If Operating Systems Ran The Airlines...

UNIX Airlines

Everyone brings one piece of the plane along when they come to the airport. They all go out on the runway and put the plane together piece by piece, arguing non-stop about what kind of plane they are supposed to be building. Eventually they all get tired and go home.


Everybody pushes the airplane until it glides, then they jump on and let the plane coast until it hits the ground again. Then they push again, jump on again, and so on...

Windows-based Transport Flights, Inc. (WTF, Inc.)

Their terminals are pretty and colorful, with friendly stewards, easy baggage check and boarding, and a smooth take-off. After about 10 minutes in the air, the plane explodes into blue flames with no warning whatsoever.

Vista Air

Wholly owned subsidiary of WTF, Inc., but charges more, and uses much bigger planes which additionally take out all the other aircraft within a 40-mile radius when they explode.


Wholly owned subsidiary of WTF, Inc. You turn up at the airport,which is under contract to only allow XP Air planes. All the aircraft are identical, brightly colored and three times as big as they need to be. The signs are huge and all point the same way. Whichever way you go, some dog pops up insisting you follow him. Your luggage and clothes are taken off you and replaced with an XP Air suit and suitcase identical to everyone around you as this is included in the exorbitant ticket cost. The aircraft will not take off until you have signed a contract. The in-flight entertainment promised turns out to be the same Mickey Mouse cartoon repeated over and over again. You have to phone your travel agent before you can have a meal or drink. You are searched regularly throughout the flight. If you go to the toilet more than twice, you get charged for a new ticket. No matter what destination you booked you will always end up crash landing at Gimli or Whistler in Canada.

Apple iLines

All the stewards, captains, baggage handlers, and ticket agents look and act exactly the same. When you reach the airport, everything has already been done for you, and someone personally escorts you to your seat. Every time you ask questions about details, you are gently but firmly told that you don't need to know, don't want to know, and everything will be done for you without your ever having to know. Everything looks so pretty that you forget you are in a plane and fall asleep until you arrive at the destination.


Disgruntled employees of all the other OS airlines decide to start their own airline. They build the planes, ticket counters, and pave the runways themselves. They charge a small fee to cover the cost of printing the ticket, but you can also download and print the ticket yourself for free. When you board the plane, you are given a seat, four bolts, a wrench and a copy of the "seat-HOWTO.txt." Once settled, the fully adjustable seat is very comfortable, the plane leaves and arrives on time without a single problem, and the in-flight meal is wonderful. You try to tell customers of the other airlines about the great trip, but all they can say is, "You had to do what with the seat?"