AP airlines writer and News Media Guild member Scott Mayerowitz won the Beat of the Week for his interview with one of the passengers involved in a fight about reclining seats on airplanes.
Mayerowitz won the $500 award for his interview with James Beach, who had used the Knee Defender to prevent the passenger in front of him from reclining her seat. The fight caused United Airlines to divert the Newark-to-Denver flight and kick both passengers off in Chicago.
Beach contacted Mayerowitz on Twitter after seeing his story about the travails that airline passengers face today. He confirmed Beach’s identification as the passenger in seat 12B and produced both a text and radio story from the interview.
His editor in Business News, Paul Harloff, said Mayerowitz is able to view the travel industry through the eyes of the consumer while also understanding that people running the airline industry have a job to do.
‘Walking that fine line allows him to consistently cultivate sources on both sides of the issues,’ Harloff said.
Mayerowitz says he gets to airports early for business or personal flights to watch people or get an interview with airline officials. Once on board he talks with flight attendants to fight out what stories he should be writing and hands out his business card.
The Guild congratulates Scott on this award.