Films on Travel

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Flying Cheap

Documentary Frontline 2010 Feb9 NR 54 minutes. Taking on the topical issues of travel costs and airline safety, Frontline examines the phenomenon of low-cost airlines and regional carriers and looks at how they’ve forever changed competition in the industry. The presence of low-cost travel options has kept fares relatively low for consumers. But is safety being sacrificed for the sake of cheap travel? The investigation begins with a crash in Buffalo, N.Y., involving a Continental flight. One year after the deadly airline crash of Continental 3407 in Buffalo, NY, Frontline investigates the accident and discovers a dramatically changed airline industry, where regional carriers now account for half of the nation’s daily departures. The rise of the regionals and arrival of low-cost carriers have been a huge boon to consumers, and the industry insists that the skies remain safe. But many insiders are worried that now, 30 years after airline deregulation, the aviation system is being stretched beyond its capacity to deliver service that is both cheap and safe.See Full Review. Link to View This Frontline Story for Free (Listed by Date 2010 Feb9):

Flying Cheaper

Documentary Frontline 2011 Jan18. In a follow-up to the hard-hitting investigation of the regional airline industry, Flying Cheap, Frontline sets its sights on another growing trend — the outsourcing of major airline repair work to foreign-based maintenance operations, from China to El Salvador, and to U.S.-based contractors who keep costs low by using unlicensed mechanics. Frontline correspondent Miles O’Brien investigates reports of undertrained mechanics, foreign workers who can’t read the English language repair manuals, inadequate FAA oversight and the use of unauthorized airline parts. Link to View This Frontline Story for Free (Listed by Date 2011 Jan 18):

Please Remove Your Shoes

Documentary 2010 NR 1hr 33m. This troubling documentary examines the Transportation Security Administration’s role as protector of the American skies, raising questions about the disturbing gap between the federal agency’s avowed purpose and actual airport safety since 9/11. See Full Review

30,000 Feet: Frequent Flyer
Join the club

Documentary Frontline / World 2009. The earning and burning of miles… Gabriel Leigh, a self-confessed flyer miles junkie himself, takes us on a tour of his obsessive world.

Disney Cruise Line

Documentary 2010 TV-G 49m. If you’ve been to the Disney theme parks but still haven’t explored the wonders of the Disney Cruise Line, this virtual behind-the-scenes tour offers a sneak peek at what you’re missing — including Disney’s private destination island, Castaway Cay. Once you’re aboard, you’ll visit the ship’s amazing Animator’s Palate restaurant, with a décor that gradually changes from black and white to color, among other highlights.

Cruise Inc.
Big Money on the High Seas

Documentary CNBC 2009 TV-PG 45m. CNBC takes you inside the $30 billion cruise industry as correspondent Peter Greenberg reveals the delicate balance between profits and losses. From safety to pricing, you’ll see a side of Norwegian Cruise Line that you never knew existed.

European Travel Skills
Rick Steves

Documentary 2009 NR 240 minutes. How do you get around Europe without missing every remarkable, enthralling, sublime and historic point of interest? Rick Steves, America’s expert on Europe, offers his tried-and-true advice in this program. From noteworthy monuments, cozy hotels and off-the-beaten-path restaurants, this continent is a place where your dollar can go far if you know where to stay, what to visit and how to get there.

Inside American Airlines
A Week in the Life

Documentary CNBC 2006 NR 1hr 30m. During one intense week, CNBC cameras capture a side of American Airlines that travelers never see, from the minute-by-minute drama inside the control tower to the corporate maneuvering behind the closed doors of the executive suite.

America’s Scenic Rail Journeys

Documentary Series 1996 NR . Experience the romance of train travel as you journey through some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. This PBS series explores such treasures as the Alaskan frontier, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, California’s rugged coastline and more.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Comedy 1987 R 92 minutes. Think you’ve had a bad day? At every turn, marketing exec Neal Page’s (Steve Martin) plans to get home to his family for Thanksgiving get foiled, and somehow the loudmouthed, idiosyncratic fellow traveler Del Griffith (John Candy) is always right next to him driving him nuts. Will this odd couple make it to Chicago without killing each other? Ben Stein and Edie McClurg also appear in writer-director John Hughes’s comedy classic.

Last Train Home

Documentary 2009 NR 90 minutes. Documentarian Lixin Fan follows a couple who, like 130 million other Chinese peasants, left their rural village for work in the city, leaving their children to be raised by grandparents, returning only once a year on an arduous 1,000-mile journey.

Your Flight Is Cancelled

Documentary Frontline 1988. Since deregulation, American’s airline industry has become a nightmare of delays, cancellations, and near misses. Frontline probes the air traffic dilemma inside America’s busiest airport-in the control tower and behind the ticket counter.


TWA: Flight 800

Documentary 2013 PG-13 1hr 31m. This provocative documentary examines the fate of TWA Flight 800 to Paris, France, which exploded in 1996 just minutes after takeoff from New York, and includes interviews with official investigators who claim that the catastrophe was no accident. See Full Review

The Deadliest Plane Crash

Documentary Nova 2006. An examination of the worst accident in civil aviation history, a March 1977 collision between two 747s on a foggy runway in Tenerife (one of the Canary Islands) that resulted in the deaths of 583 people. Included: what led to the tragedy; and insights from survivors, including co-pilot Robert Bragg and flight attendant Joan Jackson. Also: a look at improvements in runway safety since, featuring comments from NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker.

The Bombing of Pan Am 103

Documentary Frontline 1990. Frontline profiles the efforts of the surviving families of the 270 people killed in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, to seek justice for their loved ones. The families’ crusade focuses attention on issues of airline and airport security, on the lack of coordination between international police and intelligence services, and on whether the US government has the will and means to respond effectively against terrorists and the countries that support them.

Air Crash

Documentary Frontline 1983. Frontline investigates the frightening aftermath of one of the worst air disasters in U.S. history-the June 9, 1982 crash of Pan Am flight 759 at the New Orleans airport. The report discovers how human greed and legal machinations over hundreds of millions of dollars bring new horror to survivors and victims’ relatives alike.


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