With delays, quart-size Ziplocs, sock-footed security lines, lost luggage and gold-plated ticket prices, air travel these days is no fun. But at Sioux City, Iowa's Sioux Gateway Airport, it just downright sucks.
That's because the city's airport has long been saddled with a somewhat unfortunate FAA code, "SUX." Officials have been trying to change it for decades, petitioning the FAA for a new name in 1988 and 2002. Federal aviation officials have offered some alternatives -- GWU, GYO, GYT, SGV and GAY (which, uh, could have its own set of issues) -- but the airport's board turned them down.
Now, though, the city is changing course, embracing its moniker with a sort of no-publicity-is-bad-publicity kind of thinking. They're selling hats and t-shirts that say "FLY SUX," and they've launched flysux.com.
Personally, I think it's a great idea. The city is capitalizing on a bad situation to create an irreverent but very memorable brand.
But for me, it begged a question about a somewhat similar situation on the West Coast: Has anyone ever accused Los Angeles airport officials of being lax?