Run Your Own Airline!
Ben Baldanza
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Virginia
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Running an airline is a lot more than knowing where to fly, what to charge, and what not to serve onboard. You'll need to become a master at all of these games if you really want to do the job well. No game with an airline theme even comes close....
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1. Board Game: Chinatown [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:374]
Board Game: Chinatown
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Negotiation is key to many aspects of running an airline. Great negotiation skills are required to get good aircraft prices, competitive labor contracts, and almost everything else you buy or process.
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2. Board Game: Proteus [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:13392]
Board Game: Proteus
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Changing rules and ignoring what used to work are hallmarks of the airline business. Success in the late 90s, 2000's, or pre-Covid means nothing for today's carriers, as the rules have all changed and will continue to do so.
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3. Board Game: Intrigue [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2384]
Board Game: Intrigue
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Making alliances only to later break them at the opportune time happens all the time in the airline business. "I'll help sell this new route for you" starts it but then "now that the market is established, I'll take over thank you".
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4. Board Game: Logistico [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:5498]
Board Game: Logistico
Ben Baldanza
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Having the planes in the right place, with a legal crew, with the right bags on board, with the flight plan properly filed, with an available gate, and everyone showing up on time, is a big logistical exercise that has multiple single points of failure.
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5. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:178]
Board Game: Go
Ben Baldanza
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Blocking off territory often means getting there first and creating a barrier that is impossible to penetrate. Works in Go, and is essential to create an effective connecting hub.
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6. Board Game: Third World Debt [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:15459]
Board Game: Third World Debt
Ben Baldanza
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Buying planes that cost $50 million or more each, having to put 10-15% down two years before they're delivered, and needing a whole fleet only so that people can complain when they pay more than $99 means that you'd better know how to manage debt!
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7. Board Game: Code 777 [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1875]
Board Game: Code 777
Ben Baldanza
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Making the right deductions through proper interpretation of data is an important way to determine what markets will properly stimulate, how competitors will react, and what is the best way to spend limited capital.
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8. Board Game: Offline [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:16086]
Board Game: Offline
Ben Baldanza
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IT infrastructure plays an important role in any airline. Real-time networks are the backbone for passenger bookings, fare availability, revenue management, accounting, maintenance records, flight dispatch, and just about everything else the airline does.
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9. Board Game: Office Politics [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Office Politics
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Finance, Legal, HR, Marketing, Planning, Airport Services, Technical Operations, Flight Operations, Safety, Labor Relations, and IT all need to work together but better watch your back!
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10. Board Game: Who's Your Daddy? [Average Rating:3.59 Unranked]
Board Game: Who's Your Daddy?
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Sometimes you need to know just who your daddy is so that you don't pick a fight you have no chance to win!
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11. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:48]
Board Game: Power Grid
Ben Baldanza
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Of course, the network plays a huge part in determining what the revenues will be, staffing, and total cost position. He with the strongest network often wins the airline game.
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12. Board Game: Discretion [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:12395]
Board Game: Discretion
Ben Baldanza
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Real estate spectulation is what Pan Am did best (it certainly wasn't flying planes!). One of Northwest's greatest assets is the land it holds in Tokyo. Slots at key airports determines who gets the lions share of the business.
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13. Board Game: Law Courts [Average Rating:3.29 Unranked]
Board Game: Law Courts
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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No matter how you try, you'll deal with lawyers every day. Labor arbitrations, contract settlements, and typically one or two trips through bankruptcy reorganization will be necessary.
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14. Board Game: King Oil [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:7592]
Board Game: King Oil
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Fuel will be your biggest expense, so you'd better learn how to procure it and protect it!
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15. Board Game: Weatherslam [Average Rating:4.03 Unranked]
Board Game: Weatherslam
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Get ready for inflight re-routes, ground delay programs, lightening strikes, hurricanes, and de-icing or you'll be grounded for sure!
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16. Board Game: Who's the Ass? [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:5529]
Board Game: Who's the Ass?
Ben Baldanza
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My son, Enzo Anthony, at an uncomfortable moment when 3 months old
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Learn all the aboves game well and apply them perfectly. But then, lose one bag, delay one flight, serve one bad meal, or charge what someone thinks is too much and you'll be the Ass of the Year!
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17. Board Game: Disaster! [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Disaster!
Chance Folmar II
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And let's not forget the inevitable: one of your plane's goes down. It happens. I studied to be an Aero Engineer and one of the best speeches I remember from a professor was as follows:

"How much is a human life worth? Remember that as your designing and testing your airplane. You can't catch all of flaws, mistakes, or errors. Nor can you predict what conditions it will fly in: bird strikes, wind sheer, missile attacks. All are potential threats, and it is impossible to test against every conceivable condition, much less the conditions we didn't realize were potential threats. It's cost prohibitive.

So remember, as your designing a plane, or a part for a plane. your part will fail because you didn't test it enough, or design it for the right conditions its operating under, and sometimes just because of some minor flaw in the workmanship. Nice thing is, it doesn't matter. It's your fault. But we work within the budget we have, to do the best job we can, to make it as safe as we can. But when the plane goes down and people die...its your fault. Get over it, learn from it, and try not to make the same mistake again."

Didn't say it was an inspirational speech...but it is, in its way.
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