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  1. #1
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    "Fly Sux" Sioux Gateway Airport slogan

    Airport embraces unflattering moniker
    By Dave Dreeszen Journal business editor

    SIOUX CITY -- A few years back, local leaders doggedly fought to dump Sioux Gateway Airport's three-letter identifier -- SUX. They complained the code, used by pilots and airports worldwide and printed on tickets and luggage tags, carried an unsavory connotation, and made Sioux City the subject of ridicule.

    "A lot of times the airport is the front door to the community,'' then-airport director Glenn Januska said in 2002. "We are hearing more people laugh about it, and it's the butt of jokes.''

    That was then. Today, airport leaders no longer think SUX ..... Well, you know.

    In a turnabout, they're embracing the unique code, making it the centerpiece of a new marketing campaign. Hip new T-shirts and caps sport the slogan, "FLY SUX,'' which also forms the address for the airport's redesigned Web site.

    The self-deprecating campaign is the brainchild of airport board member Dave Bernstein, a local businessman who moonlights as a concert promoter.

    With the Federal Aviation Administration steadfastly refusing to change Sioux Gateway's code, he figured the airport might as well use SUX to its advantage.

    "Let's make the best of it,'' Bernstein said. 'I think we have the opportunity to turn it into a positive.''

    Unlike Sioux Gateway, many airports, including some of the busiest hubs, have forgettable three-letter codes, he noted.

    "I've got buddies that I went to college with in different cities that can't even remember their own birthdays, but they all know the Sioux City designator -- SUX,'' he said. "As long as they're talking about you, go with it.''

    Bernstein and fellow airport board member Dan Kaplan publicly unveiled "FLY SUX'' earlier this month in conjunction with Frontier Airlines' inaugural flights at Sioux Gateway. Sioux Gateway's Web site --- Sioux Gateway Airport -- was updated to include information about Frontier's new Denver service, as well as Northwest Airline's daily flights to and from Minneapolis/St. Paul.

    Before Frontier's first flights, airport leaders handed out black T-shirts with "FLY SUX'' in white letters on the front and back. The shirts and matching baseball caps quickly became hot items.

    "I've had people constantly calling me asking where they can get one,'' Bernstein said.

    Jeff Nelson, a Sioux Falls-based Web designer who helped Bernstein update the airport's site, wore a "FLY SUX" cap on a Frontier flight from Sioux City to Denver on Oct. 6. During the trip, it caught the attention of passengers, and even one of the flight attendants. "She leaned over to me, and said, 'I just love your hat.' ''

    "It's a very noticeable thing,'' said Nelson, a former Sioux Cityan. "Sure, people have made fun of (SUX) for years. It's kind of a twist of embracing it now.''

    Mayor Craig Berenstein, who in 2002 described SUX as an "embarrassment'' to the city, said he views the new slogan as a ''cute little way'' to make light of the situation.

    "Not only do I not have a problem with it, but I have one of the T-shirts,'' the mayor said of the new campaign.

    George and Luanne Lindblade are selling the shirts and caps at their Sioux City Gifts shop at 918 Division St. or online at SIOUX CITY GIFTS. Luanne Lindblade said the business is on its third order of the T-shirts, which run $20 apiece. The caps are $15.

    Along the original black T-shirt, a new design with a white background and dark blue ribbing around the sleeves and collar is now available. Bumper stickers and lapel pins emblazed with "FLY SUX'' also are in the works, Bernstein said.

    The airport Web site has a link to the Sioux City Gifts site. The shirts and caps also are now available at the airport gift shop operated by Distinctive Gourmet, the terminal's new food and beverage provider.

    "I think once we start selling them at the airport, we will have a hard time keeping them in stock, which is why we have a link on the Web site as well,'' Bernstein said.

    The city and Distinctive Gourmet split proceeds of the sales, he said.

    There's little known about the origins of Sioux Gateway's infamous three-letter code, SUX. But the city's historic dissatisfaction with the moniker is well documented.
    In 1988, Sioux City officials, enlisting the assistance of its congressional delegation, petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to drop SUX. At one point, the FAA offered the city five different options -- GWU, GYO, GYT, SGV and GAY. Not wild about any of the other choices -- particularly the latter -- airport trustees eventually called the whole thing off.
    In 2002, following the renaming of the airport to honor Col. Bud Day, Sioux City's only Medal of Honor winner, local leaders again tried to change the moniker,
    The FAA denied their request. Airlines objected to the costs associated with changing the code. The FAA also noted that changes are extremely rare, usually done for safety reasons.
    "I'm not sure how a three-letter identifer can be a safety issue -- unless pilots are laughing so loud when they hear it that it distracts them from doing their jobs,'' then-airport director Glenn Januska told syndicated columnist Bob Greene in 2002.
    Greene, then a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, was among the throngs of national media drawn to the amusing story. At the time, NBC's Today show also sent a film crew to Sioux City.



    This article was from the Sunday paper. There was a follow up today in the SCJ that said "Fly SUX" t-shirts and hats were sold out. Also, this story made Fox News, MSNBC, and many daily papers. Here is the link to the slogans SUXcess:

    Sioux City Journal: Airport's new slogan a suprising SUXcess


    GO CLONES!!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: "Fly Sux" Sioux Gateway Airport slogan

    The call letters "GAY" would have been hilarious

    The GAY Airport!



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    Re: "Fly Sux" Sioux Gateway Airport slogan

    Flying frontier into the SUX Gateway was more than I could endure. Turbo prop planes that were mothballed years ago by airlines are back. These things are brand new! Someone thought "Road Warriors" will fly these things?
    Going to the Sioux land again Nov. 12, won't fly frontier................Southwest Boeing 737) to OMA and drive.........won't do SUX due turbo props SUX!



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    Re: "Fly Sux" Sioux Gateway Airport slogan

    Well why not. Shipping companies already use the SUX for location. I guess it got national attention so its good advertisement for a bit.



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    Re: "Fly Sux" Sioux Gateway Airport slogan

    Quote Originally Posted by loboclone View Post
    Flying frontier into the SUX Gateway was more than I could endure. Turbo prop planes that were mothballed years ago by airlines are back. These things are brand new! Someone thought "Road Warriors" will fly these things?
    Going to the Sioux land again Nov. 12, won't fly frontier................Southwest Boeing 737) to OMA and drive.........won't do SUX due turbo props SUX!
    I have no problem flying on a Saab 340 like Northwest flies into FOD or Mason City. They even have a few flights that go in and out of Des Moines.

    I don't think they are that much less noisy than the RJs, or sitting near the back of a DC-9. They are just as safe, if not moreso. There is just as much room as the RJs. You have to planeside check your carry on, but you have to do that on RJs too.

    On another note, I've been in the Air National guard for the last 10 years or so. Our parent unit is the 185th FW in Sioux City. When I first got into the unit, our e-mail addresses were all @iasux.ang.af.mil. They changed them about 6 or 7 years ago to iasiou.ang.af.mil, but I still wish I had my old one, as it was always fun to have around the Iowa-ISU game :)



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