Sunday musings: A reason to visit Canada, modern biz class but retro coach, cab driver confessions


This brilliant marketing idea (above) is worth a look. It made me think of togetherness, contact and warmth — all initiated with batteries. AA upgrades only the front class of plane, leaves coach in the ’80s. An Uber cab drivers provides an edgy inside look at a night behind the wheel of an Uber cab.

Duracell video asks cold Canadian bus passengers to #PowerWarmth

Warmth through connections:

As a particularly brutal winter winds to an end, battery brand Duracell is reminding consumers about a different kind of power — the power of human connection — in a video in which it set up a bus shelter in Montreal with a heater literally powered by the people waiting inside.

In other words, in order to activate the heater, passengers had to remove their gloves and touch the designated handprints on either side of the shelter while holding hands themselves.

American is upgrading its 767s, but only the front half

While Duracell is encouraging togetherness and bringing people together in Canada, the new American Airlines is creating a bigger gulf between what those in coach will get and what those in business class finds. So much of a difference that a normally airline-friendly writer was shocked at AA’s plans for the have-nots. His comment about coach on the lead photo in the newly upgraded AA 767s — “Back there? It’s a museum of how flying in the eighties used to be.”

I gagged when I read about “new seat covers and cushions in the Main Cabin that mirror the design of American’s 777-300ER fleet for a more consistent widebody experience.”

Yes, the seat covers make it look more consistent, as long as you view it from the front and ignore the lack of in-seat entertainment. Very poor indeed.

Of course, if you’re flying up front, you won’t care. The new seat up there is a tremendous improvement over what I consider to be one of the worst Business Class seats flying today.

Next time you’re looking at flights, keep in mind that if you’re on an American 767, you’ll want to bring your own tablet.

Uber cab confessions

City by city, Uber is changing how the taxi business works. Imagine a cab available via your smartphone. Their website says, “Get rides when you need them. Safe. Reliable pickups within minutes. All from your phone with Uber.” Your driver may be someone like GQ’s Mickey Rapkin who writes this edgy exposé where he saw and heard some things he’ll never forget.

I should explain. For the past week, I’ve turned my 2013 Prius (fuck yeah) into a taxicab, driving nights for uberX, the low-cost arm of the ride-on-demand company Uber, which, if you live in a major American city, either has already transformed how you get around town or will within the next few years.

Here’s how it works: Download the app and enter your credit card information. When you need a ride — in anything from a town car to a Prius — open the app and press a button. That’s it. Drivers in Uber’s network are circling your neighborhood, and by the magic of GPS, the closest one is arriving at your door, oh, right about…now.

  • Lisa Simeone

    Charming video.

    And whoa, Charlie — you allowed the “F” word to appear on your blog — pretty daring. I know some people who would get their knickers in a twist over such a thing . . . !