Singapore Airlines is holding a ‘dining event’ later this month. Above, one of its planes lifts off in October 2019.



Photo:

arnd wiegmann/Reuters

Nothing brings to mind pleasure quite like the memory of bumping elbows with strangers while trying to carve up “chicken or beef” with plastic cutlery.

At least, that’s what ticket holders to

Singapore Airlines

’ dining event seem to think. The airline is offering a chance for a meal on its “largest passenger aircraft,” the A380, for two weekends starting October 24 while parked on the tarmac. Don’t get your hopes up too much, though—all seats are sold out, though one can still join a wait list.

It isn’t cheap. Dining in the economy class cabin sets you back 53.5 Singapore Dollars, or roughly $40. For six times that amount, you can dine in the more spacious business-class section. And if you’re willing to shell out $472, you can even be seated in your own suite.

There are a few differences here, of course. The meals aren’t exactly the foil package variety: They will be prepared by an acclaimed chef. And the carrier is enforcing safe distancing measures between groups of passengers.

Other aspects of the dining experience still resemble flight-level hassle, though: All diners must complete a form to get access to the transit area at the Changi Airport and they must bring passports to the event.

Airlines will do anything to get their passengers back, and so far their schemes have worked resoundingly well:

All Nippon Airways

and

Qantas Airlines

’ pricey “flights to nowhere,” for example, were sold out.

The events might do little to make up for airlines’ revenue losses, but they provide warm reassurance to an industry that desperately needs some.

After an unprecedented drop in

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwo ethics groups call on House to begin impeachment inquiry against Barr Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis McGrath: McConnell ‘can’t get it done’ on COVID-19 relief MORE dismissed reports that his campaign is “running low on money” early Tuesday morning, vowing to spend personal funds on his reelection bid if necessary.

“I keep reading Fake News stories that my campaign is running low on money. Not true, & if it were so, I would put up money myself. The fact is that we have much more money than we had 4 years ago, where we spent much less money than Crooked Hillary, and still easily won,” Trump tweeted, referring to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhen do problems with mail-in ballots become a problem for the media? Trump campaign official blames Biden lead on ‘skewed’ polls Trump’s Hail Mary passes won’t get him in the end zone MORE.

“Much of the money we have spent is on our ground game, said to be the best ever put together. I’ll let you know how good it is on November 3rd. Very expensive to do, but opportunity could be BIG! I will spend additional money if we are not spending enough!” he continued. 

Topline

A North Carolina man is facing federal fraud charges after allegedly receiving more than $1.7 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans for fake businesses with names based on the TV show “Game of Thrones.”

Key Facts

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged 38-year-old Tristan Bishop Pan, or Garner, North Carolina, with wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions for taking money from a program intended to help out small businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prosecutors say Pan used business names like White Walker, Khaleesi and The Night’s Watch to receive PPP loans using false tax filings and false statements regarding employees and payroll expenses.

The federal government approved more than $1.7 million in loans for Pan, who prosecutors say had sent 14 applications seeking a total of more than $6.1 million from the government.

Some of the money has since been seized, according to prosecutors.

Key Background

The U.S. Small Business Administration has been giving out PPP loans to qualifying businesses since it was created as part of the CARES Act for coronavirus relief back in March. Qualifying businesses can receive a loan to cover payroll costs, interest on mortgage, rent and utilities, at a 1% interest rate. Businesses can have the loans forgiven if 60% or more of the loan is used to cover payroll costs, mortgages or rent, and utilities.

Tangent

Controversy erupted shortly after the program began in the spring when several large companies were discovered to have received PPP loans. Some, like Shake Shack and the owners of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, quickly returned their loans to the government after the public relations backlash.

Further Reading

Simplifying The PPP Loan Forgiveness Process (Forbes)

Today Is The Last Day To Give Back PPP Loans (Forbes)

Paycheck Protection Loan Backlash: