On a wing and a prayer

Kevin Cowherd

May 04, 1992|By Kevin Cowherd

First things first. Who are we? We're people. Helping people. Caring people.

People just like you, only older.

Fine, fine. But who are we? We're Payless Airlines. The airline for today's difficult economic times.

Step into one of our spacious DC-7's. What do you see? Right! No flight attendants.

No one to block the aisles as you board. No one to patronize you with insincere smiles and greetings. No one to nag you about carry-on luggage and tray tables.

Weren't they annoying? We thought so too. So we got rid of them! And we pass the savings along to you!

So don't just stand there! Come on in! Stretch out in one of our stainless steel bleacher seats on either side of the cabin.

Don't be afraid to bring your pets along, too. Or chickens and goats. Farm animals up to 1,000 pounds are welcome.

We're Payless Airlines. We'll squeeze them in somehow.

Because we care.

And the savings are passed on to you!

At Payless Airlines, safety is our No. 1 concern. But we're not fanatics about it.

We won't bore you with a pointless monologue on how to work your seat belt.

You know how to work a seat belt. You're not stupid.

And we won't take up your valuable time pointing out the emergency exits.

You can see the exits for yourself. You're not blind. (At least we hope not!)

As soon as you sit down, we hurtle down the runway. Then we take off!

How do we get clearance so quickly from the control tower? That's our business.

Your business is to relax and enjoy the flight. And that's an order!

Many of our passengers ask: Where's the beverage cart? There is none. If you want a beverage, get it yourself. We're not your maids.

A small cooler filled with Shoprite Cola is located at the front of the plane. Can't you see it? It's there.

Because we care. We're Payless Airlines.

Do we serve food? My, you ask a lot of questions!

The answer is no. Our studies show most U.S. airline passengers are overweight to begin with. So, sorry, no food.

Because we care. And the savings are passed along to you!

Here's what we do have: The best pilots in the business -- at least in their price range.

Experienced? You bet!

These are men who flew single-engine crop-dusters during the Great Depression. Who flew B-17s over Dresden. Who flew bulky cargo planes loaded with munitions during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Elderly men, yes. But with no history of heart problems.

Because we care. We're Payless Airlines!

Now ask about our mechanics. Go ahead. We're waiting. Fine, be that way. We'll tell you anyhow.

Our mechanics are men who grew up tinkering under the hood of dad's Ford, then went off to successful careers in banking, law, etc.

Now, comfortably retired, they're back doing what they love to do: getting grease on their hands. Puttering around engines they don't quite understand.

Elderly men, yes. But alert and conscientious.

Men who don't mind working on weekends. Men who don't whine about hefty paychecks and health benefits, but care enough to say: "Hmmm. Why's this bolt loose behind the No. 2 engine?"

And we pass the savings along to you! We're Payless Airlines!

Maybe that's why our slogan is: "We love to fly, and it shows!"

Did we hear you say: "But that's Delta's slogan!?"

Perhaps. At Payless Airlines, we're not hung up on slogans. We care about people, not catchy jingles.

And with no advertising budget, the savings are passed along to you!

OK. We hear your next question. Loud and clear.

"Let's get to the bottom line," you say. "Exactly how much do I save by flying with Payless?"

Well, check out these prices! New York to L.A. for $17! Boston to Paris for $19! Chicago to Hong Kong for $37!

Phoenix to anywhere in New Jersey for just $5!

"Fantastic!" you say? You're right!

We can tell you're our kind of customer!

Discriminating.

Adventurous.

Cheap.

Not afraid of a few farm animals roaming the aisles.

We like that! And we like you!

So spread your wings. Come fly our friendly skies.

We're Payless Airlines.

Something special in the air.

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