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Thank you for flying WikiProject Airlines

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By Mabeenot
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An interesting example of aircraft livery celebrating the 25th anniversary of ATA Airlines

This week, we put our life in the hands of WikiProject Airlines. Starting in July 2005, the project has improved articles relating to airline companies, alliances, destination lists, and travel benefit programs. WikiProject Airlines has accumulated over 4,000 pages, including 4 Featured Lists and 26 Good Articles. There is a convenient template that keeps track of the project's announcements, upcoming Featured Articles on the main page, reassessments and reviews, requested moves, and articles nominated for deletion. The project is a child of WikiProject Aviation (see our 2010 interview), sister to WikiProject Aircraft (interviewed in 2011) and WikiProject Airports, and parent of the Defunct Airlines Task Force. We interviewed Compdude123.

What motivated you to join WikiProject Airlines? Do you contribute to any of the other aviation-related WikiProjects?
Compdude123: I joined this project because I'm interested in airlines and I just happen to edit those articles the most. In fact my first major endeavor on Wikipedia was to significantly expand an airline article, Alaska Airlines. The expansion/improvement continued up until it became a Good Article last September.
Are airlines associated with certain geographic areas or time periods better covered than others? Do you tend to focus on airlines based in a particular country or region? Have you participated in the Defunct Airlines Task Force?
Compdude123: I'm not sure about differences in coverage over geographic areas, but airlines that currently exist obviously have better coverage than defunct airlines. (except those that ceased operations fairly recently) Even with airlines currently in existence, the history section is often filled with more events from the year 2000 onward, with less info prior to then. I tend to focus most on US airlines, since I live in America. I'm a member of the Defunct Airlines task force but I haven't done a whole lot of work with defunct airlines.
The project has a wealth of Good Articles and four Featured Lists, but no Featured Articles. What challenges has the project faced when improving articles to higher classes? Are there any Good Articles that are nearing Featured status?
Compdude123: I don't think there's been any challenges with getting some featured articles, it's just that nobody has gone ahead and worked on making an article be up to snuff for FA status. I'd have to look at the good articles we do have and see which one would be closest to being an FA, because I've never really looked into that.
How difficult has it been to acquire images to illustrate articles about airlines? Aside from an airline's livery, what other aspects of the airline can be photographed by the average flyer for use in Wikipedia articles?
Compdude123: It actually has been pretty easy to fill articles with pictures relating to the airline. Thanks to Russavia, we now are able to use thousands of images from the airplane-photography site The biggest benefit of this is that we have access to many historical images of older airplanes that an airline used to operate. Besides the livery and aircraft, other things that people could take pictures of would be shots of the airplane's interior, certain cabin classes, as well as the headquarters of the airline.
With several major airlines undergoing restructuring, rebranding, merging, or modernizing their fleets, what changes do you anticipate will be necessary for Wikipedia's coverage of airlines? What other aspects of the airline business need attention?
Compdude123: We have done a good job of keeping airline pages up-to-date with things like fleet modernization and mergers. It's not that difficult to find news about that sort of thing, as there are several news organizations that deal specifically with the aviation industry. Some aspects of the airline business that could use some attention would be articles about airline terminology. These seem to be ignored by most of us in this project!
What are the project's most pressing needs? How can a new contributor help today?
Compdude123: Clearly we need to have some featured articles but another issue with many airline articles is that some sections, particularly those talking about cabin classes, lounges, and frequent-flyer programs are often written like a travel guide, with way too many details that a reader of an encyclopedia could care less about. A great and easy way for a new contributor to help out is by trimming such sections to make them look less like free advertising for the airline. If you really want to earn a gold star, you could add some info about how the look of an airline's cabin, lounge, or frequent flyer program have changed over the years. There is no airline article that I know of with this type of info.

In next week's special report, we'll see how WikiProjects can measure their workload and productivity. Until then, check out our previous specials in the archive.

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