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  • Paul Davidson

The Amazing American Airlines Airplane Ticket Challenge

They should call The Amazing Race, The Amazing American Airlines Airplane Ticket Challenge.


I’m not going to tell you that I hate the show or that I can’t sit through the show, because sort of like crack-cocaine I keep coming back for more. But when I sit down and really think about it… Not the kind of sitting down and thinking about it like the way you sit down and think about whether or not you’re going to floss tonight or in the morning. The kind of sitting down and really pondering the whole Amazing Race experience, I started to realize certain trends that scared me.

1. In each episode of The Amazing Race, people often fight over airplane tickets. People scheme to find better flights. Earlier flights. Faster flights. They sneak in and out of foreign travel agencies. They get on stand-by. They run through airports.

2. People take taxis absolutely everywhere, but mostly they take them to airports.

3. There’s a lot of air-travel going on in this show.

4. American Airlines online sponsors the show, The Amazing Race.

Do I see synergy here?

Sure, there’s moments of eating huge scrambled ostrich eggs and caviar (Fear Factor), there’s moments (many of them) where players fly over chasms on wires (Fear Factor), and there’s moments where they argue with foreign people for a myriad of reasons (Fear Factor).

So what’s original about The Amazing Race?

The air travel. It’s the only million-dollar prize, reality show on television these days that deals with air travel, booking tickets, sitting in airports or getting to airports for more than 1/2 of each weekly show. That’s 30 minutes (22 without commercials) of each episode dedicated to air travel and sponsored by American Airlines. In fact, how brash of AA, right before the final moment of the show to come into the ring with a commercial telling you (US) the viewer, that had it not been for American (who also gives away the prize to the first place winner of each show), the amazing airplane ticket challenges would never have occurred.

Like I said: The Amazing American Airlines Airplane Ticket Challenge.

Of course, had they named the show that — people probably wouldn’t have watched. But now, like shooting up some really good drugs right into your shiny-blue vein, you will never be able to get out alive. You are hooked. You love watching people book travel.

It’s the American (no pun intended) way.

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