UCSD Transportation Services Debuts Airline


Written by: Abby Offenhauser

“What’s the deal with HDH airline food?” asked one student.
Photo by Connor Betterly

This weekend, Chancellor Pradeep Khosla announced that, in an effort to ease students’ struggles with traversing UC San Diego’s ever-growing campus, the school will begin a new construction project during Winter Quarter of 2024: the creation of its own airline, Triton Air.

“This state-of-the-art infrastructure is unlike anything we’ve established on campus before,” Khosla stated in an announcement released to students. “The university has heard students’ concerns about the time it takes to get across campus, and we hope to resolve this issue with Triton Air. Students will soon be able to get from one side of campus to the other in just a couple of minutes, as long as they have TSA PreCheck® and pass the totally random, unprejudiced pat-downs.”

The bulk of this project will center around the construction of three airports: one in the Theatre District, one in Seventh College, and one just outside of Warren College. According to a recent in-person press conference held by UCSD Transportation Services, the process of boarding these planes will be similar to using the on-campus Triton Transit shuttles once students are past security: “no ticket, no hassle — just hop on board.” Transportation Services administration assured students that they “[couldn’t] think of any complications that could possibly arise from this.”

“Yes, we know students will be flocking to the airports if they have classes 10 minutes apart on opposite sides of campus,” one administrator acknowledged. “And sure, the planes will have a limited number of seats. But if a few students want to double up or just stand in the aisles, what’s the worst that could happen?”

Because the airline’s pilots will all be unpaid undergraduates, some have expressed concerns regarding rider safety and student exploitation. However, Khosla assured students that through a new pilot internship program, UCSD will “support the career goals of future pilots” by providing
“invaluable training and experience in the field of aviation.”

While the all-female flight attendant crews will reportedly be paid, this will be UCSD’s first on-campus job to include height and weight requirements. Warren College student Stu Ardess, who applied early to become a Triton Air flight attendant, has withdrawn her application after what she described as an “alarming” in-person interview. “When I first walked into the room, the interviewer looked me up and down and immediately wrote something on his clipboard,” Ardess stated. “When he asked about my prior work experience, he said ‘Mmhmm, yeah, okay,’ and pretended to write something on the clipboard, but his pen was literally not even touching the paper.” Transportation Services has also employed undergraduate fraternity members to help conduct interviews; according to one unnamed student, the two most significant deciding factors when hiring flight attendants were bra size and whether or not they belonged to a sorority.

Already, there has been pushback from the surrounding community in response to the beginning of pilot training at Torrey Pines Gliderport, as many see this as a danger to local paragliders and hang gliders. “I was just trying to enjoy my weekly hang gliding, as you do, when this whole-ass plane almost took me out,” stated La Jolla resident Rich A. Soul. “Damn college kids. Can’t have shit in La Jolla.”
During recent test flights over the campus, another complication became clear to student pilots: a distinct lack of emergency landing spaces. One pilot was reportedly forced to perform an emergency landing on KAHNOP after several students shone their phone flashlights at him, resulting in “extreme landing turbulence” and “irreparable psychological trauma.”

Despite all of this, Khosla maintained that “the future looks bright for students with long cross-campus commutes.” According to Khosla, construction of the airports is slated to be finished by Fall Quarter of 2088.

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