This is not really gossip but I cracked myself up thinking about this scenario and since my assistant stopped laughing at me long ago, I need someone to share it with. There is a new airline starting up in South Africa called Airtime Airlines. With a name like that it stands to reason that one of the main investors is a cell phone company. Apparently the cell phone company thinks that the price per minute feature will translate well to airlines as well.
The airline is just planning on flying to three cities from their base in South Africa, but instead of charging the way a regular airline will, they instead are going to charge by minute. So, if a flight lasts 75 minutes you will pay for 75 minutes of travel. Currently the airline is selling minutes for about $.50. You can buy a bunch of minutes in advance and when they run out you just top them up like a cell phone.
As a bonus you don't get charged for any minutes you spend on the ground. So, a three hour delay on the runway is not going to cost you extra. My question is this. You are in the middle of a 75 minute flight and you had enough minutes for the flight, but a strong headwind comes along and the flight gets extended for 10 or 15 minutes. You don't have any money with you and the flight attendant comes around and asks whether you are going to top off your minutes or are you planning on getting out now? Are parachutes complimentary in that case or is it just a matter of say, umm, disconnecting your service and throwing you out the door?
OK, now we can go back to gossip. I just thought it was funny.