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June 3, 2009

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WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                    Air France Tragedy

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Buenos Dias from Costa Rica! This week, we're going to explore options to travel from New York City to JFK Airport, including one for just $7. I then fly to Los Angeles for just $119 plus $12.95 for American's in-flight Internet. There's nothing like passing time in the sky on Wi-Fi! From there, it's off to Liberia, Costa Rica via Miami. If you're up for racking up some serious AAdvantage miles, then join me on this week's adventure!

First of all, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved in the Air France crash off the coast of Brazil. When I awoke to the news and heard of the tragedy I instantly got a sickening feeling in my stomach, which I still can't shake. I just wrote about Rio's Galećo Airport (GIG) last week and I've been on Air France many of times; I will be flying them again next month. I've also recently flown on that same type of aircraft, the A330-200 with Jet Airways when I did my recent trip around the world. The AF447 plane was only four years old and it had a flawless safety record. It doesn't make sense why it just fell out of the sky. It's highly unlikely it was turbulence or lightening. It's times like these that white-knuckle fliers need to keep reminding themselves that these commercial jets are the safest mode of transportation but I know it's scary. I'm in no position to speculate but I do wonder if terrorism was involved. Brazil's security is lax – I made it through with all kinds of liquids and electronics in my carry-on bag so who knows?

What's even more disturbing is that the officials didn't even know when or where it happened for a couple of days. This should be another huge argument for why the industry needs to get rid of the dated radar system and replace it with NextGen. According to the FAA, NextGen "uses GPS satellite signals to provide air traffic controllers and pilots with much more accurate information that will help keep aircraft safely separated in the sky and on runways." This will not only improve safety and reduce congestion but will also keep track of the planes. What if the pilot(s) had made a miraculous landing like Sully did? I know it's highly unlikely but at least if they had NextGen, they would have known exactly where the incident occurred instead of looking for a needle in a haystack.

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Pictures From

The Trip



Rio Airport


Air France Plane


Cool Air France Flight Attendants




Charles de Gaulle Airport


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