Welcome to Episode 058 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guest for this show is journalist Harriet Baskas, who writes about airports, travel, museums and a wide variety of other topics for outlets that include NBCNews.com, CNBC.com, USATODAY.com and others. She is also the creator of the StuckatTheAirport.com blog, and a contributor to Runway Girl Network.
First, gender equality in the aviation industry was a major topic of discussion at the recent International Air Transport Association annual general meeting in Sydney. And as many of you will have heard, Qatar Airways chief, and newly appointed IATA chair, Akbar Al Baker had a shocking “open mouth, insert foot” moment when he suggested that the job of CEO can only be held by a man. Harriet, who was present at the AGM, shares her thoughts on what transpired, and on IATA’s efforts to be more inclusive of women, including in the C-Suite. Co-host Mary Kirby makes the case for why IATA should issue a formal apology.
Next, the Transportation Security Administration continues to confiscate record numbers of firearms at airport security checkpoints, despite warning travelers that they cannot bring guns in their carry-on bags. Incredulously, more than a few passengers try to fly with loaded weapons. Harriet, who has been tracking this story, considers if anything can be done to ensure passengers don’t pack heat when they fly. And co-host Max Flight chimes in as a gun owner.
Last but not least, Harriet’s Stuck at the Airport blog is known for giving passengers great advice on how best to make the hours fly by at airports. Harriet delivers a fresh list of clever new installations, entertainment options, and concessions at airports. And Harriet, Max and Mary weigh in on the topic of traveling with cannabis now that some states have legalized its recreational use.