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Bring back commercial seaplane service

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It's time to resurrect that icon of 1930s luxury flying, the Pan Am Clipper.

As US Airways recently reminded us by bypassing all three New York airports and landing directly in the Hudson River, water landings are great short cuts.

We understand the emergency nature of that particular landing, but in this era of cost-cutting, we feel compelled to note that deplaning passengers from the wings to passing tugs and ferries is just plain tacky; far more elegant to pull up to a pier.

There are several good business arguments for water landings, as well. On the other side of the pond, Ryanair announced this week that it was closing all its kiosks and ticket counters at airports to save money. Why not just eliminate the whole airport by switching to seaplanes?

Besides, the Hudson, the Thames and the Seine -- to cite just three examples -- are far more convenient to business and population centers than the airports that serve New York, London and Paris.

And best of all, no security lines, metal detectors or surly TSA agents poking through your liquids and gels.

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