Airline names tell a story. National flag carriers usually bear some form of their country's name (British Airways, Royal Jordanian). Others reflect their home base, such as Big Sky (in Montana), Frontier (in Colorado) and Kiwi (in the hangar, for now).

Photo of a red and orange striped small airplane.So whaddya think about a charter carrier named Gum Air? Insider didn't want to think about it, didn't want to imagine what was holding the little Cessna 206 together as we took off from Paramaribo, Suriname, for a trip deep into the rain forest.

The flight went without incident, but we do hope the owners consider renaming the line.How about ABC Air? For Already Been Chewed?

Flaps? Check. Engine?

The press release was a routine announcement of an aircraft addition to a carrier's fleet. In fact, so routine (read: boring) that it was headed for the round file when Insider re-read the tag end of the first graf.

The sentence explained that the airline had signed "a letter of intent to purchase a Boeing 737-200 aircraft with -17 [minus 17] engines."

Three grafs below that, the release explained that the plane would, at time of delivery, "undergo a series of extensive maintenance checks." Hope that's when the mechanics catch the engine deficit.

Quick change

At the recent Pow Wow in Miami Beach, Insider struck up a conversation with an attendee from Lake Tahoe, Calif., who used to live in Las Vegas.

She remembered the days not so long ago -- perhaps 20 years -- when she could see someone on horseback ride up to a McDonald's. But now she feels that Las Vegas has changed too fast. "Today, they say if you haven't been to Vegas since Friday, you haven't seen it," she said.

That could be true, but we believe the one-armed bandit will never fundamentally change, despite the myriad themes the different casinos dream up.


A bird's eye-view of Foxwoods."The light was flashing, and there were three little magicians" displayed in the slot-machine windows. That's how Barbara Jathas, owner of Skyway Travel in Ossining, N.Y., described the moment when she won $17,000 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantuncket, Conn.

Jathas, who was attending ASTA's Eastern Regional Conference at the resort last month, was surprised at how low-key her big payout was.

"On some of those machines, there are bells and whistles every time you win anything," so she was expecting a little more for such a big jackpot.

She put in $18 worth of quarters and was "on my way to the room to go back to bed, at midnight," when she hit it big.

What will she do with the money? "I'm going to pay my bills," she said. At least that's what she thought she might do.

"It still hasn't sunk in that I really won this money. I thought, These things don't happen to me. They're going to tell me the machine malfunctioned."

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