Airline survey

By Armond Noble
This item appears on page 92 of the July 2009 issue.

Fun and games at ITN!

I took 10 pieces of paper, each 2 inches by 3 inches, and wrote on them, individually, the numbers 0 through 9. Folding them, I put them in a box and, with my eyes closed, drew them out, one at a time.

Out came 8-3-4-1-7. The ZIP code closest to that belonging an ITN subscriber was 83406, home to Stephen Marano in Idaho Falls, ID. Out next came 0-2-5-9-6. The ZIP code of an ITN subscriber closest to that was 02601, held by Joseph Sposta in Hyannis, MA.

Each has been sent two of the Magellan’s “retriever tags” (featured in my column last month), pouches which attach to your luggage and state, in eight languages, “Here is my itinerary. Please remove and examine if luggage is misplaced.”

In our next drawing, we’ll include our cherished Canadian subscribers, assigning #7 to BC, #6 to AB, #5 to SK, etc. We truly appreciate our friends to the north, as they pay a lot more for their subscriptions. While there may be a NAFTA to encourage trade, our Post Office has placed a horrible postage charge on magazines mailed to Canada.

Speaking of that, we’ve received calls and letters from people commenting on our $24-a-year subscription price, saying there are other travel magazines that charge less.

It would be easy to say, ‘Because we’re worth it!’ Prior to ITN, travel writing was like the song “Home on the Range” — where never is heard a discouraging word. Seemingly, everyplace was utopia. And we all know better than that.

We’re really proud of the ultracandor that ITN subscribers use to describe some travails on their trips (and to keep YOU from suffering the same fate).

In our audience may be some retired former salespeople who miss their occupation. You’re invited to spend a couple of hours a week, on the telephone, talking to potential advertisers for ITN. We’ll furnish the leads and pay a semigenerous commission.

We’d like one salesperson in every state. If you’re interested, please call me at 916/457-3643.

At the end of June we’ll be mailing a survey to 1,000 subscribers. If you are one of the lucky ones, PLEASE respond. I thank you in advance.

From our most recent survey, here are results. We wondered, ‘What are the most popular airlines when ITN subscribers travel overseas?’

For travel in 2008, United and American tied for the top spot. Then came Delta, then Lufthansa. Continental was fifth. Northwest, British Airways, Air France and KLM were next in line, followed by LAN. There was a tie between Qantas and South African. Then Korean Air just beat out Singapore, followed by Air Canada and Alitalia (tied). Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Iberia were in a 3-way tie. EgyptAir and Thai Airways also tied. Aer Lingus squeezed past SAS, followed by TACA. Next came JAL and Air India (tied), Finnair and SWISS (tied), Malaysia and Virgin Atlantic (tied) and Aero Argentina and Icelandair (tied). TAP-Air Portugal beat out El Al, Ethiopian and Varig (another 3-way tie).

Our apologies to US Air, which was inadvertently left off the survey that was mailed to subscribers. The staffer responsible for that has been sentenced to take their next flight on Aeroflot.