Sunday, November 30, 2014

An 'Icon of Hope'?

Young boy hugs a police officer during a local Ferguson Rally

Devonte Hart, 12, was present at a recent Ferguson Rally in Oregon. This boy was holding up a sign that read "Free Hugs" and Barnum a local officer went up to him and gave him a hug. 

Johnny Nguyen happened to be the photographer behind this incredible picture. Nguyen had been observing the protest when he captured this incredible event: "It was an interesting juxtaposition that had to be captured. It fired me up," Nguyen told The Huffington Post on Sunday. "I started shooting and before I knew it, there were hugging it out. I knew I had something special, something powerful." Nguyen's picture has blown up all over social media as an 'Icon of Hope'. 
Just scrolling through images of protests throughout the United States regarding Ferguson I have seen countless violent scenes and images of officers detaining angry people and mass destruction so this is a monumental image in my opinion. 

In order to move forward we need images of hope like this that have the power to move people and prove their previous stereotypes to be wrong. This photograph shows humanity and steps in the direction of reconciliation.

Airline Prices Soaring

Over the past few days I have had the opportunity to fly on two very different airlines. The experiences were contrasting because of price differentiation and the overall experiences I had.

First I flew on Spirit Airlines with my 20 teammates for a lacrosse tournament. My coach had chosen this particular flight because the cost seemed to be hundreds of dollars less than what the competition had to offer. At face value this ticket costed $188.00 versus $460.00 on Southwest. After my experience of flying on Spirit, I began to wonder if we were really getting a better deal?

The original ticket cost $188.00 but I was surprised to find out about all of the "add-ons" you must pay for that are otherwise complimentary on other airlines. These "add ons" include $50 to carry on an extra bag, $25 booking fee, $8 for a soft drink and snack in the air, etc.  Spirit has managed to make each individual seat smaller so that they could add more seats and therefore bring the overall cost of a ticket down which sounds scheming but I definitely see the business tactics behind that decision.

I flew on Southwest a few days later and my experience was completely different. You could bring on two carry on bags at no additional cost, there were complimentary beverages and snacks, the seats reclined and had tray tables unlike Spirit Airlines. This all of course came at a higher cost though.

Is Spirit taking advantage of passengers or merely staying afloat in this tough market of increasing ticket values?