A.I. inflatable pilots to replace the vaccine resistant
Satire by Geoff Olson
After suspending more than 800 employees without pay for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Air Canada promises any vacant captains’ seats will be filled with Artificial Intelligence-driven inflatable pilots.
“We’ve had this project on the drawing board for a while now,” said Air Canada CEO Frank Peanutpack in a panel discussion at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. “The AI pilots will be fully equal in skill sets to the personnel we have summarily dismissed.”
“We don’t enjoy having to let go hundreds of airline employees, but an unvaccinated pilot or flight attendant is a menace to themselves and everything else in the air… yes, birds too.”
The panelists nodded sagely while the CEO described the seriousness of the situation.
Almost all the airline’s 27,000 pilots, flight attendants and other employees have had both shots, he said. “Air Canada employees have done their bit, and now over 96 per cent have been fully vaccinated. We believe we can handle the minor losses without sacrificing quality service. That said, our inflatable, AI-driven pilots are arriving at a fortuitous time.”
Peanutpack expects to see the first autonomous, inflatable pilots galumphing across the tarmac by late January.
A number of American airline executives and pilots gathered at the event (“COVID, Robotics and the Future of Flight”) expressed skepticism that the public is ready for advanced windbags to pilot them through the skies, safely or otherwise.
“Surely you can’t be serious,” said Roger Wilco, a former Delta airlines flight trainer.
“I am serious,” replied Peanutpack. “And don’t call me Shirley.”
Challenged by a NPR reporter about an October test flight in Labrador that ended with an AI inflatable roughly landing a DC-9, Peanutpack countered, “It wasn’t the AI’s fault. It wasn’t the programmer’s fault. It was the asphalt.” He added that development in airplane engineering is typically slow because “everyone is afraid to make a ground breaking design.”
Air Canada employees, already reeling from the company’s vaccine mandates, will undoubtably be relieved to hear the AI pilots, which have a valve in the groin area, will not require oral servicing to inflate. “We have onboard mechanical fellators for that,” said Peanutpack. “But airline personnel will need to carry puncture kits while in flight. The AI pilots, unlike their human counterparts, must not be pricked.”
In spite of Peanutpack’s efforts to limit the discussion to technology, the panelists insisted on returning to the topic of vaccines, testing the CEO’s patience. “Look, I’ve heard talk of myocardia, tachycardia, La Guardia, and frankly I’m tired of these unsupported rumours of vaccine-related deaths and injuries. If any of this was true or newsworthy, our Covidian Broadcasting Corporation would be on top of it.”
Peanutpack added that his wife is actually a flight engineer and was “responsibly” vaccinated seven times. “Doreen’s a trooper. She’s been a damn pin cushion for Big Pharma, but mRNA technology hasn’t made her grow a tail or turned her into a vegetable, I assure you. She’s felt a little unwell recently, but that’s all.”
“It’s unfortunate that a tiny fraction of the Air Canada community fell prey to inflated concerns about their health, and refused to exchange their bodily autonomy for a paycheck. Well, perhaps the experience of working in cramped spaces filled with hungry, immobilized strangers will serve them well in their future internment camps.”
He added that given the resurgence of Delta, all fully vaccinated Air Canada employees will have to submit to nasal shwabs, anal shwabs, and World Economic Forum cofounder Karl Schwab.
After much jab-related discussion, the CEO welcomed questions from the audience about Air Canada’s plans for advanced flight systems. When asked about persistent rumours that the airline is working in conjunction with the Canadian government on invisible passenger planes, he replied, “I just can’t see it.”
The panel ended rather suddenly with Peanutpack taking a tense call on his iPhone. “I’m sorry, but there’s been an emergency with Doreen. I must leave for the hospital.”
“Hospital? What is it?” asked a concerned panelist, as the Air Canada CEO quickly gathered up his notes.
“It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now,” Peanutpack curtly replied.