Upgrd 40: Live From San Diego

At long last, our "live" recording. This episode is available as both an audio podcast an online as a video. As usual Ben and Hunter do not agree, what is your opinion? We discussed:

  • Our first class upgrades flying to San Diego
  • Hunter's opinion on OneWorld's low ranking compared to Sky Team
  • A reflection on our lessons learned in the first 39 podcasts
  • Our new website
  • and more


Download MP3


UA_Flyer October 11, 2009 at 07:27 am

This is by far the best show, not just because it has the video feed. I love the exchanges between Hunter and Lucky!

Great jobs! I look forward to many more podcasts to come.

AS October 11, 2009 at 04:50 pm

Good job on the video, no doubt that was a ton of work to put together, and it came together nicely! [Can it be made bigger?]

re: Ben v Hunter, Hunter easily won the round. Ben's interruptions were disruptive to the flow. His body language seemed angry, unhappy to be there - something was clearly not right.

Hunter, while sometimes crude, was relaxed, and just seemed to fit in better. Advantage, Hunter.

Mike October 11, 2009 at 04:56 pm

@UA_Flyer Thanks for feedback!

@AS - The video can be bigger, I am just not sure how much bandwidth we might use so I have uploaded the smaller version for now. Depending upon downloads this week (or us finally finding a show sponsor!) I will probably upload the larger version later.


Hunter October 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

@UA_Flyer: Thanks for the comments. @AS: Please tell me you are a 22 year old blonde flight attendant.

Josh October 13, 2009 at 05:06 am

@AS Ben felt attacked. Mostly because he was. Hunter scored points by yelling and cussing and talking louder. Ben tried (in vain, over and over again, ad nauseum) to get Hunter to engage in a thoughtful discussion. Seemed like Hunter was not interested in actually discussing the merits of SkyTeam vs. OneWorld.

I think this feud thing got quite a bit out of hand. I actually would have benefited from learning about the differences between those two alliances (and their pros and cons). I'm a little frustrated that Hunter refused to actually have a conversation about flying.

Hunter October 13, 2009 at 06:57 am

@Josh - not quite the whole truth. I was very interested in talking about it, I just wasn't interested in Ben having a simple "no" response to everything I said. Fair enough that you want to take up for Ben, not fair enough that you suggest I didn't try to be productive. I might be a jackass, but I'll admit the faults of the any of the systems / products that are not good, unlike some of my peers.

Josh October 13, 2009 at 03:58 pm

@Hunter - Sorry, Ben needed someone to stick up for him. He was being an obstinate ass, too. I think you guys bring out each others' inner third graders. On your own, I've learned a lot from both of you. When you guys are together and arguing, it's like listening to an elementary school schoolyard squabble.

Josh October 13, 2009 at 04:00 pm

@Hunter - And in fairness, you made a sweeping generalization about the crappiness of OneWorld. Ben was trying to confront you with evidence to the contrary (OneWorld has some very first-class airlines, they have excellent coverage in places SkyTeam barely touches). Sure, he was kind of a jackass about it, and he certainly wasn't listening to your side of it. But it seems you were frustrated too, and weren't so much interested in listening to him, either. Like I said... schoolyard squabble.

Mike October 13, 2009 at 04:03 pm

@Josh - Ben can stick up for himself just fine. And sometimes schoolyard squabbles show that the panelists are passionate about their choice of airline programs which benefits our listeners.

A comparison of alliances wasn't on the agenda for this program - we will revisit it later and cover it in more (civil) detail.

Speaking of which - got your OneWorld pros/cons ready? ;)

Josh October 13, 2009 at 04:22 pm

I'm very ready to talk about OW. I need to start thinking more about some intn'l flying, seeing as I have some SWUs to burn. (Although I guess OW doesn't do much for me there, as I need to be on AA metal.)

David October 13, 2009 at 08:08 pm

A little disappointed by this podcast. It might be entertaining to watch the video version, but the constant yelling made the audio podcast difficult to listen to.

Mike October 13, 2009 at 08:47 pm

@David point taken. As this was our first live recording, with all of us together, we expected it to be rough around the edges. Between lugging all the equipment, setting up in a strange room, lighting, mics, mixers, trying to get the live streaming working - we did a little too much.

Perhaps next time we will just release the video and skip the audio version.

Hunter October 14, 2009 at 01:48 pm

@Josh - well said. It is a 3rd grader thing. It works most of the time, and this time, by overwhelming opinion, it did not. You can't win them all.

@David - you're not the only one who didn't think it was great. The good news is that we are almost never "live" anywhere.

kd5mdk October 14, 2009 at 05:46 pm

I'm going to agree that the audio podcast (that I'm listening to now) really fell apart during the argument. As an AA flyer, I do feel like AA gets really shorted on this podcast in general.

I look forward to your discussion on the new United changes to their upgrade procedures and how attractive that makes AA on JFK-West Coast.

Hunter October 14, 2009 at 09:37 pm

That makes two of us who think AA gets shorted...

Josh October 15, 2009 at 01:55 am

Lets see what we can do about the American under-represented thing. ;)

AS October 17, 2009 at 04:27 am

Just listened to #41. What a (refreshing) difference: Good flow, positive conversation. Disagreements, a few jabs, to see if the other would bite? Sure, but dealt with much, much better. No shouting match, no knife fight. You put #40 behind you.

@Hunter - re: being a 22-year old blonde FA. Sorry dude, can't help you there, not even close to that description.

@Josh - agree, it did get out of hand and merits of Oneworld would have been a good discussion. Hunter made sweeping statements (something like "British Airways just doesn't cut it"?) and got away with them!

Guys - thanks for responding, and for doing the podcasts. Always look forward to them.

JacK October 18, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Good to watch but as mentioned, schoolyard squabble is a bit annoying. Five nice gentlemen, and then there is Hunter. Come on, what are those sunglasses for? Are you a poker player? Hunter might have some good things to say, but all the yelling just pisses me off. Why isn't he able to explain himself without yelling?

Hunter October 21, 2009 at 01:20 am

@JacK: Good to hear your comments, and sorry that you don't like me. Nice cut on me as a person. Have a nice day.

NWAsilvELITE November 17, 2009 at 05:07 pm

Man, you can just feel the love in this podcast! The vibe of the festival must have been in the air.....

Great podcast guys, wish I could have been there. It was really neat to finally put faces with the names and voices. Interestingly enough, Hunter, that is exactly how I pictured you. Freaking Red Dragons, Man! The only thing that you were missing was the horns. I really thought the podcast was going to show a clip of an ambulance with Ben going to the hospital to have Hunter's microphone surgically removed from somewhere at the end.

Good reffing, Cargin!