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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


LA GUARDI-AH
The worst gets worse
01 SEP 2016: Like ‘military intelligence’, I have always considered the term ‘airport planning’ to be one of the biggest oxymorons of our times. MORE

UBER THE TOP
You're driving me crazy
25 APR 2016: Remember the old ‘Bob Newhart Show’ in which Howard, his goofy next-door neighbor, was a navigator for a commercial airline that looked very much like Pan Am or TWA? MORE

TRUMP IN A SLUMP
Brand suffering with polls
18 AUG 2016: Mixing business and politics has always been a high-risk game, mixing a high profile brand and politics may be even riskier… just ask the Republican Presidential nominee. MORE

NOTHING CHANGES
Different age. Same rage
11 AUG 2016:  As a kid, the two-week ‘summer holiday’ was an annual ritual that for us usually entailed a drive of around 300 miles in the family car - from the ‘dark satanic mills’ of Yorkshire to the sandy beaches of North Devon. MORE

THE JOY OF TRAVEL
Take a deep breath and try not to think about it
A "Best of Tait" column:  As a kid I always hated going to the dentist and had a similar loathing for getting my Beatle mop shorn at the barbershop. But, both those experiences were relatively short - the drilling and filling took a half hour of pain and the hair always grew back. MORE

THE VIRTUAL AIRLINE
Not the answer
28 JUL 2016:  If it’s not a contradiction in terms, the ‘conventional wisdom’ in Canadian aviation has always been that Canada cannot support a third carrier and historically, at a glance, that does seem to be the case. MORE

BYE-BYE BIG GUY
A 380 future dims
21 JUL 2016: The mysterious ‘they’ say a lot of things. One of them is that, “timing is everything” - and in commercial aviation, whether with scheduling or even aircraft types, that is most certainly always the case. MORE

TAIT WILL BE BACK
14 JUL 2016:  David Tait will return next Thursday. MORE

BREXIT WRECKSIT
Low cost EU air travel at risk
07 JUL 2016: Back in May Irish low cost carrier Ryanair ran afoul of Scotland Yard by advertising a ‘Brexit Special’ that offered expat Brits (who were still on the electoral roll) deeply discounted flights to the UK on the day of, or day prior to the referendum if they’d, “fly home to vote ‘remain.’” MORE

BREXIT SCHMEXIT
A passport to nowhere
30 JUN 2016: Guess who received new UK passports in the mail for his three teenage sons the day before the Brexiting Brits managed to turn the world’s economy upside down? MORE

NOT YOUR AVERAGE BLIMP Hybrid airships on their way
16 JUN 2016: Imagine tooling along at (close to) the speed limit on an un-crowded section the Trans Canada Highway, when suddenly something blocks out the sun. You look up and there, steadily overtaking you at an altitude of about 3,000 feet is this giant, football field sized white airship. MORE

AIRLINGO
The things airlines say
09 JUN 2016: No, that’s not a new Irish airline. Have you ever noticed that airlines have a language that is entirely their own? They don’t speak like civilians do – precisely why is something of a mystery, given that their audience is made up of civilians who speak in normal tongues. MORE

MAMMA SAID
there would be days like this
02 JUN 2016: Okay here’s the situation. I am booked on an 8:27 a.m. Amtrak train from Stamford Connecticut to Philadelphia. It’s a two and a half-hour trip that I have taken a dozen times before, so I know that with rush-hour traffic I need to leave home no later than 7:45. MORE

I AM FROM THE GOVERNMENT
and I am here to help you
26 MAY 2016: So goes the old joke – but when government gets involved, only three things are guaranteed: It will take more people, cost more and be less efficient than the private sector. Sure enough, in the US, since its post 9/11 inception the TSA has not disappointed on any of these metrics. MORE

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
Coming to a seat near you
19 MAY 2016: When flying alone you get to pick your destination, your airline, your flight and your seat. The one thing you cannot do is to choose who sits next to you. I have always thought the ability to somehow preselect your neighbor would be a hugely popular option but would you be able to trust the posted descriptions of other passengers? MORE

QUITE FLIGHTENING
Flyer beware
12 MAY 2016: The fear of flying (aerophobia) tops most lists of human phobias. It is generally followed by public speaking (glossophobia), heights (acrophobia) and the dark (nyctophobia). MORE

WHEN FREE IS NOT EASY
05 MAY 2016: After all the manure that airlines have had thrown at them for daring to charge for checked bags and other options, it’s amazing that there hasn’t been more of an outcry over the proliferation of resort fees in the hotel industry. MORE

BAGS OF IMPROVEMENT
28 APR 2016: It is extremely rare for me to check a bag but when I do, I often tell this story to the agent and it never fails to bring a laugh. I also may have told it in this column before but if so, well, it’s worth retelling. MORE

HOTEL SECURITY
Time for a rethink
21 APR 2016: Some years ago, when my new Lexus was stolen from right outside my Manhattan apartment building (after the prerequisite expletives) I recall thinking, “What the hell was I doing leaving an expensive possession like that sitting overnight in a New York City street?” MORE

EVERYTHING ON SALE
Visit Canada Now
14 APR 2016: We’ve moved David Tait to the lead-off spot today because we believe strongly that what he has to say in his column is both important to inbound tourism to Canada and just plain common sense. So here we go - MORE

A VIRGIN NO MORE
07 APR 2016: Few if any industries have seen anything approaching the amount of so-called ‘consolidation’ that commercial aviation has experienced over the last few decades. MORE

FLIGHTENED TO DEATH
No good deed goes unpunished
28 JUL 2011: There was a story some time ago about one Paul Trinder, a British Airways’ First Class passenger en route from New Delhi to Heathrow who woke up to find a newly-deceased elderly female (economy) passenger had been propped up in the seat opposite his. MORE

THUMBS UP TRAVEL
26 MAR 2016: Perhaps the inspiration came from Jack Kerouac’s classic novel ‘On the Road’ which detailed the author’s druggy travels across America in the 50’s.  Wherever it came from, when I was in my late teens, I used to hitchhike everywhere without so much as a second thought. I’d even stand next to city bus stops with my thumb up and probably got a ride 50 percent of the time. If not, I’d just get on the bus secure in the knowledge that Kerouac wasn’t watching. MORE

SENATORIAL RIDICULOSITY
17 MAR 2016: We live in a world of acronyms. Some work well, like MADD, ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving’ which makes total sense. Few people realize that QANTAS is an acronym for ‘Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services’, which is why so many insist on spelling it QUANTAS. Some, like BARF or ‘Biologically Appropriate Real Foods’, leave a lot to be desired, while using the acronym for this publication might misrepresent the kind of content readers can expect. MORE

PAPERING THE PLANET
10 MAR 2016: I just spent three days in London with two of my sons doing the tourist thing - not something at which I am generally very good. But it didn’t rain once, the English breakfasts were better than ever and we had a super time, albeit at a price. MORE
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