2002-08-01 / Arts & Entertainment

C’est La Vie

©2002 King
By Don Flood

Features Synd., Inc.

Hi, I’m John Travolta.

Fly Me

John Travolta is on an unusual mission.

As a goodwill ambassador for Australia's Qantas Airlines, Vinnie Barbarino -- I mean Travolta -- is piloting a Boeing 707 around the world.

The idea: to encourage people to fly again.

(Digression warning! Under Federal Truth in Column Writing Guidelines, we are required to warn readers of impending digressions, which may or may not have a point.

The following digression has been given an Orange rating, which means you may continue reading but that an extra level of caution is recommended. Caution for what, we don't know. But watch out, here it comes.)

And no I'm not going to use an airline column as an excuse to join the 5 billion other writers and comedians who complain about airline food.

OK, I will, but just briefly so that I can provide some insight into how I believe airlines decide which flights deserve food.

ATTENDANT 1: Do we serve a meal this flight?

ATTENDANT 2: Well, is it during mealtime?

ATTENDANT 1: Yes!

ATTENDANT 2: Idiot! Of course not!

(This has been a test of Federal Column Digression Warning System. In the event of an actual full-scale digression emergency, you would have been asked to put down this newspaper immediately and curl up into a little ball. We now return to our regularly scheduled column.)

To its great credit, Qantas may have hit upon an exciting new way to encourage air travel -- celebrity pilots!

This would be especially effective, if as in Travolta's case, you could combine a flight with a Travolta film fest, highlighting all of his great movies, including -- well, I'll get back to you on that -- but I think this idea would really fly. (Ha! Ha!)

Hopefully, other celebrities would be willing to do their part, even if they're not pilots.

Brad Pitt, given enough time, could be trained to handle baggage check-in or work the ticket counter.

Julia Roberts would be a sensational flight attendant; people might actually watch the speech on safety procedures.

And not only A-list stars are needed. B-stars, has-beens, the many thousands ready to get out of rehab, America's skyways can use them all.

Aging action stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger could find a new career by helping with security.

Remember Kathie Lee Gifford, how she used to dance and sing around those cruise ships? ("If my friends could see me now!") She could do the same thing on random flights for the airlines -- in person!

OK, I guess that would scare people away, but that doesn't mean she couldn't drive one of those shuttle buses from the airport to the parking lot, as long she kept her eyes on the road and didn't start singing.

But the main thing is, with Tony Manero -- I mean, John Travolta -- in the cockpit, we could get this country flying again.

Especially if he brought along some good Italian food.


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