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FILE – Travelers prepare to enter Oakland International airport Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland’s airport is considering a name-change to include “San Francisco” to attract more passengers but San Francisco officials are slamming the move, saying it will confuse travelers since there is already a San Francisco International Airport. The Board of Commissioners for the Port of Oakland took up the question at its meeting on Thursday, April 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
FILE – Travelers prepare to enter Oakland International airport Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland’s airport is considering a name-change to include “San Francisco” to attract more passengers but San Francisco officials are slamming the move, saying it will confuse travelers since there is already a San Francisco International Airport. The Board of Commissioners for the Port of Oakland took up the question at its meeting on Thursday, April 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
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The Port of Oakland’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to change the name of Oakland International Airport to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport during a meeting last week.

Personally, I was hoping they’d rename the airport after Oakland’s most beloved son, but they just couldn’t get any traction behind MC Hammer International.

In a statement, Port Commission President Barbara Leslie wrote: “We are standing up for Oakland and the East Bay…This will boost inbound travelers’ geographic awareness of the airport by highlighting the airport’s location on the San Francisco Bay. This name will make it clear that OAK is the closest major airport, for 4.1 million people, three national laboratories, the top public university in the country, and California’s Wine Country.”

In the same statement, Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan added that, “I’m very pleased with today’s unanimous Board approval, especially as a proud Oaklander myself who wants to enhance economic activity and local jobs for Oakland. We are grateful for the ongoing support of the East Bay business community, along with our trade and travel partners representing Oakland, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and the Tri-Valley as well as the thousands of businesses that they represent. These companies know that having more choices and flight options are good for the entire Bay Area.”

What an inane press release.

“Honey, what airport should we fly out of?”

“I don’t know, which one is closest to at least three major laboratories?”

This explanation is pure fantasy.  People aren’t avoiding Oakland International Airport because of a lack of association with the rest of Northern California. They’re avoiding it because Oakland looks like the day after the world ended.

Crime levels in Oakland are approaching all-time highs, including burglary, robbery, car theft…and prices at the airport bar.

Tellingly, the area around Oakland Airport has become so dangerous some passengers are now willing to board a Boeing aircraft just to get out of there.

According to the Oakland Police Department, in 2023 robbery was up by 37 percent, burglary was up by 24 percent, and motor vehicle theft was up 45 percent, which was an all-time record for Oakland.

Car break-ins are so bad that tourists visiting Oakland are being told to stay away from certain parts of town as they pick up their rental cars.

Remember that the next time you spend 8 hours recharging your EV.

NBC Bay area reported that  Enterprise Rent-A-Car is telling customers to not fill up the car at the gas station closest to them because of break-ins.

Remember the good old days when it was BP and Exxon-Mobile who were robbing us at gas stations near the airport?

Armed security guards were posted at two gas stations near the airport. A Chevron employee, who did not want to be identified, told NBC Bay area that it’s in direct response to car break-ins.

“We couldn’t control the break-ins…It would start at 6 a.m., ‘till 2 and then in the afternoon it would be crazy, way more…On a real bad day I have seen some of these guys in the area maybe get 10 cars within the hour,” he said.

Finally, somebody who’s willing to work!  Somebody get this guy a Costco application!

It’s only a matter of time before a plane taxiing back to the terminal at Oakland Airport gets carjacked.

In addition to the name of the airport, Oakland has recently lost their In-N-Out Burger, Denny’s, and most recently, Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics.

In response to this chaos, Seneca Scott, a leader in the movement to recall Mayor Sheng Thao posted on X, “So @MayorShengThao lost a whole airport too? How much more information do you need to process to understand these people HATE Oakland and are deliberately destroying our city?”

He’s right. Mayor Thao is a disgrace and the condition of Oakland is appalling.

If city leaders don’t want airline passengers avoiding Oakland Airport due to a negative association with the city, they need to stop giving people a reason to think Oakland is a hellhole.  Until they do that, they can name the airport whatever they want. People still won’t go.

John Phillips can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. on “The John Phillips Show” on KABC/AM 790

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