More power to him…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that one Herr Alexander Schoppmann is starting a new airline with first-class service from Germany to Japan. The airline is to be named Smintair.

What will make Herr Schoppmann’s airline gain traction in a crowded market?

Smoking.

Smintair will allow smoking, drinking, and (some) gambling on its flights from Germany to Japan. According to the piece in the Washington Post:

“Other airlines have lost every kind of sympathy for their passengers by leaps and bounds. They treat them like cattle,” said Alexander W. Schoppmann, a former stockbroker who started Smintair. “What all of those carriers want these days is for you to stay in the seat, and you better bloody well stay there, and don’t even ask for anything to eat or drink. You can’t do anything.”

On Smintair, according to Schoppmann, there will be plenty of room for passengers to indulge their vices, whether it’s smoking, drinking or even small-stakes gambling. Fliers will be able to mingle at bars on the upper or lower deck of a Boeing 747, which will be reconfigured to be so roomy that there will be space for just 138 passengers, instead of the 400 or so typically seated by most carriers.

The only thing banned on Smintair will be cramped, cheap economy-class seats, Schoppmann said. Everyone will sit in either first or business class — at round-trip fares to Japan between $6,700 and $14,500 — making Smintair the latest entry in a growing number of new airlines limiting themselves to high-end service.

Well… Your Maximum Leader is raising a glass and lighting a cigar and wishing Herr Schoppmann success. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t fly much any more (he used to fly quite a bit), but when he does he would prefer to be treated well and not have to feel like he is inconveniencing the crew when he would like some water. Now, not being a regular smoker (indeed, your Maximum Leader might partake of a single cigar annually) he isn’t sure that an airline like Smintair would gain his patronage, but other high end carriers might. For example, your Maximum Leader was contemplating using Eos Airlines or Silverjet Airlines for his next trip to the UK. Indeed, Silverjet is right up your Maximum Leader’s alley…

Sadly, gone are the days of the Pan-Am clippers plying the skies with young attractive stewardesses keeping one’s scotch filled and eyes happy…

Carry on.

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