Smart and Creative vs. Stupid and Creative: Why I Won't Fly Continental for a While

Ian Lurie

I’m sitting on a Continental Airlines flight home from Stockholm right now.

I should be in Newark, switching to my flight to Seattle.

What happened?

They needed to take on extra fuel, because of high winds. We refueled in a place called Goose Bay, Newfoundland. That was supposed to take 20 minutes. It took over an hour, instead, because they also decided to load up on snacks.


Goose Bay is well equipped to refuel planes. It’s not all that well equipped to deliver snacks. After about 80 minutes, we finally saw the snacks come on board. Cheetos, chips, and canned soda, in store packaging.

See, they didn’t have any food service in Goose Bay. So they went to a store.

So, to make sure we all had our daily supply of sugar and trans fats, they delayed an already late flight. At least 4-5 people I talked to missed their connections.

I talk a lot about creativity, and creative problem solving.

Continental, let me give you a clue: Creative problem solving fixes problems. It doesn’t create them.

Everyone else out there, keep that rule in mind…

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Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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