Movie theater opens at Portland Int’l Airport

It took more than three years to make it happen, but on Thursday the marquee lights at the Hollywood movie theater inside Portland International Airport were switched on and a series of short films by Oregon artists began to play.

The mini-cinema has less than 20 seats but, with standing space, has room for more than 40 people to enjoy the hour-long selection of films that will be shown round-the-clock and refreshed quarterly.

Hooray for Hollywood!



Free chat + Free movies on Alaska Airlines

Alaska is one of the airlines offering  travel waivers for passengers affected by winter weather this week, which means you may have to wait to try out the airlines’ newest perks:

Free use of iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger on Gogo-equipped flights.

The option is offered in a beta version right now and should be fully functional by January 24th, the airline promises.

Also free (through March 31, 2017): access  – on your devices – to the all the entertainment offered to Alaska Airlines passengers during flight, including Hollywood movies and popular TV shows.

The airline’s new Premium Class service also debut this week on some routes, offering passengers who have purchased this perk extra legroom, early boarding, complimentary snacks and alcoholic beverages. About 40 percent of Alaska’s fleet has been retrofitted with the new premium class section seating so far and the airline promises that 90 of the fleet will offer this option by the end of 2017.


Hawaiian Airlines’ 3 new liveries for Disney’s “Moana”


A new Hawaiian-themed Hawaiian themed move – “Moana” – is coming and Hawaiian Airlines is working with the Walt Disney studios to bring out three Airbus A330 aircraft with special livery.

The design of the first plane has been revealed and it features the characters from the movie. The next two liveries will be revealed next month.

All planes will fly on Hawaiian’s U.S. domestic routes and international destinations through March of 2017 and you can track where they’ll be here.


As part of the collaboration Hawaiian Airlines will feature a “Moana” caption-contest , with a grand prize of a trip for two to Los Angeles to attend the Hollywood Premiere of Moana.

Other movie-themed collaboration efforts include videos, Moana-themed amenities including luggage bins and  inflight entertainment, as well as limited-edition products such as blankets, towels, and apparel.

They’ll also be a line of items  you can buy – so if you’re taking your kids on a Hawaiian Airlines flight, bring your credit card…

“Sully” the movie: a view and a review


Courtesy Warner Bros.

The Sully movie, from Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood, starring Oscar winner Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, of “Miracle on the Hudson” fame,  is out in theaters now.

And while I know it has a happy ending, I’m not sure yet if I can go see it.

But I did ask two smart folks with some insider knowledge to share some thoughts on the film.

Christine Negroni, whose book, The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters,  is about to be published by Penguin, said:

“In the Times, Michael Wilson writes that no one will go to see “Sully” for the airport scenes.

About that, he is wrong. Aviation geeks will love the film for all the luscious shots of planes, airports, takeoffs, flybys. It’s gorgeous. And the pilots aren’t so bad looking either.

They got a lot right. They got some things wrong. And the tension between the pilots and the crash investigators has the feel of Hollywood heroes and cardboard villains, a created tension to serve a dramatic narrative.

It is interesting to me that the filmmakers took a man who has been hailed as a hero since the accident for what he did on the plane and lionized him even more. In “Sully” he is made into the wise one who had to set the NTSB investigators on the right path, as if they couldn’t figure it anything out without him. This is the element of the movie that has the tin-kickers so miffed.

The movie does a stellar job of taking us on a trip to the terrifying, not just in the passenger cabin, but in the evolving comprehension in the cockpit of what is happening and the silent communication between the captain and the first officer.

The scenes between Skiles and Sully are some of the best in the film.

I think much more should have been done to examine the post-traumatic-stress-disorder experienced by the crew, which is greatly underappreciated in aviation. In my book, I interview a dozen pilots who handled similar near disasters. To a person they were unprepared for the emotional complications that followed.”

And Patrick Smith, of Ask the Pilot, offered up these comments – and the answer to a question many people ask:

“It’s funny. Flying has become so safe. We’ve engineered away what used to be the most common causes of air disasters.

We’re left with things like… birds.

Bird strikes are common, and the damage tends to be minor, if there’s any at all. I’ve personally experienced many strikes, and the result was, at worst, a minor dent or crease. I should hardly have to mention, however, that strikes are occasionally dangerous. This is especially true when engines are involved, as we saw in 2009 when US Airways flight 1549 glided into the Hudson River after colliding with a flock of Canada geese. Modern turbofans are resilient, but they don’t take kindly to the ingestion of foreign objects, particularly those slamming into their rotating blades at high speeds.

Birds don’t clog an engine but can bend or fracture the internal blades, causing power loss. The heavier the bird, the greater the potential for harm. Flying at 250 knots—in the United States, that’s the maximum allowable speed below 10,000 feet, where most birds are found—hitting an average-sized goose will subject a plane to an impact force of over 50,000 pounds. Even small birds pose a threat if struck en masse. In 1960, an Eastern Airlines turboprop went down in Boston after an encounter with a flock of starlings.

Your next question, then, is why aren’t engines built with protective screens in front? Well, in addition to partially blocking the inflow of air, the screen would need to be large (presumably cone-shaped) and incredibly strong. Should it fail, now you’ve got a bird and pieces of metal going into the motor. The incidents above notwithstanding, the vast improbability of losing multiple engines to birds renders such a contraption impractical.”

See the “E.T.” film for free at Denver Int’l Airport


How’s this for a perfect match.

On August 18, as part of its “Film on the Fly” series, Denver International Airport (DEN) will host a free screening of Steven Spielberg’s classic film, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” on the airport’s open-air plaza between the main terminal and the Denver Westin International Airport hotel

Starting at about 5:30, there will be music, raffle prizes and a performance of live bike stunts on the plaza (to get folks in the mood for E.T.’s famous ride).  The movie will begin showing at sunset.

I attended last month’s “Film on the Fly” offering – “Top Gun” – at DEN airport and had a great time. In addition to local residents who came by for the music and the movie, some passengers waiting for flights joined the audience, as well as airport employees on breaks or on their way home from work.

More information about this and other free events on the DEN airport plaza here.