-400 flights to Frankfurt.

Unwinding to the one-month mark, the calendar’s clock indicated October 15 and on the daily briefing sheet I noted, “Observe the date and count backwards from 30… “

Issuing the last Austrian Airlines duty roster on October 18, the station manager distributed it to his staff, but it abruptly terminated on the 16th of November for all but two of them.

Like advancing forces, two Lufthansa Duty Managers began to familiarize themselves with Austrian flight preparation procedures. Could there be any question now?

Halloween dawned mild, but blustery, causing the streets to be blanketed with red and gold leaves. But the blows continued internally, inside station JFK, and cargo was the next to go-and to say goodbye.

Confirming this, Peter Schleinzer, Austrian Airlines North American Cargo Manager, sent the following notice: “This is to advise you that Austrian Airlines Cargo will be moving and transferring its Air Cargo Operations and Sales activities from Menzies Aviation, Building 75, to Lufthansa Cargo, Building 23.”

Clearly, no department or division would be exempt.

November 1 marked the last portion of the collective Austrian-Swissport journey. Fifteen days remained until the road would fork.

The next transition occurred on the ramp. In an internal email from Lufthansa Duty Manager Edwin Haas, he wrote, “In order to prepare for Austrian Airlines, I would like to ensure that you are all familiar with their ramp procedures. Therefore, please make sure that one agent per day is present to observe their operation.”

Knowledge continued to be transferred. Several Passenger Service familiarization classes were given to Lufthansa check-in staff and their supervisors were versed on Austrian flight preparation procedures. Their blue uniform presence had already begun.

The parting messages also continued. Helnut Haubenwaller, Chief Boeing 767 Pilot, sent the following email in early November.

“With the final days for the Austrian Airlines JFK Station to come, I would like to thank all of you for your professional, solution-oriented, and always-friendly work at Terminal One. Your motivation and the quality of the handling of our flights has always been of the highest level, even if other factors sometimes made life difficult. From crew check-in to receiving the load sheet and leaving ahead of schedule, all of you gave us the feeling that we were departing a home station. And we know that you did far more for our crews than anyone could have expected.

“Once again, a big THANK YOU and all the best to all of you from Austrian Airlines Flight Operations.”

Characteristic of any move was its preparation and packing. Sending the following email reminder to station staff, I wrote, “It is with a heavy heart and much sorrow that I must remind everyone that the days are rapidly dwindling and that we need to begin the lengthy clean-up process of our ‘home.’ New tenants have already taken a look at our residence and intend to move in on December 1.”

Like memories, the old flight files were deposited into history.

Friday, the 13th, was a desolate, gray, rainy day. Then again, they all seemed to be that fall.

The “home” the staff had so painstakingly created over the years began to be dismantled, reduced to memories, and their remaining time as a joint Austrian Airlines-Swissport station could now be measured in hours.

Anyone clinging to the last hope of being rehired by Lufthansa was abruptly disillusioned when they read the latest telex.

“I have been informed by Lufthansa today,” wrote the head of Ground Operations, “that, unfortunately, they are unable to take over anyone from Austrian Airlines due to legal reasons.”

Why would anyone expect a silver lining in the dark cloud that hovered over station JFK now?

Despite what may be emotional attempts to prepare for reality before it occurs, the November 14 note on the washboard quickly nullified that theory. “Countdown: 1 day,” it said. And if it needed any more proof, it came in the form of an email on the same day.

“Please be informed about the following changes at JFK as of November 16, 2009,” it said:

“Supervision and Station Management: Lufthansa.

“Passenger Handling and Lost and Found: Lufthansa.

“Weight and Balance: Centralized Load Control, Lufthansa.”

The only hope anyone had now was they would soon wake up from the same nightmare. They didn’t.

Another acknowledgment of the situation’s finality came in the form of a letter from Pio Neria, Swissport Terminal One Manager.

“Thank you very much for all the things we went through together during the past seven years,” he said. “It was sometimes fun and memorable.

“Mike, thank you for always treating the Swissport staff as one with Austrian Airlines. This is something that does not happen all the time and something we will not forget.

“Robert, thank you for all your support and for guiding and grooming the staff members.”

November 15 was mild, but gray and heavy, as if an anvil had been pounded into it, and the mostly fallen leaves left the trees bare, reflecting everyone’s internal emptiness. Today, they would write the last page of Austrian Airlines’ station JFK history.

All Austrian and Swissport staff were scheduled to work that day-or, more accurately, to say “goodbye” that day.

Omi, wearing personal clothes, walked into the office at 11:40 and automatically asked, “What’s up?”

“Well, this is the last day,” I hesitantly replied. “Let me see if I can find something else… “

Swinging her head around, she looked at the washboard, whose note hit her like a bullet. “Countdown: 0 days,” it said.

The 1:30 briefing, somehow arriving more rapidly than it had on any other day, could barely support the more than 20 staff members, as many, braking from their traditional, company-dictated roles, confirmed the group’s disbandment. Damian read part of the briefing sheet, while Monica and Madaive became temporary “Supervisors of the day.”

The “Notes” section of the briefing sheet read: “Last day, last briefing, last chapter.”

Flooded with emotion, I read the “Parting Speech” I had prepared, but often felt as if I were wading my way through a thick trench.

“On New Year’s Day, January 1, 2003,” I began, “I sat at my usual desk and then-Station Manager Mary Tretter walked into this very office. Lufthansa, which had performed most of Austrian Airlines’ ground-handling at JFK in Terminal One since Austrian itself joined the Star Alliance, passed the torch to Swissport USA that day. Since Lufthansa was well acquainted with our procedures and used their own computer system, she had some trepidation about the transition, looking me in the eyes and asking, ‘Are we really going to go through with this today?’ That was January 1, 2003. Today is November 15, 2009, or almost seven years later. The interval proves two things to me:

“First, that time passes much faster than you think. And second, that nothing in the physical world is permanent. Everything has a beginning and everything has an ending. And I think you know which end we’re at today. We have done so much in these briefings. Now we have one last order of business to complete-namely, to say goodbye.

“We all traveled this road together. For some it was longer than for others, but the number of faces seen and the events experienced during that time, both good and bad, is almost unfathomable.

“The road, however, is actually a shorter portion of the longer ‘life road’ we all walk everyday, in that both serve as developmental paths and thresholds to our ultimate, higher existences.

“Of that development, there are two types. The first, the professional one, includes learning, understanding, and performing job-related functions, such as Passenger Check-In, Ticketing, Baggage Services, Ramp Supervision, Load Control, and Management. The second, the personal one, deals more with personality and character refinement, strengthening, and growth. You have all, whether you are aware of it or not, engaged in both types here, where many successful professional and personal chapters of your own lives were written. For many of you, Swissport in general, and Austrian Airlines in particular, served as your entry into the airline industry. None of you will leave today the same way you came in–that is, when you first began your employment with us.

“Annie, for instance, is one of only two remaining from the original team and holds the third highest seniority of anyone on the station. Having weathered the Delta Air Lines code-share agreement, the joint Austrian Airlines-Sabena-Swissair station under the Atlantic Excellence banner, the Star Alliance, numerous ground handling companies and concepts, and four terminals, she was instrumental in building JFK over the past 15 years, and has performed Passenger Service, Ticket Sales-Reservations, Ramp Supervision, and even Duty Manager functions, as well as a myriad of other activities too numerous to cite here.

“Sidonie, with whom I have shared more alternate names and recipes than any other person, led her team to and at the Ticket Sales-Reservations counter.

“Dorit, who joined the JFK team as Duty Manager in 2006, was instrumental in creating the North American Station Ticketing Procedures Training Program, having frequently taught in Chicago, Toronto, and Washington, as well as having occasionally performed this function here at JFK.

“Ecaterina was one of only two to transition from Swissport to Austrian Airlines, and during her five-year tenure has performed Passenger Service and Ticket Sales functions.

“And Susanna, who was the only one to join the airport staff from Whitestone, equally performed Ticket Sales functions. Although she was only with us for six months, we quickly came to love her.

“Patrick, with Swissport, has held Passenger Service Agent, Ramp Supervisor, Load Controller, Lead Agent, and Account Manager positions; has taken nine local courses within the Austrian Airlines North American Station Training Program and two in Vienna; and is the second Load Controller to have been licensed on the local level. In his personal life, he had a son, earned his Private Pilot License, and completed his Bachelor of Science degree in aviation.

“David achieved many of the same things: he performed Passenger Service, Baggage Services, Ramp Supervision, and Load Control functions; took six local courses and one in Vienna; was the third locally licensed Load Controller; and also had a son.

“Josue, the fourth locally licensed Load Controller, performed Passenger Service, Ramp Supervision, and Load Control functions; took seven local courses and one in Vienna; and later completed load sheets for Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

“Omar, who joined the Austrian Airlines account from Royal Air Maroc, was the Baggage Services/Lost and Found Lead Agent and ran an exemplary department, establishing procedures, organizing, training Whaid and Steven, and even structuring other North American Baggage Services departments. Because of his efforts and contributions, JFK won an award for its improvement.

“Omi and Berqui, having both commenced their careers with Swissport in Passenger Service, were equally promoted to Lead Agents of the Austrian Airlines account. They intermittently completed their university degree studies, and Omi even pursued a minor in aviation. Both developed into beautiful ladies.

“Damian, having spent more than half a decade with Swissport-Austrian Airlines, performed Passenger Check-in, Arrivals, Flight Controller, and Departure Gate functions, but Austrian Airlines was more than just a ‘job’ for him: it was his family, his friends, his laughs, his holidays, and his annual ski trip vacations to the Poconos. For him, it was ‘home.’ In fact, he twice ran away from home, to other airline accounts, during his five-year tenure, and twice he came back.

“Passenger Service and Ramp Supervision contributions were also made by everyone else, including Syed, Kewal, Lorena, Cristina, Monica, Pinky, Madaive, Wendy, and Jean.

“Because of all of you, JFK can be credited with numerous strengths, accomplishments, and successes.

“And if you think I forgot Mike, think again. He is singularly responsible for cultivating the atmosphere and orchestrating the steps that allowed every one of these strengths and accomplishments to have been made here. If you think he is like most station managers, you better think again. He is a rare breed indeed!

“My own accomplishments can be reflected by the numerous roles I played here: manager, director, mentor, psychologist, teacher, writer, travel agent, entertainer, jokester, recipe creator, alternate name provider, and even Omi’s father.

“Throughout our joint history, there was never any barrier between the two groups, just a seamless interface between Austrian Airlines and Swissport-in other words, humanity connecting with humanity, regardless of which company they worked for.

“I could cite the economic reasons–although no one would agree with them–why this had to end today. But if it had not been for them, it would have ended anyway, one way or another. Do I say this because I know of some deep, dark secret from Vienna? No, I say it because, as previously mentioned, nothing is permanent in this physical world, and it prepares us, in some small way, for the sometimes-difficult task of moving to the next stage of our development. When we are finished with that segment, we must leave it behind. Someday, after we ‘walk’ all the developmental paths of our lives here, we will leave them all behind.

“Today may serve as one small preparation for that inevitability. But, paradoxically, that is when we will regain the bond we were forced to break today. That is when we will see each other, everyday, when there are no days left down here.

“I do not know if we will walk the same path again in this existence. But I do know that, whatever paths you do walk, if you walk them well, and correctly, and ethically, that every one of them will lead to the same destination-up there.

“Your tears are tears of conversion–an attempt to ‘convert back’ those empty pockets you will assuredly feel when you leave here tonight–as you ‘disconnect’ from everyone, because, you see, this began as a venue where we would work together, but it ended up one where we played together, and laughed together, and cried together-in other words, we temporarily re-merged into the ‘oneness’ from which we all came.

“And now comes the difficult part–leaving behind what we created and making a significant life change. Change is something everyone resists, yet it is actually the mechanism by which we are moved to the next stage of our developmental paths.

“Today, I want you to take three things with you.

“First, I want you to take all your professional-level learning experiences with you, whether they concern check-in or load control or ticketing.

“Second, I want you to take your pleasant memories with you. For each of you, they will be different. They may be a joke, a funny name, a glance, the cheese provided by Rocio, the Secret Santas at Christmas, the ski trips, or the pumpkin soup served during Thanksgiving. Whatever they are, cherish them. And remember, no one can take them away from you.

“And finally, I want you to take with you the ‘bigger picture’ lesson that was taught here-namely, that, when you give to others what you yourself have been given, whether you are asked to or not and whether you are paid to or not, that a harmony results, and that you are not only a part of that harmony, but the partial creator of it.

“And now, as the clock rapidly consumes our final hours together, the last order of business is to thank each and everyone of you for your time, efforts, contributions, ideas, jokes, and laughs-your presence. And most of all, I thank you for letting me lead you.

“Each one of you is one small reason why, together, we were one big success.

“I wish you that same degree of success as you leave here today, as you write the next chapter of your lives and follow the next part of your developmental path.

“Until we see each other again-and we will… “

During the speech, it was difficult to gauge which sound was louder: the uncontrollable sobs or the stark silence.

Cameras, flashing throughout the day at the check-in counter, captured the final closing of the aircraft door–a picture of a waving flight attendant, a second of Austrian Airlines’ JFK history frozen in time and forever preserved.

Depressing the button on my radio, I announced, “The last Austrian-Swissport 088 is off the blocks at 42 past the hour,” or 13 minutes ahead of schedule with 30 business and 176 economy class passengers on board.

And with the last flight, even Kewal was granted his long-awaited wish: he finally ramped the aircraft, with Cristina.

Amid computer cord disconnections, emptying shelves, and furniture movement in the office–a piece by piece dismantling of our seven-year “home”–a post-departure and post-station party ensued, highlighted by visits of more than a dozen prior Austrian Airlines and Swissport employees who felt compelled to return “home” one last time, and ended with the inevitable tears and the draining emotionalization generated by each and every final “goodbye” as they left-that is, with each and every final disconnection.

Somehow appropriately, I accompanied Annie to the parking lot. We were the first to work for Austrian Airlines, tracing our respective roots to 1989 and 1994, and we were the last to leave.

“For God’s sake,” Annie exclaimed, “I’ve known you for 16½ years,” as tears preceded a final hug.

Driving away from the airport that night, I felt the most overwhelming sense of emptiness I had ever experienced in my life.

III

The final nail had been hammered into Austrian Airline’s North American operation, sealing its fate. JFK was the third and last station to have been ceded to Lufthansa, after Toronto and Washington, and its reservations department, Whitestone headquarters, and cargo handling had also been lost in the process.

In November, Swissport, its seven-year ground handler, passed the torch to Lufthansa, and station JFK, both North America’s first and last, closed its doors to autonomous handling after 21 years.

My emptiness, now coupled with numbness, continued the following morning.

Ecaterina, representing the last thread to the now-closed play, stopped by to pick up some personal belongings, but as I escorted her to the escalator, I saw her take one last glance at the ticket counter that had served as her daily “home” for the past three years. Watching her recede, I saw her form the word “goodbye” on her lips, but she refused to match it with the sound that would have finalized its reality.

The last move was my own–the relocation to one of two duty manager desks in the Lufthansa office. How long I would sit there and would I ever equate these new surroundings with the word “home” were questions that filtered through my mind.

No longer in uniform, both I and the other Austrian Duty Manager wore business attire and were now responsible for the daily operation of five Air China, Austrian Airlines, and Lufthansa flights.

Untethered to the family I had known, I felt displaced, as if I no longer belonged there. Then again, there was little “Austrian Airlines” left to which to belong. Infiltrated with feelings of guilt, I wondered why I had survived the transition while most of my colleagues had not.

During passenger check-in, which had been relocated from aisle H to aisle G, I stole a glance at the former Austrian Airlines ticket counter. It only revealed emptiness-no red uniforms, no Annie, no Sidonie, no Jenner, no Ecaterina, no Susanna-and two keyboards their hands would never again touch.

The same Austrian 767-300, registered OE-LAX, departed from the same gate that day as it had the previous one, but, now handled by agents I was only acquainted with and who wore blue Lufthansa uniforms, it seemed different and somehow far removed from the one I had always known. What a difference a day can make.

I thought of the four no-longer present Ticket Agents who were laid off and their empty chairs. Six months from now, I felt, mine would be one of them. (It was.)

IV

The morning of December 31 revealed a transformed world. The ground was covered with a light blanket of snow and the trees, like an endless line of brown sculptures, appeared coated in white sugar.

Re-entering the now-former Austrian Airlines office, I walked through it, allowing the past to replay in the present-in my mind.

I looked at the narrow room where the Baggage Services Department had been located and the countless, sometimes multi-faceted briefings had occurred, before moving into the main office.

Passing the area where a table extension had once stood, I thought of the hundreds of cockpit crew briefings that had been held there and the makeshift “buffet” that it had become during holidays, displaying birthday cakes and Thanksgiving dishes.

Eyeing the floor in front of what had been the load control desk, I could just detect where the small Christmas tree had been annually placed, at least in my imagination.

Visualizing the chair where David, one of the three load controllers, sat, I swore his daily question reverberated in my mind.

“Robert, are we closed yet,” he would ask, in anticipation of sending the load sheet?

Yes, David, I answered, permanently.

Stark and silent, deserted and devoid, the Austrian Airlines office now seemed like a lifeless stage where the past seven years had played out. But the desks were gone. A cabinet door, still ajar, revealed an empty shelf. A piece of tape was still stuck to the wall, but whatever had been affixed to it had apparently long ago relinquished its grip. And an old boarding pass resting on the floor seemed to bear the collective shoe prints of the countless hundreds who had worked there.

Somewhere, at the stroke of midnight, someone clinked glasses of champagne, amidst another dusting of snow, to ring in the New Year, but no one was present to hear them. The soul that was Austrian Airlines had departed the station.