Airline Ads Depict Corporate Jets As Freeloaders

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Cartoon airliners have to wait on the runway while corporate jets zip ahead of them and clog up the airways, causing delays for travelers, according to ads produced by the Air Transport Association. The ads are being shown on the CNN Airport Network on TVs in passenger terminals around the country. "We pay while they play," says a sad airliner in one animated ad, as a pushy corporate jet cuts to the front of the line. Another ad says there are now twice as many corporate jets as commercial ones, and they are being "subsidized by airline passengers' ticket taxes." (Click here to watch the ads online.) Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, has written to CNN asking that they refuse to air the ads, since they are "false and deceptive" and violate CNN's own standards for advertising. Bolen noted that at the nation's 10 busiest airports, general aviation operations account for less than 4 percent of traffic; GA aircraft are not given priority over airlines; and the FAA has shown that airline delays are due to a multitude of factors, mostly "directly attributable to commercial airline business practices and problems." Meanwhile, the latest print advertisement from the Alliance for Aviation Across America, a coalition of general aviation groups, depicts airliners as sharks in a feeding frenzy -- "Washington's eating machines ... Devouring federal tax dollars." The alliance has also produced a video ad it intends to run on the CNN Airport Network.