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Nobody Asked Me, But ...
September 13, 2007 -- Nobody asked me, but…

I'm all for hot girls wearing skimpy clothes on airplanes and I'm no fan of airlines telling passengers how to dress. Especially not Southwest, which used to dress flight attendants in hot pants. But can we be honest about this Kyla Ebberts flap? When she went on the Today show to show off her outfit, the director had to pixilate the image so that she didn't flash the nationwide TV audience as she sat down.

Speaking of flashing flashy underwear, I would agree that Britney Spears was out of shape and out of sorts and even less talented than usual at the MTV Music awards. But I didn't hear any men calling her fat.

Nobody asked me, but…

From the render unto Caesar department: Passengers on that new Vatican-backed charter airline had to surrender the bottles of holy water they were bringing back from the shrine at Lourdes. "Passengers are obliged to respect the rules and not go over the quantities [of liquids] permitted" on flights, said an official at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees International Airport.

I trust The Wall Street Journal will now follow up this week's page-one piece on the supposed new surge in passenger "air rage" with an equally damning piece on the lousy manners and atrocious, anti-flyer behavior of some airline employees. And I'm waiting with baited breath for the Journal piece about the management-imposed policies that create the poisoned travel atmosphere in the first place.

Nobody asked me, but…

Kudos to the bosses at US Airways for their quick reaction to my piece about the airline's atrocious transatlantic operations from Philadelphia. Just days after my column appeared, US Airways raised the price of transatlantic upgrades.

And here's a shout out to the fast-thinking bosses at Delta Air Lines, which racked up a 40 percent on-time rating in July at New York's Kennedy Airport, the carrier's major international hub. Delta has reacted to flying six in ten flights late with immediate remedial action: It will add dozens of new flights from overburdened JFK this fall and winter.

Nobody asked me, but…

So I see that Led Zeppelin is planning a one-off reunion concert in London this fall. Jason Bonham, son of the band's original drummer, will be manning the skins. Memo to dinosaur rock bands: When your children are old enough to play with you, consider changing your name to Led Wheelchair.

Speaking of onward and upwards with the arts, this was the contents of the "arts" section of the E-mail edition of today's New York Times: a story on the Led Zeppelin reunion; a story on Britney Spears' career path; and a review of some new TV cop show. No wonder Broadway is dying.

Nobody asked me, but…

Oil hit $80 a barrel last night. And the dollar dropped to a new low ($1.39) against the euro. Sorry, I got nothing…

And it's not your imagination. Hotel prices are going through the roof. The people who run the swanky Peninsula chain released several very specific examples of life at the ultra-high-end. For the first six months of this year, the average daily rate at the chain's Beverly Hills hotel was $640, up from $588 in the same period of 2006. The average daily rate at the New York Peninsula during the first half of the year was $732, up from $650 last year.

Nobody asked me, but…

Ever wonder what happens to an airline Web site after the carrier goes bust? Surf to flyi.com, the home of defunct Independence Air, and you'll find a ticket-scalping site. Somehow seems appropriate.

You may want to reconsider your investments with Fidelity. The company's parent firm recently upped its stake in US Airways to 15 percent.

Nobody asked me, but…

Three hotels in Palm Beach were apparently used as a marijuana drop this month. Palm Beach police say boxes were shipped to a "Hector Prada" at the Breakers, the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons. All three boxes were filled with grass and a man, claiming to be a guest named Hector Prada, was nabbed at the Breakers when he showed up to claim the booty.

Was I tripping or did I see priests waving holy-water shakers full of Balsamic vinegar over the casket of Luciano Pavarotti in his hometown of Modena?

Nobody asked me, but…

I'm not sure how Rudy Giuliani can run for President as the candidate who's tough on and smart about terrorism. He became mayor of New York shortly after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and did nothing to protect the Twin Towers. Five years later, he was the guy who demanded the city's emergency control center be moved into the World Trade Center complex. Naturally, it was destroyed when the Twin Towers were attacked again.

It's hard to know what to make of this week's hearings about the future of our military involvement in Iraq. But when Senator John Warner asked General Petraeus if what he's doing "will make America safer," Petraeus answered, "I don't know." That can't be good news, regardless of whose spin you want to believe and what you think about the war.

Nobody asked me, but…

The outgoing head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Marion Blakey, has spent most of her five-year stint as a tool of the big airlines. In fact, she's off to a cushy aviation-industry job. But this week she admitted that delays were out of control and demanded airlines "take a step back on scheduling practices … that are out of line with reality. If airlines don't address this voluntarily, don't be surprised when the government steps in."

How did the airlines react to Blakey's moment of sanity? Like spoiled children, of course. How dare anyone tell them how to act. They have the right to fly wherever they want, whenever they want. Besides, the big airlines said, delays are the fault of those corporate-jet operators. They shouldn't be allowed to fly wherever they want, whenever they want. The response of corporate-jet operators? How dare the big airlines tell them how to act. Besides, the corporate-jet operators said, they have the right to fly wherever they want, whenever they want.

Nobody asked me, but…

September 11th should be a national holiday of remembrance. And, by law, everything but essential services should be closed. No 9/11 sales, no 9/11 getaway holidays. Just an honest-to-goodness day of national reflection.

Three thousand people were murdered in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington on 9/11. They were all innocent. We should never forget that.

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