Welcome to Episode 27 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guest for this episode is Christine Negroni, a highly regarded freelance journalist covering aviation and travel, including for The New York Times. Christine is also an author – she wrote the book Deadly Departures about the TWA Flight 800 disaster, and is penning a book about crash investigations – as well as an avid blogger, and a regular expert source for major media titles.
Safety is the most important part of the airline passenger experience; everything else is secondary. That’s why everyone should be alarmed that the US Federal Aviation Administration has tracked a significant increase in aircraft laser-pointer incidents, and that pilots are reporting many more sightings of drones near airports. Having studied the topic in-depth, Christine shares her thoughts on how the FAA should react to these growing threats, and why it’s so important to do so now to ensure passenger and crew safety.
Next, as airlines cram more seats into aircraft, new hygiene and safety concerns are being flagged by some industry stakeholders and media. For instance, the Airbus A320 family of planes features a new modular galley/lavatory option that has prompted an airline to ask whether it can truly accommodate passengers with reduced mobility (PRMs) and popular Plane Talking reporter Ben Sandilands to ponder whether passengers will even have room to, gulp, wipe their bottoms in such a confined space. Co-hosts Max Flight and Mary Kirby explore how the seat squeeze could affect #PaxEx beyond the seat.
Last but not least, we take the opportunity to talk to Christine about her forthcoming book, Lost and Confounded: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Crashes from the Hawaii Clipper to Malaysia 370, which will be published by Penguin Books in 2016. She tells us about what inspired her to get typing, and why she believes the MH370 tragedy is less of an anomaly than many people think.