NATIONAL AIRLINES GOES BELLY UP: AP reports “National Airlines, which flew tourists to the nation’s gambling capital, planned to cease operations Wednesday after nearly two years in bankruptcy court.”
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of folks: my wife and I flew back to New York in early October of last year on National, only a couple of weeks after regular flights resumed after being grounded as a result of September 11th. During a period where airlines should have been going out of their way to make passengers feel welcome and comfortable, the stewardesses were uniformly rude, inhospitable to special requests, and one actually said “with our rates, we don’t have to take anything from anybody”, meaning, sit down, shut up, and strap yourself in.” We even upgraded to first class for the flight back, just because it had to be better than coach. (National’s steerage made sitting in coach in American seem luxurious and sleek by comparison.) Fortunately, it was. But we vowed never to fly National after that debacle–and evidently, so did a lot of other folks.