Nobody Asked Me, But ...
The Coronavirus Edition
THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2020 -- Nobody Asked Me, But ...

Airlines are already angling for a second bailout. Why don't we just explain that the country is in cash-conservation mode and offer them vouchers for a future bailout instead?

And for all of you folks who voluntarily accepted a voucher instead of a cash refund when your flight cancelled, may I point you toward Virgin Australia? It went into "voluntary administration" last month and now the administrators are refusing to honor the vouchers. And that's no different than if a U.S. carrier goes into a bankruptcy. Your vouchers will be converted to unsecured debt and have you ever tried booking a flight and paying with unsecured debt?

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

If lodging chains continue to base their award charts on average daily rates, does this mean that all hotels will be a Category 1 redemption next year?

It got lost in the other pandemic news, but the Trump Administration cancelled next month's G7 at Camp David. As you recall, this meeting was originally going to be at Trump's own Doral Resort in Florida. You think the government would have gotten a refund from Doral on a cancellation?

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

Airlines are furiously converting passenger aircraft to cargo carriers. Some are even just lashing cargo into the existing passenger cabins. In other words, airlines have found the perfect passenger: The cargo pays too much, never argues about the boarding process, doesn't care about upgrades and never whines when its choice of entrée is not available. Plus cargo never complains or files DOT complaints.

Here's a tip from a guy trying to go to the bank but couldn't get into the shopping strip: If you are sitting in your car and are Number 20 in the conga line at the drive-up Starbucks window, maybe switch to tea. Our friends at Sheffield Spice & Tea give us 15 percent discounts when you enter code 2020joesentme.

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

This is a revolutionary theory, but I do not think there will be a "travel recovery." Even the conservative estimates predict it'll be two years before flying returns to 2019 levels. The edgier models say five years. That is not a recovery. That's a new normal.

Here's another revolutionary theory: Let them go bankrupt. Failing a treatment and/or the widespread availability of a vaccine, companies will be reluctant to send employees to conferences and conventions and tour companies can't risk the liability of group tours. Without those two huge components, some airlines and many hotels won't be able to survive. And that's okay. It's the nature of things. Let 'em die and we'll get by just fine.

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

If a passenger refuses to wear a mask or face covering on board, flight attendants should handle it as a terrorist threat. Have the person removed from the aircraft--or divert the flight. There's no difference between a terrorist with a gun and a terrorist who might spread a vicious virus. They both threaten the safety of crews and other flyers.

IATA, the global airline trade association, has always been a cut above the cringeworthy U.S. version, which now goes by the despicable name Airlines For America. But during this pandemic IATA has demanded airlines have the right to refuse refunds for cancelled flights and is now against leaving middle seats empty. In other words, IATA is a pack of jackals.

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

Double spaces between sentences are now flagged as an error by the latest versions of Microsoft Word. Seems like the wrong time to discourage social separation between sentences, though.

By the way, how long must we "practice" social distancing before we can turn pro?

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

So who's more dangerous now? A masked gunman or an unmasked one?

Just 145 more days of lockdown and I'll have long enough fringes to try a combover.

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

If this lockdown lasts any longer, the only place we'll see Joe Biden is on the side of a milk carton.

Can we just cut to the chase of all the GOP claims about China creating the Coronavirus in a weapons lab in Wuhan? They're gonna investigate and blame it on Hunter Biden, right?

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

"Trump won, get over it," say fools waving the battle banner of the Confederate States, which lost a war 155 years ago.

I really should have another Democratic joke for political balance, but I'm short. Insert your own here. I'm good with it.

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

This is just anecdotal based on what JoeSentMe members say whenever an airline boss drops a "Dear Traveler" letter, but every one exacerbates the problem. None of these guys (and, of course they are all guys) is hitting the right tone--or parting with a dime.

Michael O'Leary, the pugnacious and self-parodying boss of Ryanair, says social distancing on flights is "idiotic" and he won't put planes in the air if he is required to keep middle seats empty. Okay, then, one problem solved.

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

Didn't the big liquor houses miss an opportunity to do hand sanitizer brand extensions? I mean, Jack Daniels New No. 8? Absolut Aloe Liquid Sanitizer?

Tiffany's is closing stores. You think they'll still do takeout breakfast?

Nobody Asked Me, But ...

Starved for content during the pandemic, there recently have been streaming "table read" reunions of cult shows such as Chuck and Archer. The nearly sainted Parks and Recreation did a broadcast reunion episode. So here's my pitch for a F*R*I*E*N*D*S lockdown special: During the New York stay-at-home order, Joey dirties Monica's "fancy guest" towels. Phoebe burns down Central Perk when she sneaks in for coffee. Rachel's hair gets the frizzies because her hairdresser is closed. Ross murders Chandler.

Five best flicks to rewatch in lockdown? Casablanca, of course. (Why is Rick wearing a daisy in his lapel during the Paris flashback?) A Hard Day's Night, surely. (How many times do they call Wilfrid Brambell, who played Paul's fictional grandfather, a "clean" old man?) Top Hat and Shall We Dance because, really, Ginger Rogers kicking ass backwards and in heels. And, finally, The Lady Eve to see Barbara Stanwyck bamboozle Henry Fonda over and over and over again.