A small beacon of sanity has finally pierced the millennium
darkness. Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways has announced
that it will ground its entire 25-plane fleet on New Year's Eve.
The reason? To give Virgin employees the night off.
OK, so that last part sounds about as realistic as a United
Airlines flight attendant helping a little old lady cross the
street. The important thing is that Virgin has taken the first
public step toward protecting passengers from the vast unknown that
Yes, Branson is an annoying human being. Despite his immense
wealth, taxpayers wind up with the tab every time he crashes a
hot-air balloon, which is often. But the fact is that he has taken
a negative situation -- light bookings on a night when every
computer in the world will be asking itself some really tough
questions -- and turned it into a huge public-relations coup. And
all by deciding to do nothing. I can't help but admire the guy.