Like many of its fellow regional wireless carriers, Cricket has a relatively small coverage area, and then roaming agreements with other carriers so their customers can make calls more or less nationwide. If you don’t live within that native coverage area, you can’t sign up for service with that particular company. Thom’s dad thought that he lived in Cricket’s coverage area, what with the area where he lives being shaded on one of their maps. But it isn’t so.
In Feb 2009, Continental flight 3407 crashed shortly
after takeoff before landing, killing 50 people. Investigators found that the pilot had had less than half the flying time required by the major carriers, and that he had failed five flight performance tests in his career. Though the tail, uniforms and ticket said “Continental,” the flight was actually run by a smaller regional carrier, “Colgan Air.”