Anorak News | Reasons To Love The Germans: 1) Smoker’s International Airways

Reasons To Love The Germans: 1) Smoker’s International Airways

by | 25th, July 2007

AS ever, Germany leads the way in freedom:

DUESSELDORF, Germany — At the international airport in this western German city, smokers are shunned. If you want to light up, you’re restricted to a handful of bars in the terminal, or else stuck puffing on the dingy street outside.

Soon, however, tobacco lovers from around the world could be beating a path to Duesseldorf. A start-up airline based here plans to offer long-haul luxury flights — to Asia, at first — that cater to smokers, countering a decades-long global trend that has made it impossible to enjoy a cigarette on most passenger flights.

The new airline is called, naturally, Smoker’s International Airways, or Smintair for short. The founder is a local entrepreneur who promises a return to the days when air travel was considered glamorous, when stewardesses were happy to bring you a glass of scotch, and when smoking in the lavatory didn’t risk criminal prosecution.

“Other airlines have lost every kind of sympathy for their passengers by leaps and bounds. They treat them like cattle,” said Alexander W. Schoppmann, a former stockbroker who started Smintair. “What all of those carriers want these days is for you to stay in the seat, and you better bloody well stay there, and don’t even ask for anything to eat or drink. You can’t do anything.”

On Smintair, according to Schoppmann, there will be plenty of room for passengers to indulge their vices, whether it’s smoking, drinking or even small-stakes gambling. Fliers will be able to mingle at bars on the upper or lower deck of a Boeing 747, which will be reconfigured to be so roomy that there will be space for just 138 passengers, instead of the 400 or so typically seated by most carriers.

Can I just stay on the plane?

Posted: 25th, July 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink