Introducing a Sweeping New Column

21_TheWing The World’s Most Popular Frequent Flyer Community with a half-million users. Right now – 7:13 a.m. Mountain Time – 10,342 of them are online. There are more than a million threads. Nearly 20 million posts rolling along like water in a mighty stream. As a cortical workout, it can get demanding. So why The Wing?

Never met but we’ve jammed on his desk phone a couple of times. Let’s call him JT. Imagine a corner office high over LA’s glamorous Sepulveda Blvd. in glass and steel. Probably even a hallway-shag putting green and a bowling team. Imagine.

So JT sends me this email:  I’ve been giving this some thought …. the first could be an introductory piece that outlines the new column and gives an editorial statement declaring the type of column The Wing will be …

Gulp! Consider the rawness of his wording. Without blinking I type back: I’m looking forward to reading your writing of the first column. Not exactly gee-whiz fervor, but I live on a mountain in Utah. Around here they buzz runways to clear away cattle. There are no five-dollar words. No outline. And besides, a first column is like one of those tests where there are no right or wrong answers. Not even any Post-It note criticism. Not yet. You’re clear for takeoff, JT.

I think that first piece should come from you, JT writes back with light-speed professional gravitas. And that’s why I know 10,342 frequent flyers are online at 7:13 a.m. No one fears writing like a writer.

Already 266 words and some of those are JT’s – ha! I’ve almost got his first-column thing done. Right here. Working without a net before The Wing safely starts cribbing material from incomparable FT posts and sifts through sonic aviation news to spotlight the good, the bad and the ugly.

Then comes the delicate part where I copy and paste and match formatting to the The Wing while putting my name on it like it was mine.  All the while spinning something that actually interests me, and I hope you, and I hope, in the end, paints some kind of picture.

But here’s the thing. FT members know everything about the ins-and-outs of airline travel. FT is where inner lives and outer manifestations cross. Where everybody’s got game. What’s the best economy seat on a loaded triple-7? Not a clue. Post that question on FT and you got it.

I’m looking forward to the flight.

Well JT, that’s all you’re getting for an “introductory piece.” I’ve made my peace with it.

Now I’ll sift through nuggets of aviation information and FT threads hoping The Wing delivers a sweeping view of airline travel. Maybe that could be a capital-E editorial statement. The Wing is A Sweeping View of Airline Travel. And world peace. I’m all for world peace.

May it be so.


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