To help celebrate our 12th Anniversary, we ran an internal contest to see which of our 70 cities could create the coolest birthday cake. After culling through the many submissions, we assembled an impartial panel of three of the biggest, sassiest names in aviation and asked them to help judge the finalists — American Idol-style.
Brett Snyder, better known as Cranky Flier, is basically the world’s biggest aviation geek, with stints at USAir, America West, United, and even Eos (remember them?!) under his belt. He lives in Long Beach and can often be spotted volunteering at LGB Airport. Despite his name, Cranky is a really nice guy. Find him at crankyflier.com or on Twitter @CrankyFlier.
Henry Harteveldt is an airline and travel industry analyst and co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry research firm. A true aviation veteran, Henry worked for many years at TWA and Continental. He lives in San Francisco — but spends most of his time in airplanes — and tweets his travel industry thoughts (and lots more) from @HHarteveldt.
Benet Wilson, affectionately known as the Aviation Queen, is one of the aviation industry’s leading voices. Currently head of Media Relations at AOPA, the general aviation organization, Benet was previously a journalist with Aviation Week. An airline geek at heart, Benet has worked at Delta, Mesa Air, and Rolls-Royce North America. She lives in Baltimore, where she recently started private flying lessons. Check out her blog at aviationqueen.com or her Twitter feed @AvQueenBenet.
The Winner – Santo Domingo!
What the expert judges had to say about the winning cake:
Benet: I like this!! So tasteful, this could have actually been Brett’s wedding cake! This is my choice.
Brett: There is no way this is my wedding cake. Accuracy is key – that is a 747 that apparently borrowed its wheels from a tricycle. Automatic disqualification. Come back when there’s an Airbus in its place and it might win.
Henry: I’m willing to overlook the fact they topped the cake with a 747, and chalk that up to the team’s belief in B6 and the airline’s potential. Good job with B6 branding, and the tiers of the cake are nicely proportioned. For me, this cake is the best.