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Speaker 1: If you're going to get hammered, then you can get hammered in the airport before you get on the plane.

Speaker 2: You're listening to the Miles To Go podcast, the go-to source for travel tips, news and reviews you can't afford to miss. Now, here's your host, travel expert, Ed Pizza.

Ed Pizza: Hey guys, welcome back to the Miles to Go podcast. After a brief hiatus we have Mr. Kerr back on the show and in a way that I really wasn't expecting when he decided to take a hiatus.

Richard Kerr: Well, I hope the microphone got the opening of that silver bullet in there. That's because I'm across the table from Ed Pizzarello.

Ed Pizza: So, Richard decided that since things were a little crazy down in Georgia with a number of positive cases. He was going to take the RV and hit the road. And it's funny because I've known you long enough now to know you weren't joking based on the tone of your voice. But it sure felt like a joke when you said, "Hey, can I park my RV in your driveway for a week?"

Richard Kerr: To be fair, you offered it up first.

Ed Pizza: Did I?

Richard Kerr: You said the driveway is open anytime. I was like, "That's actually a good idea because I know he has a 50-amp power plug in." My air conditioner is going to work on the RV."

Ed Pizza: Note to self, "Be careful what you say around Richard." And yes, when I bought an RV, we were doing an electrical project in the house shortly thereafter and I paid the guy a couple of 100 bucks extra to put a 50-amp circuit outside in case I ever needed to plug my RV in. And the toughest part about that today was we weren't sure if you had a long enough cable to plug it into my plug.

Richard Kerr: And I did not. You had an extension cord and these are very expensive extension cords. But right now, my family is cool. They just went to bed because of its power and the refrigerators run with tomorrow's breakfast because of Ed's power, so he's going to save me a nice bill with the meter spinning outside over and over again.

Ed Pizza: The meter is spinning and the biggest takeaway from all this is that Richard's cord is not long enough. Let's just leave it there.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, but my backing in skills were perfect.

Ed Pizza: Perfect. First try in the driveway. I was impressed. I don't think I've ever pulled it in without having to square it up at least once.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. Fluid small cylinders, maybe that's the trick.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, that seems to be your theme for the show. Anyway, before we get into much deeper, just a quick reminder for folks that you could shoot us questions on the Adam Lancer, I'm on a future episode. You can email and you can text us or leave a voicemail at 571-293-6659. And lastly, you can always hit me up on social media, Twitter, Facebook and the old Instagram @pizzainmotion.
So yeah, so you guys have been in North Carolina, West Virginia. You camped in Virginia before you came to us?

Richard Kerr: Yep.

Ed Pizza: So, it's three stops.

Richard Kerr: We left about, I think, see, 12 days ago now that we've been in the Kerr mobile. Yeah, I mean the kids had a great long Labor Day weekend at the Jellystone in Golden Valley, North Carolina and just a wonderful, the nicest campground we've been to so far. Amazing amenities. Full waterpark. It's right there. It sounds like, it's actually in the middle of nowhere, North Carolina, I'm talking about. As far as nowhere in North Carolina you can get. That's where this place was, but we had a great time there in the mountains.
And then we headed up to West Virginia, one of the three states I had not been to in the great United States. Well, I got to talk about West Virginia. We got you, you live close enough to West Virginia, so you have affirmed my sentiments. We went to a place called Ace Adventure Resort in the newest national park. They're at New River Gorge, National Park in South East West Virginia. Beautiful scenery. I mean, it's everything I've imagined West Virginia to be. Now, let's get to the part of everything I imagined West Virginia to be. We're the only RV at the Ace Adventure Resort This is a place where people go rafting trips-

Ed Pizza: I can't imagine that you were the only one.

Richard Kerr: We were the only RV in this camp. Now, it's a relatively small campground, but the resort covers an entire mountain It is literally the middle of nowhere West Virginia. I won't say nowhere, but it's far away from when we were going down the windy roads with the RV, I was like, "We're going the wrong way." Even though Waze and Google Maps were telling me this is where to go.
As soon as we get there, they have this waterpark. People go on rafting trips. They have this huge music festivals. They have the infrastructure set up there, but we're the only RV and their RV park is right, it's literally we checked in Labor Day, so I guess everybody else had left, which makes sense. But the RV campground that covers this, that's in this resort is on a dead end road and I noticed the first night, people were going down this dead end, right? Like that our RV is on and a few minutes later, they're coming back. And so, we go check out. We go explore what's at the end of this road. Some cabins that they rent out, but none of the cabins were rented. Get a little bit sketched out because...

Ed Pizza: A little bit?

Richard Kerr: ... after going around the area a little bit and seeing the locals and toggled some people. I shared some of this on Instagram with some West Virginia locals who follow me, sent me a message. They're like "Hey yeah, that area has been pretty terribly ravaged by the opioid and meth epidemics.
So, the first night I mean, there's no ambient lights. You're in the middle of the woods. You're in the mountain. You're far away from everybody. And she's just a little bit worried because these cars continue doing this all night. Regularly, there's a car that I hear go by the RV, 11:00, 12:00. I get woken up at 3:00 AM. Same thing happens the next night. We're supposed to stay for three nights and Emily and I, we went on this amazing hike called Long Point Trail. If you're ever there in New River Gorge National Park, go do the Long Point Trail hike. We did it with our kids. It was 3.5 miles there and back. Awesome.
But we're on the hike and we look each other like, "We don't want to be here tonight." This the first time in a very long time that I felt like I should have been armed. I should have had, because I was just, we were just worried that we're going to get caught in the crossfire of drug. It was obviously drug deals were going. I'm not. Hey, everybody, if you're listening to this show, like he's just exaggerating. But it was literally every 30 minutes through all hours of the night on a dead end road in the middle of nowhere in this adventure resort camp. Cars going down, coming back five minutes later, and it was different cars every time.
And it was like, "Okay, there's something here that I don't want to be caught in the middle of. I don't want somebody to think there's an easy target when they're just coming by and we're all by ourselves, the only RV, so." So, we were on this hike in the afternoon, and yeah. Em and I looked at each other, we're like, "It's time to go." So, we literally ran back to the campsite, packed everything up, and we left at 5:00. And I booked a KAO that was about two and a half hours away. And we drove to Virginia, leaving at 5:00 PM. Actually, we didn't leave until after 6:00. So, going slow with RV. We didn't go to bed until 10:00 PM that night after setting up, went to KAO for just one night before we went to the next place here in crosstalk.

Ed Pizza: That's like an hour past your bedtime.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, it's past my bedtime right now., of course. No, it was. But I mean, this was interesting. It's been awesome. It's been amazing. Stories everywhere. We were just in Luray. We went to Luray Caverns, the number one tourist trap in Northwest Virginia, now that I've been there. I'm kidding.

Ed Pizza: You thought it was more of a tourist trap than I did. We didn't do, to be fair, we didn't really spend a whole lot of time in all the shops and adjacent things. We really were there mostly crosstalk.

Richard Kerr: You talking about the included values with the $80 in tickets I spent to see a toy museum and a car museum. Yes.

Ed Pizza: Well, sure, but the caverns were pretty cool.

Richard Kerr: They're cool. I just, I do... so, here's this, Emily thought it was cool and the kids thought it was cool. And she's like, "What's your problem? Why don't you think this is cool?" I don't when they take something that awesome and they cheese it up with the tourist stuff. I wish they had left it as authentic as possible. They claim they weren't doing guided tours anymore because of COVID. I have no idea what that means. You couldn't really get any information besides this little pamphlet they gave you where, off of this stuff written up on this pamphlet was cheesed up and hand up. And just like I really wish I knew the real history and geology and the history of this place rather than getting buy three, get one fudge coupons was my ticket. That's my problem with it. I don't like-

Ed Pizza: That's fair. That's fair.

Richard Kerr: I don't like when they do that.

Ed Pizza: Well, you did buy some fudge, but it's fair the kids wanted fudge. But you bring up a good point. And we haven't been when there was a guided tour, I think it's a valid point. I think the things that I found cool about Luray for folks who haven't been. I mean, it's like most caverns, but I think what was interesting about this one versus many of the others was just the sheer size of some of the rooms were a lot bigger than some of the caverns that we went to on trips.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. It's impressive to go down there and see. It just leads me to think like, "Okay, how much of this is real and how much has been altered for the tourists experience?" And I don't know the answer to that. What I actually found the most interesting of the whole thing is included with it was I think, I'm going to get this name wrong, but it's the Shenandoah Valley Historical Village is right there at the entrance of the caverns and your ticket to the caverns gets you into this historical village. And the Shenandoah Valley is something I've heard about. By no means a Civil War buff, but I'm very interested in the Civil War.
A part of this museum had a lot of authentic uniforms and the actual stories of the guys behind the uniforms, 27-year-olds who'd become colonels. And they had their diaries and their books and the pressed flowers that they had kept in their diaries from the women that they'd met on the way. It was that part was actually really cool to me in the Americana there and the actual history of, "Here's a picture of this guy, here's his thing. Here's the 10-type that he sent his mom, and this is how he died. And oh by the way, he did become a full-bird Colonel when he was 27, because he went to Virginia Millet."
That stuff is really interesting to me, so I enjoyed that. But the rest of it, just you know?

Ed Pizza: It was a day for your kids, man.

Richard Kerr: It was a day for the kids.

Ed Pizza: Do you really need to crap all over it? It's a day for your kids, have a great time.

Richard Kerr: The kids had a great time and I didn't say anything to the kids to make them think that. But this whole trip has been-

Ed Pizza: But if they ever listen to this podcast, they're going to know that dad hated that day.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, I think by the time they listen to this podcast and comprehend it, they'll know me well enough to probably or they'll be the same as me for better for worse. But it's been an awesome trip. We got out of Georgia. The kids, we've done homeschool. I've been working. Unfortunately, my internet has, despite my research, not been the connectivity that I' really hoped for. I do have a cell signal booster. I did fit camp grounds that said they had Wi Fi, but not so much luck there. But now we're here at the pizza state and the Wi-Fi is excellent

Ed Pizza: You got gigabyte in there. The first stop on the tour for that.

Richard Kerr: The Wi-Fi is excellent. The silver bullets were cold. Had a kebab rice dinner tonight. That was awesome, so.

Ed Pizza: Full shower, full bath inaudible.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, first time I was taking the shower not on an RV in 12 days. But I don't, I don't actually mind the RV experience. My wife, on the other hand, is very appreciative of the real shower, just.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I'm just picturing you in that, in that shower.

Richard Kerr: It's a tight fit.

Ed Pizza: That feels a little bit Tommy Boy, "Fat guy in a little coat."

Richard Kerr: It's a tight fit there in RV shower, but it gets the job done. So, it's been awesome. I've really enjoyed it. I do have to go up to New York. By the time folks will listen to this, I'll be in New York City. So, just taking the whole fleet, bouncing around New York flying out of DC. I haven't been to Reagan Airport I think since I lived here almost four years ago now. So it's just been awesome. Really enjoyed it. And looking forward to still more adventures ahead because we're not in any rush to go back home, just.

Ed Pizza: Yeah and I'm only mildly jealous, but I am taking my trailer in for a warranty work tomorrow. So I expect that it will be gone for at least two months. So, we're thinking about a December camping trip, which is a little unfortunate because it gets cold up here. So, we're going to cover, we're going to talk a little bit of Southwest, both their alcohol ban and then the short companion pass promo that they have. And if we have time, we might dip a little bit into some Radisson and American Airlines stuff.
But I also wanted to loop back on some stuff, some reviews that were left by some folks and a question from a listener. One of these reviews, I know, Richard you read. The other one, he's been out in the wilderness. I don't think I forwarded it to him. The first one was somebody who was upset at us because they felt like we ridiculed one of the other one-star reviews that people sent in. And yeah, I had to go back and listen to the episode. And first and foremost, I think one of the things that we were critical of that reviewer for was claiming that we were staking out a political position.
At the end of the day, I mean, my voting record is a mishmash of stuff, but I'm probably a lot more Republican than Democrat. So, I certainly do take exception to be the flaming liberal. But at the end of the day and we've said this a number of times back and forth, and I'm not going to be convinced otherwise, this isn't politics. This is science. At the end the day, vaccines are science. We were all required to take them to go to school. And at some point, kids will be required to take the COVID vaccine to go to school. It's just, that's just the fact.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, I wish there was a vaccine for the kids. which is you know. Unfortunately, we've decided to homeschool the kids again and the situation back home in Georgia. Ladies and gents, you can look it up. It's the Piedmont Hospital in Newnan, Georgia has been overwhelmed with the severe level and this is the official, if you're looking for the website, so everybody can look at this. And know I'm not just saying bombastic things. But the, Georgia Coordinating Center tells EMS if they can bring patients to a hospital or not. And Piedmont in Newnan has been severe.
And as I look into this right now, it once again is a total diversion, which means the hospitalist around the corner from my house is not accepting ambulances now for weeks on end. And the Georgia National Guard has been requested to come in and that's because my county is now 38% vaccinated and not making any more headway. So, disappointing. It's science, it's not politics. And I encourage everybody to get a vaccine so that we can get over this and just get on with the way that life should be if people would trust the science.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, then we got another one that came in on Friday. I was actually on my way back from Reno and got this one. And it's a long one, so I won't read the whole thing, but the genesis of it is that this person as well decided that we deserved a one-star rating and thought that we were, that our stance on vaccines is wrong because we should be sending them overseas to people that are at higher risk. And, I think I'd say two things about that. And I'll be curious to hear your opinion because I didn't mention this to Richard before we recorded and he likes it when I surprise him with things.
First and foremost, I don't know what the right answer is about whether we should be sending vaccines across versus some of the people in the US. I will say that when I think about a neighborhood like Richard's and I think about not just kids, but elderly folks who can't get, like that hospital was put there for a reason geographically, so that it could serve a population. And if you have to drive past that hospital to get emergency care, you're putting some people's lives at risk. And in this case, pretty much anyone who's got a critical care issue right now in Richard's neighborhood.
And so for all intents and purposes, I'm sure there's an argument to be had about when we should or shouldn't send these, but the reality of situation is is that we still have tons of people in the country that are refusing vaccines. And as much as some people might claim that to be something that's just freedom and really only affects them, I think Richard brings up a great example of where it really does affect others. He can't go to his hospital because of the choices other people has made.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, actually, my mom had to go to the ER just last week, and my mother-in-law had to go to the ER today. And because of the decisions of everybody else, they're in Georgia in the South. Their wait times were incredibly long, and they had to worry about whether they were going to get adequate care. So, it's not just about you, it's about everybody around you. And I encourage everybody to get the vaccine.

Ed Pizza: All right. Well, on the lighter subjects. Let's talk a bit about Southwest. And I know you've been a bit out of touch with the wonderful Wi-Fi that you've had across the across the mid-Atlantic. But we talked a little bit about this before we hopped on that Southwest has a new promotion for their companion pass. And for those that don't recall, we've talked about it a bunch on the podcast, but I think a lot of the travel bloggers, believe the companion pass to be one of the best, if not the best perk that you can earn right now from airline loyalty.
Essentially, traditionally, what it used to be was that you could earn a full year or more of flying, where anytime you purchased a ticket on Southwest using cash or points. That you could bring someone along just for the passenger service fee, about $5.60 for the entire year and it could be different people at different times. So, incredibly valuable, especially for family travelers like Richard and I. And they have a promo now. It's interesting. If you book two one-way flights or a roundtrip and then you have to fly it by mid-November. And if you do that, you'll get a companion pass for essentially most of January and all February of next year. And so, it's like, "Well, would you book one round trip flight on Southwest to be able to fly a lot in January and February?"

Richard Kerr: I guess it's such limited scope that I don't quite understand it. So, you might get a few extra round trips, if you're going to fly round trip or two one-ways on Southwest anyways.

Ed Pizza: Sure.

Richard Kerr: But November isn't great. But is it going to make me go out of my way, when we're at a point where, again, I've got young kids who can't get vaccinated, so we're traveling by road, and we're avoiding old spaces as we can right now. So, it's not enticing. I just, I don't I mean, it's like again, one of these is cool, but does nothing for me. I don't, I mean, how many times would you fly in January, February to get use out of this when your kid, when a family or companions in school or work or whatever.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, I think, so I don't know if this is exactly where they came up with the idea from, but I could see a way where something like this could make sense. But I feel like it's missing the rest of the story. So, I think if you want to say something along the lines of like look, obviously, well, not obviously, but for folks who don't know, bookings have tailed off pretty significantly for airlines and hotels over the past handful of weeks as the Delta variant has really ramped things up. So, airlines hotels are again looking for ways to motivate people to travel. And certainly this is one way to do that. But I think what would be a better way, especially without really having a great sense of where the end of the pandemic really is.
I mean, at this point, the mask mandate on airplanes has, I think been extended to January at this point from September is to make this some sort of rolling thing. Where it's like, "Look, we're going to give you two months of companion pass, and for every additional X number of flights you book, we're going to continue to expand your, extend your companion pass into '22 later in the year." So, the more you fly in '21, the longer you get a companion pass in '22, like splitting up the requirement for companion pass in a much smaller chunks just to try to get, because as you say, two months isn't a long time. It's also not a typical school vacation time. I get Presidents Day weekend, but that's about it. So, I'd to see this extend further out for more effort rather than just this one-done thing.

Richard Kerr: Southwest never extended companion passes during the pandemic, right? I mean, people who got absolutely no use out of it in '20, am I saying that right? I don't think?

Ed Pizza: That's a really good question.

Richard Kerr: I do not think that they've extended them at all. I've still seen people commenting like, "When I couldn't fly whatsoever, I still have a companion pass that was no good." Maybe I'm saying that wrong, but now, it's doing some quick Google in here. I do not think they extended them for some reason.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, I see reduced elite status requirements. I do see extended passes, passes extended again, but doesn't look like in '22. Earning A lister has a companion pass in '21 or '22, extending existing companion passes extended through June 30, 2021. Passes set to expire in June 30, will now expire on December 31st. So, that buys people all the time. And I don't see anything here that shows that they've been extended past then. So, maybe we'll see another extension coming out past that.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, it maybe it's just a little too. I mean, yeah, if you can go book a couple cheap Southwest tickets this year, why not? Go for it, but I'm not going to be flying enough in January or February with my wife or kids to get, you said of, a have a two-month companion pass.

Ed Pizza: And it's funny, because when I brought this story up, one of the things that you said to me was, "Hey, let's talk about the alcohol ban instead." And so, to reset this for everyone, the airline stopped serving alcohol a number of months ago, based on which airline you were. It happened at different times. But there was some belief that some of the craziness going on, on planes right now and there's a lot of it was due to people who were already belligerent, concerned, frustrated about masks or people not wearing their mask correctly. Alcohol fueling that belligerence, and turning into some of the videos that we've seen that are just horrific.
And so the airlines have, pretty much across the board, stopped serving alcohol. And so, we sit here now, they're extending those bans into 2022. And I mean, you and I were talking about this from upstairs after dinner, so share your thoughts with folks in terms of what you think about this in terms of what effect it might have on people doing stupid things on airplanes.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, so mainly, they've only banned alcohol in the economy. In first class, you could still get booze. So it's like saying, "Only well-behaved people fly first class."

Ed Pizza: Of course.

Richard Kerr: Which is ridiculous, because we've seen tons of terrible behavior from first class passengers.
The next thing is if you're going to get hammered, then you can get hammered in the airport before you get on the plane. At which point, the flight attendant should be able to tell, "Hey, this person's already inebriated, so maybe I shouldn't serve them anymore anyways." Or if you're on a flight that's, not a trans con and somebody is on their third Jack and Coke on a flight from Atlanta to New York. At that point, the flight attendant should also say, "Hey, you don't even have to get confrontational, you can just skip the row about it and not serve him again."
So, I just don't understand were not serving alcohol in economy class, when people can already really drink a lot in the airport at the airport lounges they want to, or a flight attendant can use your common sense and judgment to say, "Hey, we're not going to serve you." I'm just not sure how this solves problems. Is it like, "We don't want flight attendants to have to worry about this? This really doesn't hurt our bottom lines as much and it makes our lives easier? Because we don't have to cater this and it saves us on costs? Or is it like a view thing where we want to put out a good press that shows people were doing stuff?
Because really this is about, in my opinion, most of the time mental illness. People who have problems way before they get on the plane and before they get alcohol in their system. It's not serving booze economies. It's not going to change the things.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I think you touched on two things that we talked about earlier. One is I think this is at least some affirmation that maybe it was different pre-pandemic, but that in the current climate, there isn't a lot of the revenue coming from alcohol sales. Because I think, as you say, I don't know that the alcohol is massively fueling the existing problem. And so, well, for them being willing to stop it, tells me it wasn't worth a lot of money to them. And then you just said something that you didn't mention upstairs, but I think I really agree with, which is, this is at least a way for the airlines to show that they're trying to do something.
And I think, at least from where I sit, we hear about these stories. And maybe it's just because it takes a long time to weave its way through the court system or they're not reported in the same way. But I don't hear about the concurrent fines and then prison sentences for these folks. And so, I think if you want to have this deterrent for people doing stupid things on airplanes, then you need to find them large chunks of money frequently.
And the folks on that side, Destinations have brought this up on recent episodes, where there aren't a lot of people getting fined, that ultimately, people are getting it managed by the police but ultimately not getting fined. And I think you hit someone with a $10,000 fine for doing something stupid on an airplane. And that's going to leave a mark. We're going to throw them in jail for a couple of days.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. So, I think I just read, I just pulled up, I just saw the pre, I would say the most impactful incident I've seen is the woman flying Southwest, who punched the Southwest Airlines' flight attendant...

Ed Pizza: Yeah, back row position.

Richard Kerr: ... Back in the back row, back in May before the gentlemen stopped in. And so, she has now been charged with assaults. Let's see, charged with assault resulting serious bodily injury and interference with flight crew members in attendance. And is scheduled to appear in court actually later this week. So, I hope she goes to jail for what she did.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I think it's reported loudly, too.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, reported loudly and that she probably is also going to face a civil suit from that flight attendant, I would say?

Ed Pizza: Yeah.

Richard Kerr: That she's going to be paying a lot of money for a while for everything there. But yeah, these people need to be, look, not only are you not ever going to be able to fly again, but now you're going to pay thousands of dollars in fines, and go to jail, because it's just not warranted. I mean, yeah, hammer it, put it in the news and make everybody aware. I'm just these fights, it's like, "What is going on in Miami? It seems like the Miami Airport crosstalk.

Ed Pizza: Well, I was going to mention this Miami incident to you.

Richard Kerr: What is going on? That guy who was at the... he was obviously either on something again, it's a drug or thing. It has nothing to do with serving alcohol on the plane, but absolutely out of his mind. If you didn't see this gentleman verbally assaulting, and came within a few inches of assaulting.

Ed Pizza: And not even verbally, too. Well, yeah, I mean, well, he tried to throw the stanchion and the way through it, but not, didn't hit anyone with it. But I've heard mentioned, too, that he was a veteran.

Richard Kerr: Yeah.

Ed Pizza: And so, there was talk, a question about was he suffering from PTSD? Because I when you see that behavior, there's really only two explanations that I can see for it. One is some sort of chemical or alcohol infused rage or some level of mental disorder, and, PTSD being, a common one. But in that respect, you say, "Well, I mean, at a bare minimum, that person shouldn't be able to fly, even if they did serve our country."
And certainly, I'm incredibly respectful of people that gave their lives in the defense of our democracy. But he put other people's lives at risks. And so, flying isn't a right, it's a privilege. And if he can't comport himself in a reasonable way in the airports, and until he can demonstrate that, then yeah, those people shouldn't be flying.

Richard Kerr: None of which has anything to do with serving alcohol, only in economy, which is I don't understand this move by the airlines unless it's not making them that much money or it's a PR thing or they don't want to cater, what have you. But also plenty of bad actors in first class, and...

Ed Pizza: Plenty.

Richard Kerr: inaudible cocktail, but the amount of cocktails that I've seen served on a 9:00 AM flight, so I'm in an hour and a half flight to New York, I'm like, "Okay." That's maybe the flight attendant should say, "Oh, sorry. We're landing soon. I'm not going to give you a fifth drink on this hour and a half flight."

Ed Pizza: Yeah. I had a guy next to me and I don't know which flight it was in sometime past two weeks. And he was hitting the gin in first class, super heavy. And I thought the thing that was interesting about it, and to keep in mind, I don't on planes for the most part, very infrequently. Occasional glass of champagne in premium economy, premium cabin and stuff like that. But is it normal when you order say like a gin and tonic, which I think was what he was ordering for the flight attendant to bring you two bottles every two minutes or so?

Richard Kerr: Recently, yes.

Ed Pizza: Interesting.

Richard Kerr: When I've gotten upgraded on American-

Ed Pizza: I didn't think that was the case.

Richard Kerr: So, I don't ever drink flying home because I got to drive once I get to Atlanta. But if I usually take the Sunday Night flight up to New York, I'll have, I'll order a drink because I'm just going to get in the Uber and go to the hotel and go to sleep. Lately, when I've been ordering the drinks, I get two now and I've always been like, "Huh."

Ed Pizza: It's probably the booze from economy classic. They got so many bottles up front, they're trying to burn through.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, I think that's just. Yeah, but what I do is I pour one in the drink and I put the other in my backpack and it's a cocktail for later in the week after work because I'm like, "Well, I only need two. I'm just going to sleep." But just recently I've been getting two. I don't know what that is.

Ed Pizza: Richard has a little freedom liquids baggie when he goes through security. He's now one of the most interesting things I want to look at.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. No, it's like yeah, I get back from work the Sunday night, order a drink on the way up, getting the Lyft, go to the hotel, or yeah, I'm getting the Lyfts and go to hotel and go to bed. And I'll get back to the hotel room after Monday's work and be like, "Oh, I got a cocktail." I don't got to go pay $15 at the hotel bar or whatever, like I had.

Ed Pizza: Toothpaste, Listerine, deodorant, a couple of bottles of Jack, little Bombay gin.

Richard Kerr: I need only one.

Ed Pizza: Only one. Oh, man. So, last topic and then we're also going to touch on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 as well. But last happy topic or maybe, not happy but just a couple of announcements about route delays, again. And it makes me wonder if one of these is ever going to fly, so American delayed Dallas-Tel Aviv again. Which I think is a little bit less interesting because they fly it. But they also delayed Seattle-Bangalore and this was an interesting one when American came out with it. It was one of those announcements that was really a surprise to me.
Now, obviously, it came along with a partnership with Alaska, which made some sense. So essentially, American was going to cede some ground in Seattle, having Alaska as a partner, and then they were going to spin up the long-haul service, they couldn't necessarily spin up somewhere else and have enough feed for, which is this flight to India. And they couldn't really do it out of, say, LAX and they don't have to feed into someplace like San Francisco. But Seattle had the lift in Alaska.
And this was really interesting in that, there's a lot of tech jobs, obviously, up in Seattle and there's a huge population in Bangalore. And, it's one of those things where this flight has been delayed and delayed and delayed. It was announced pre pandemic, and I just wonder in this new world of were the airlines is looking at it. Is something like this ever really flies?

Richard Kerr: There might be some politics behind it with some contracts from some of those big tech companies that have put some dollars behind it. Why they don't just say, "Forget it." But I mean, based on the COVID situation in India and the COVID situation in the US. Last I looked, we got to be two of the worst countries in the world for how it's going.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. We could be the last two, right now.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, by how it's going. No idea if it's going to happen. But I would imagine, that there'd been some, the American sales team probably hard to work with that, with some of those tech companies that had offices. I mean, and you got all the other behind those tech companies, you got the PwCs and Deloittes of the world auditing those folks and going back and forth. Though, I imagine some pretty big dollar is at stake, but yeah, really interesting route.
I know folks who were booked on the inaugural several times and continue to be pushed back. But just pretty, really interesting route. I mean, I honestly it wasn't even up to date on the long hauls American was flying from Seattle to Europe. What somebody told me the other day, I was like, "Wait a minute. American flies Seattle-London? What?"

Ed Pizza: Yeah, yeah. They put in one frequency when at the same time they announced Seattle-Bangalore.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, I was like, "Wow, I get to go back and look at what American is doing that of Seattle." So really interesting route. It'd be really cool flight to be able to do that one day, but I have no time in the near future.

Ed Pizza: And I want to see and I should have looked this up before we hopped on the air, but I'm curious what award availability looks like on Seattle-London. And because I've seen some crazy price. I was doing some research for some other things we did. And I've seen some 400,000 mile one-way business class fares on American to Europe. It's just insane some of them, I've seen.

Richard Kerr: Who knows. I know, we'll see. Huge inaudible presence out of Seattle to Europe between KLM and Delta, I know they go there, so I'm sure that's for-

Ed Pizza: The Delta fly Seattle-London?

Richard Kerr: They fly Seattle somewhere, Seattle-Paris, I think, is what they fly. That's got to be 400,000 sky miles each way crosstalk to go. But no, like I said, when I was in my first inaudible in Seattle, and none of those very few flights to Europe from Seattle existed from the American carriers. So, interesting to see that market continue to be a battleground for everybody.

Ed Pizza: It is crazy. All right. Well, let's wrap up with a little bit of 9/11 talk. And it's timely in that, obviously, it's the 20th Anniversary of 911. Richard and his family got here earlier today. And it's, let's see, today is the 12th, yeah, one day after 9/11. Gosh, I should know what date it is.
So, it's funny. You and I have been podcasting together for a long time. And it didn't hit me until you're sitting on my couch and told me where you were for 9/11, so I'm not going to steal your thunder. But I think it's interesting how different our perspectives are of a day that we both know so well.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, that's because you're an old man.

Ed Pizza: I am absolutely that and feel every day of it.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, actually, Emily always makes fun of me. I've been fascinated by 9/11 since it's happened, for whatever reason. Any documentaries out there, any content any things I can find that aren't wild conspiracy theory stuff, I eat up. And I just find it absolutely fascinating to see all the stories behind the stories.
First thing, first story, I told you today was the new New York Jets head coach and why he's the head coach in the New York Jets, basically, to be influenced by his brother who escaped from one of the towers. And it led to him having a reckoning that he wasn't where he wanted to be in life. So he went became a grad assistant for college football. And now, today, he had his first game as the head coach in the New York Jets basically, because of 9/11.
But I was in 10th grade and I was in England where I was going to high school for a couple of years. And obviously, all British school. Not an American school or anything. And it was 2:00 in the afternoon and the headmaster came and asked me to come out of class and showed me a print out of some BBC page that he had printed, had a picture of the World Trade Center on fire. And me being in 10th grade and out of the country, I was like, "Okay, why is this guy telling me this?" I didn't even comprehend. I was like, "The building is on fire. Okay. Why is this guy telling me this?"
But just an hour later, we got out of school and I went home and my mom had been watching the TV the whole day. And that was when the first gravity of the situation, hit me. And then the next day going back to school, and everybody asked me if I was okay, because the only American in school. If I knew anybody in New York. And I was like, "No, I don't know anybody. Yeah, I think it was pretty scary."
But I do remember flying the next few times. We flew Transatlantic, being a little bit on edge, because we would fly back and forth pretty regularly to go home for holidays or summer, and whatnot. And it was just a completely different flying experience for the next couple of years of going home. But, we were just watching another 60 minutes episode upstairs, watching the fire department New York stories and those. The next generation of firefighters who lost their parents in the Twin Towers going for it. And one day I'll be able to explain to my kids what that day means and what it meant and what it meant going forward.
I think that the 20th Anniversary, what it's meant most to me is how divided we are now. When how together, everybody was 20 years ago. And it just made me a lot sadder this year than it has before because everything is so divisive. Whereas as, as of that afternoon of September 11th, I felt like all New Yorkers and all Americans were very much united. And that's what it brought out to me.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, and I'll start there and work my way backwards. I think one of the greatest examples of that was being one of the most divisive presidential elections in our history, that went to the Supreme Court. And a sub 50% approval rating for George W. Bush prior to 9/11. And in the weeks after, as we started to respond and come together to country, the approval rating was somewhere around 90%. And it was a unified message across the country. And I remember that vividly.
And I think back to, I think, the thing that hit me, and I commented about this on my blog a few days ago. I think the thing that really hit me about the 20th Anniversary, because we're also coming up on the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and it really struck me that I understand why milestones are more important. I understand why there are more stories today than there were last year, because it's 20 years versus 19, and TV, and newspapers and all that stuff, make a big deal about those milestones. But at the end the day, it really shouldn't be any different for those of us that lived it.
And I'm not trying to foist my own philosophies of this on everybody else. I'm just saying from my standpoint, what I spent the day doing was talking to my kids who neither were alive back then. I have a 15-year-old daughter, and I have a 10-year-old son. And they've both been to the Flight 93 Memorial. We spent a bunch of time there. They've been in New York, and they've seen some of the stuff there, but they haven't seen everything that there is to see yet at the Memorial in New York. And they both have memories.
I mean, my son told me that he remembered being at the Flight 93 Memorial, even though he was only four-years-old and my daughter being 15 asked a lot of questions this year of somebody who's a lot older and more mature. And some of them took me aback and I'm not going to lie. Some of them made me emotional, again, thinking back to those days. But it also made me remember that my responsibility is to make sure that her generation and my son's generation really understand the significance of something like this.
And I think you bring up the fact that you want to get to a point where you can tell your kids about it. And I definitely think your kids will learn about it in school as well. I think it's an indelible part of our history. I really wish, yeah, I really wish I knew how my grandfather felt about Pearl Harbor and what they, what emotions and fears they felt over the years and decades. But I think to echo something that you said, and hopefully close on a high note.
I hope as we sit here 20 years after 9/11, and we think about that day, to Richard's point, the 60-minutes special we were watching, the numbers stuck in my head because either I didn't realize or I had forgotten how big it was, 343 New York firefighters lost their lives, 343 people went upstairs, knowing that there was a reasonable chance they weren't going to come down. That's an immense amount of people. It's more than 10% of the people that died, where firefighters were trying to save other people's lives.
And we talk about whether you agree or disagree on vaccines or masks or abortion or any of this other stuff that's out there. And you don't come on this podcast, you listen to this podcast to have a fight about abortion or taxes or guns or any other stuff. But maybe as you're listening to this and you're driving down the road or you're hopped on the peloton, maybe it causes you to be just a little bit nicer to someone else and give them the benefit of doubt. And maybe we try and inch our way back to an area where we can have disagreements without being disagreeable.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, I wish, I felt that way. I don't know about you, but through this pandemic, I've lost a lot of friends because you can no longer feel that you can have different viewpoints without it becoming a personal attack, which is not something I ever want to do. Especially with me living down south, in Georgia where people think a lot different. I've made an effort recently to be able to be okay with, "Hey, these people have made this decision. That's okay. But I'm still going to try and maintain a relationship with them." And I think it goes back to exactly what you said.
And yeah, every time, we watch one of those documentaries, we just watched, it's just hard for me to believe that that many folks made that conscious decision to, and they still do it every day. I think when I'm up in the office and I see the guys on the truck screaming down, I'm like, "I've done some crazy things in my life, but I couldn't do that, man." You would have to pay me a lot of money to be a New York firefighter. I didn't know what those guys and girls go into every single day. Absolutely amazing that they choose to do that and they love it. I mean, it's really impressive stuff.

Ed Pizza: That says a lot coming from a guy who not only served his country, but served in a submarine, agreeing to be away from his family for months at a time underwater. So, I think that's a great place to leave it. Find someone and listen to what they have to say. Anyway, I think that's a great place to end it. Mr. Kerr, I'm going to threaten to try and put a microphone in front of you before you pull out of town. He wanted the podcast from the hot tub tonight. We might actually do that, might actually do that next week.

Richard Kerr: I'm looking forward to it, man. Big week ahead. He's just an incredible host and incredible guy. Everybody who knows Ed, knows it's true. And just been wonderful my family to be able to roll up today and feel immediately at home. So, looking forward to the week ahead and the adventures that lie ahead in RV life and points and miles and everything that is.
Bilt Rewards, big days coming up ahead. Everybody tune in over the next few weeks to hear what we got going on there from. Besides that, you can find me on social media @KerrPoints, K-E-R-R.

Ed Pizza: And here I am. He's staying in my driveway and eating my food and drinking my beer and he still has not told me what's going on, other than I'm really going to like whatever is coming from the Bilt Rewards. So, tune in for that we should have more information on that soon. But until then, thanks, everybody for tuning in. See you later.
That's a full wrap on this week's episode. You can find links to everything we discussed today in the show notes. A big thanks to all of you for tuning into this week's show. If any of you have questions or suggestions for a future show, you can drop me an email at, or hit me up on social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all @Pizzainmotion. And you can find me blogging daily at Until we upload again, we've got miles to go.

Richard Kerr

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