Airport Codes / World’s Newest Country / TV Travel Shows (or lack of)

One of the things I realized when I applied for and got a job with an airline almost 20 years ago, is that you did not seem to need any particular qualifications. Not even a good knowledge of geography, which I would have thought was essential. And some people certainly don’t have a good grasp of geography – these are supposedly real answers to geography questions, that were submitted. One of the biggest requirements for employment that I remember was having to learn and memorize all the airport codes for the places that the airline flew to at the time and there were probably around 200 of these. When we took the test, we had to get 100 percent, which I must have somehow done. Some codes are easy and everyone knows them, like JFK, but some are more obscure, like MSY for New Orleans. I don’t know if this is still a requirement to learn all the codes or whether it has been relaxed, but I do know that once you have memorized these codes and used them every day for years, you could not forget them if you tried.

I read a couple of weeks ago that the world has a new country, although I’m not sure I will be going there any time soon. South Sudan became its own country, breaking away from the Sudan after 50 years of struggle and apparently has plans to become a major eco-tourism destination. I found this quite surprising, as I imagine the Sudan to be nothing but barren desert, almost as much as the fact that other unlikely countries seem to want to welcome visitors. Iraq seems to have its own ministry of tourism and I would imagine that working there must be quite a challenge. It seems that there is a lot of interest in parts of California becoming their own state as well as parts of Arizona. My wife and I drove through the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona / New Mexico a few years ago and that really was like entering another country, with big signs warning that you were subject to tribal laws. That sounded quite ominous, but fortunately I never found out what the tribal laws might be.

Anyone who reads my ramblings knows that it is a source of constant frustration to me that there are so few travel shows on American TV. I am sorry to say that this is still the case and I have sent emails to the Travel Channel asking them to put more actual travel shows on (Much of their current line up is shows about food) and giving suggestions for travel programs, such as the BBC in England did a while back – great railway trips and great river journeys. Of course, they did not reply to me which makes me wonder what is the point of having a ‘contact me’ section on your web site if you are not going to reply to someone who does contact you. I really feel the President should address this issue instead of wasting his time dealing with things like health care and the economy. There is one new show on ABC, called Expedition Impossible, in which teams have to travel across Morocco, dealing with such hazards as stubborn camels, mountain ranges and extreme heat. As it is literally 100 degrees here in New Jersey today, I have some idea of how they feel, although I have yet to ride a camel.

Guest entry by Mancunian

Filed Under: Travel & tourism jobs

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  1. Sharon says:

    I enjoy watching Rick Steves on PBS, and another show called equitrekking, also on PBS. They often have adventure shows which incorporate travel and discovery from time to time. I watched an interesting show the other day about Percy Fossett’s travels in seach of the lost city of the Incas. I’ve watched Expedition Impossible on occasion; it’s somewhat better than other reality shows.

    As far as the President addressing the issue, I find it much more important that he spend as much time as possible to try and resolve the many serious problems we have in this country such as the economy and health care, the ongoing wars, and wasteful spending by the government. I could go on and on, but that’s all I’ll say about politics!

  2. Mancunian says:

    Sharon, I agree with you, PBS sometimes does have good travel shows on and I like Rick Steves but think I may have seen all his shows by now. And I like Expedition Impossible, although its a bit too similar to both Survivor and the Amazing Race.

  3. Sharon says:

    Yeah…I’ve probably seen most of them too! I’m not big on reality shows, but every once in a while. Travel shows that combine adventure and culture or archaeology are my favorites because I’m fascinated by ancient civilizations, history, etc.

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