It’s a cruel world – departing Continental Airlines CFO gets free airport parking for life

The airlines giveth, and the airlines taketh away. This has never been more true than in recent years. From pretzels and pillows to in-flight movies, we have all been robbed of the few things that made flying bearable.

But none of this applies to the airline executives that helped create the current situation. Most retiring executives leave the airline with hefty retirement packages, often including free flights and free medial care for life.

Departing Continental CFO Jeffrey Misner is clearly more creative than any of his colleagues. As part of his retirement package, he has secured a lifetime free executive parking spot at Jacksonville airport “in a lot that is the same or similar to the lot available to airport-management personnel”.

He’s also taking a cool $3 Million in unrestricted Continental stock with him, which is ironic since that is the same amount of money CO lost in their second quarter.

It’s all spelled out in his retirement agreement posted online by the SEC. None of the other juicy details were described, but one can expect a pretty healthy chunk of our ticket money to head his way for years to come.

Misner joined Continental in 1995 and became their CFO in 2004. During his tenure, shares of the airline rose to the upper $40’s in 2006, only to plummet back into the single digits in 2008.

So, next time you spend $26 a day for parking at the airport and another $20 for a snack on the flight, think of poor retired Jeffey Misner.


Best City Neighborhoods for Retirement: The Rest of the List

Now that I’ve expressed my glee that Columbus’s Short North is listed as one of the best neighborhoods for retirement, here’s the low down on the rest of the list. The original article is from Money Magazine and posted at The version I saw yesterday was on AOL’s welcome page. It’s an abbreviated version. Instead of 30 city neighborhoods, there are 10 with a link to the other 20.

Here they are:

SoFa in San Jose, California. The sunny 300 days a year here attracted me. Cloudy days are the bane of Columbus living. According to the writers, San Jose also has a noteworthy art scene.

Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. My closest college friend would probably second this. She lived here for one year and LOVED it. Unfortunately, the year she was living here, I didn’t have the money to visit her. The Back Bay was her dream come true, until her next dream came true which is the life she’s living now. The reason she only stayed a year? Just like the article said, it’s expensive.

Belltown in Seattle, Washington. I don’t know about Belltown, but I do know that Seattle is wonderful. I visited friends in two neighborhoods not far from downtown this summer, and living in either of them would be terrific. If I lived in Seattle, I’d head to Chinatown often.

LoDo, Denver, Colorado. Denver is another honey of a city if you don’t pay attention much to the brown cloud from the air pollution. I was just talking about how glorious the botanical garden is in Denver.

Midtown, Nashville, Tennessee is a terrific place for its music scene. The description of this area sounds a bit like the Short North.

Arts District Dallas, Texas. When I saw this choice, I was surprised. I went to Dallas years ago for a cousin’s wedding. I do remember going to the Blue Goose restaurant (I think that was the name) and liked it a lot. I vaguely remember someone talking about an art scene.

Mass Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis is a bit like Columbus. The article mentions it being a little bit sleepy. I agree there. The Children’s Museum is anything but sleepy. It’s phenomenal.

Copper Square, Phoenix, Arizona. The things you can do here are the same ones offered in downtown Columbus. The difference is, it’s sunny. With the sun in this part of the U.S. comes the heat. That’s a downside.

Riverside/Avondale, Jacksonville, Florida. Interesting architecture, the arts, the river and the weather are just a few of what puts this neighborhood on the list.

You can see the next 20 by going to this link.

Skybus Opens for New Routes: Move Quickly for the $10 Deals

I’m waiting for a Skybus route to upstate New York to open. Stewart Airport in Newburgh would be divine. Not yet, but there are four more routes to start December 5.

If you have any desire or need to head to Chattanooga, Gulfport-Biloxi/New Orleans Area, Milwaukee or Punta Gorda/Ft. Meyers, check out Skybus to see if its schedule and airport locations suits you. Starting December 17 there will be one more flight a day to Jacksonville/Daytona (actually St. Augustine.)

Keep in mind, when you do book a Skybus flight, make sure you have a way from the airport to where ever you are actually going. A friend of a friend of mine was thrilled to pieces over her cheap flight to Boston. She didn’t know that the airport Skybus considers the Boston area is actually about 50 miles away and in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The friend she is visiting in Boston does not have a car. At this moment, she has no idea how she is actually getting to Boston.

Last week I tried to find the route from that same airport into Logan International Airport for a friend of mine. He’s flying from Atlanta to Boston and then wants to come to Columbus. Figuring out the logistics of how to get from Logan to Pease Airport made me tired, so I quit. Sometimes it’s just worth paying the extra money to be able to get to exactly where you need to go–unless you are renting a car anyway. Then, I say, go for the bargain.