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David Tait

The quintessential "airline guy," as executive VP of Virgin Atlantic Airways, David set up, and then ran, the company's hugely successful US operation for almost 20  years. He also has had stints at Wardair, Laker Airways, Air Florida (pre-Virgin) and Air Canada (post). 

Named executive chairman of Canadian low cost carrier, Flair, in May 2018, David's writing talents are no longer available to us on a weekly basis, though he has promised he will entertain and enlighten us when time permits and the muse strikes.

David's column is Tait on Travel.

Check his bio.

RECENT ARTICLES

MY MY, HEY HEY
Old rockers are here to stay
16 MAR 2017:  WARNING: This column has really got very little if anything to do with travel – well except maybe for Las Vegas and Florida - but I thought I’d do some “talking ‘bout my g-g-generation” – one that I share with a lot of you. MORE

UBER GOOBERS
02 MAR 2017:  A newspaper item I read this week reminded me of a very funny story from a colleague back in my days at Strand Holidays in Toronto. MORE

YOUR DROID WILL BE RIGHT UP
23 FEB 2017: When I watched Doctor Who on TV as a kid, I used to think that the supposed-to-be-scary Daleks were somewhat silly and contrived … how I wondered could any evil empire hope to conquer the planet with an army of robotic warriors that could only move on hard, flat surfaces? When negotiating a six-inch roadside curb is a challenge, what price getting through a forest or crossing a desert? MORE

AUTONOMOUS CARS
Versus autonomous drivers
16 FEB 2017: In the interests of full disclosure on this topic, right up front I will admit to being a total Luddite on autonomous cars: I just don’t get it. Maybe the choice of branding has something to do with it. Branding is important. This industry got it right once before when it decided to forego ‘horseless carriage’ in favor of  ‘automobile’. Now however there has to be something better than the somewhat frightening descriptor of ‘autonomous’. Just consider the dictionary definition: MORE

TEMPUS FUGIT
09 FEB 2017: One of my favorite wines comes from a California winery by the name of Frog’s Leap. On their bottles they have some very clever little fun lines like “Open Other End” on the bottom of the label and RIBBIT written down two sides of the cork. The best part however is a string of seemingly meaningless letters above the barcode – TFWYHF. Meaningless that is, until someone explained to me it stands for, “Time’s Fun When You’re Having Flies.” MORE

THE ICE MAN COMETH
Satirically speaking
02 FEB 2017: Jest in case you hadn’t heard: According to a White House source that prefers to remain anonymous, as part of his sweeping immigration reforms, TV reality show personality, property magnate and President of the United States Donald J. Trump is rumored to be shifting his focus to the Canadian border. MORE

ETIQUETTE SCHMETIQUETTE
Seat kickers rule
26 JAN 2017: Having just suffered a flight on which a ten-year-old terrorist in the seat behind me kicked and buffeted my seatback for 90 minutes, Expedia’s annual Airplane Etiquette Study held few surprises. As John Morrey, Expedia’s VP and GM puts it, “The study shows that small acts of decorum can go a long way” - or not as the case may be. MORE

SOFT SENSUALITY IN WASHINGTON
Seats still available
19 JAN 2017:  It’s not too late to jump on a plane and snag some front row seats for tomorrow’s big political lollapalooza in Washington. As of Wednesday it was looking as if the attendance for the inauguration of POTUS 45 could turn out to be the worst in modern American history. While Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration drew a record crowd estimated at 1.8 million, Friday’s attendance is being optimistically forecast at about one third that number. MORE

THE GUNSHINE STATE
12 JAN 2017: The horrendous CCTV video of Esteban Santiago calmly pulling a gun from his belt and randomly opening fire on the innocent people strolling along next to him, somehow seems to have resonated more than most acts of equally unfathomable violence in recent years. MORE

TAKE A TIP FROM ME
There is something wrong with the service
The origins of the word "tip" (as in gratuity) are much disputed. One popular myth touts it as an acronym for, “To Insure Promptness” (Politeness in some versions). Others would have us believe it’s a truncated form of "stipend". Whatever the truth, I for one think that nowadays a more accurate reading might be, "Totally Inappropriate Payment". MORE

RESOLUTIONS 2016
Resolved and unresolved
29 DEC 2016: A year ago I listed my five “revolutions” for 2016 and promised to report on how I did in getting them done (or not) so here goes: MORE

WRAP ARTISTS
Seasonal seizures
A Best of Tait seasonal rerun:  Before heading to LAX for a flight to Cleveland, it seems Derik Dwayne Neely (32) of Flint Michigan took great pains with his Christmas present wrapping adorning the multiple boxes with colourful bows and ribbons. MORE

BIN THERE DONE THAT
15 DEC 2016: Airlines are frequently their own worst enemies when it comes to the execution of ideas that in essence are really quite simple. MORE

PARKING LOT DISCRIMINATION
08 DEC 2016:  Okay, so be honest: We have all quietly grumbled at the mall or supermarket when several rows of handicapped parking spaces sit empty as we have to hoof it in the rain from a far-flung corner of the lot. MORE

WORDS OF A FEATHER
An Irish Trump card
01 DEC 2016: Rank outsider Donald Trump’s contentious, against-all-odds ascension to “leader of the free world” has almost certainly caught the attention of other big ego, big business types around the globe. MORE

THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE
Is never the nicest
24 NOV 2016:  Forget the old saying, it presumably was coined before air travel and/or aircraft that featured three-across seating. Heading home last week I was on standby for the last flight out of town and it didn’t look good. MORE

LET MY PEOPLE FLY
So sayeth the minister
10 NOV 2016: Last week was a good news week for Canadians, especially those that find air travel beyond their means.  And that’s no small number - according to Statistics Canada, some 60 percent of Canadian households simply cannot afford to fly. MORE

SELFIE DESTRUCTION
03 NOV 2016: “And now, here’s me in front of (fill in the blank)” seems to be the only kind of travel picture anyone shows you any more.  Prior to the advent of the smartphone camera, nobody ever thought about turning a camera around and taking a picture of themselves: I mean why would you do that? Did you have to prove you’d actually been there by putting yourself in every picture? I don’t think so. Did you ever really feel that the iconic beauty of the Taj Mahal or the Eiffel Tower was somehow enhanced by having your grinning mug wedged in front of it? I hope not.    MORE

FOGGEDABOUTIT
27 OCT 2016: “A foggy day in London Town Had me low and had me down.” Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and lately Michael Buble may well have been crooning about this week’s situation at London Heathrow, and it’s not something a third runway is going to help – quite the opposite in fact. MORE

SKYTRAIN AGAIN
20 OCT 2016:  “Fly me I’m Freddie” was the cry in 1977 when Sir Freddie Laker began operating his revolutionary ‘Skytrain’ scheduled air service from London Gatwick to New York’s JFK. The initial round trip transatlantic fare on Laker Airways was $199.00 which, to put it in context, was less than British Airways was charging at the time for a round trip flight from London to Paris. MORE

THE BEST AIRPORTS
And the best dentists
13 OCT 2016:  A good airport experience and a good trip to the dentist have a lot in common. In both cases if one manages to escape after suffering a minimal amount of pain it’s considered as having been successful. Or, looking at it another way, generally speaking the less memorable the visit the better it has been. MORE

INFLIGHT FUNFARE
IFE on fast-forward
06 OCT 2016: Flying on a Delta Connection regional jet service last week, the onboard entertainment got me thinking about how far IFE has come in the last few decades. MORE

ANCILLARY REVENUES HIT NEW HEIGHTS
29 SEP 2016:  It always intrigued me how Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) insisted airline ads couldn’t use the word ‘free’ to describe the various inclusions in ticket prices. Back then, that meant things like two seventy-pound bags, hot meals and enough booze to drink yourself silly.  Although every passenger referred to these things as ‘free’, we were obligated to describe them as “complimentary” – a word for which the dictionary definition is, “given or supplied free of charge”! Go figure? MORE

CLOSING TIME
UK down to its last 52,000 pubs
15 SEP 2016: As the words ‘public house’ infer, ‘pubs’ were and still are the core of a great many communities in the UK. Before the Internet there was the pub. It’s the place you go to learn about what’s going on, exchange gossip and meet the neighbors. The fact that the whole thing is done over a few beers is almost incidental ... at least that was always my story so why change it now? MORE

AMUSEUMS Repositories of the weird and wonderful
08 SEP 2016: Driving my middle son to his boarding school in upstate Connecticut this week, we passed through the sleepy little one-time mill town of Winsted (population 8,000) as we have done many times before.  This time however I spied something new and, how shall I say - different. MORE
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