Virtual Air

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In the 1961 Doris Day comedy "Lover Come Back," Rock Hudson mounts an advertising campaign for a product called "Vip." The catch is that Vip doesn't exist. Hilarity ensues.

Nearly as entertaining is a virtual product that's being hawked on line as I write: Crystal Airways is strictly an on-line airline. It has no flights. It has no fleet! No pilots, no slots, not a single flight attendant nor one smoked nut.

It does have a chairman, president & CEO, in the name of one Timothy L. Rivers. I assume he exists, because his picture is on the Crystal Airways Web site. Oh yes, they have a Web site, replete with proposed routes (many), sample fares (low), pictures of planes (new) and seats (huge), all of it angled to fan the flames of passengers' disenchantment toward the major carriers and generate cash for Crystal.

You see, Mr. Rivers is still seeking funding for his airline. He hopes one day to get a plane. Who knows? Maybe somebody will get mad enough at the other guys to buy him one. Meanwhile, he has a Web site.

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