Norman Bust

All the News That Fits Into a Size Seven and a Quarter Hat


An Open Letter to Sir Richard Branson.

Dear Sir Richard, or can I call you Dick? So, Sir Dick,

Really? I didn’t sit through 88 plays of that Virgin America ® safety music video this past year with the dancing flight attendants, child rappers, a singing nun and kid with the bassy voice, finally achieving Elevate Gold status to be merely shuffled over to another airline (BTW can I get the number for the bendy girl?).

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Week after week, I spend 90 minutes commuting between SFO and SEATAC, enjoying Virgin’s signature pink & purple mood lighting, friendly sexy service and countless movies on the Red Entertainment System ® (although I always miss the ending of every film due to the short flight time). I’ve amassed a drawer full of multi-colored headphones that I’m saving for an art project after I retire.

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Sir Dick, with Virgin America, you have built another business that is envied by its competitors and praised by its customers. You again have showcased the hip, creative, clean and customer friendly approach that the Virgin ® brand is known for. I knew Tubular Bells would one day redeem itself. To be honest, I’m still reeling from all those Virgin Record Store closures and I don’t think I could stand the loss of another Virgin at this point in my life.
maxresdefaultEvery week I post photos on Facebook and Instagram, showcasing some segment of my Virgin America ® experience and each time friends and colleagues chime in their loving approval of the airline. I doubt this will happen with Jet Blue or Alaska.

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Jet Blue started off being cool, hip, trendy and cheap but now they just seem like the cut-rate, knock-off version of Virgin ®. They continually fall short of being the real thing. Also, their leather seats seemed cool until you find out they almost called themselves Taxi! Boy, would you want to fly in one of those seats afterwards? Remember DeNiro talking about cleaning off the seats of his Taxi? Ewwww !

And then there is Alaska Airlines. All I can say is Prayer Cards? Really? Before you take off on a jet ? Ok, the guy sitting next to me, just said they stopped that practice several years ago, but still. It would be like flying Ted Cruise Airways, “”Getting You Closer to Jesus”! No, I don’t think so.


So, Sir Dick, please, your devoted customer base implores you to reconsider and stay independent. Or buy one of them and bring them into the Virgin fold. You are all that stands in the way of us having to choose between prayer cards and the back of DeNiro’s Taxi!

Or you could go full circle and start a new record company. I hear the kids are into vinyl again.


Forever a fan,

Norman Maslov

San Francisco – Seattle

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MANHATTMAN is hosted by Norman Maslov, whose Agence Internationale, represents a small group of wonderful photographers. This blog showcases images from these artists along with scribes about music, films, food, gin martinis and hats. Pontifications from a native San Franciscan and his extended family and friends. So it goes.

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