Monday, October 11, 2010

Picture of a Perfect Flight

I just bought a plane ticket to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. It is the most I have ever paid for a domestic plane ticket in my life. And it is for this reason that I will be eating air sandwiches and sneaking into movies until my bank account recovers from the hit.

Airlines make me angry. Not angry like, say, the way slow walkers piss me off. No I’m talking about feeling violated. Like I’m in an abusive relationship with somebody that I only see 6 weekends a year, but I still can’t get out of it.

Rich are you going out with Delta AGAIN?
I can’t help it. I just know we’re so good together.
The last time you were together Delta punched you in the mouth and stole your money!
You just don’t understand her. She did that out of love.

Air travel hasn’t been a pleasant experience since… well, I really can’t remember the last time it was a pleasant experience.

And certainly with the new baggage fees in play, passengers are extremely angry. I don’t know who charges what to check bags, I just don’t do it. I try to pack as little as humanly possible, and if I have to pack a lot, I jam my stuff into my carry on so tightly that I anticipate the zipper snapping off and killing somebody.

But when I have the ability to do so, I travel only with my laptop, a book, and a toothbrush.

The latest wave of airline backlash has resulted in some pretty interesting airline ads. They are getting very creative in describing just why THEIR airline is the one you should choose. And when you are on these planes they are sooo gracious.

“Thank you so much for choosing our airline.”

It is at that point that I want to stand up and say;

Excuse me, I would just like to point out that I didn’t choose this airline OK? I was forced into it by the fact that you are the only airline that cost less than 500 dollars and wasn’t leaving from New Jersey. OK? So when you say I chose you, well yea, but I also choose to go to the dentist and he regularly stabs my mouth until I bleed. So don’t get a swelled head. Airline.

Really the only interesting thing about flying is the Sky Mall magazine and half the time somebody has stolen the copy that I am supposed to read. So I just pour over the safety guide and try to imagine what the people in the pictures are saying to each other.

I wanted to take some home so I could use them in this particular post but I am not in the habit of stealing other people’s safety guides. I feel like that is really bad karma. And I also didn’t want to be the creepy guy on the plane taking pictures of the safety guide.

But I really need to express the ridiculousness of the safety guides so I googled a couple to show you just what I mean. Like this one:

It appears to say, “In case of an emergency landing, if there is a redheaded woman on the flight…. Push that bitch off the plane!”

And I really love this one.

This woman doesn’t open her eyes throughout all of the examples. As though in a time of airplane crisis its just soooo easy to find your life vest, attach it to yourself, find your way to the open door, and then strike a hip-out pose before jumping into the ocean.


After I am done judging the artists who try to save our lives through instructional cartoons, I start browsing the airline’s magazine. It is sometimes interesting, and usually doesn’t get me riled up. But on my last flight I realized a drastic and inexcusable bit of false advertising.

As I got to the back of the magazine where they show food and beverage items available for purchase, I realized something I had never noticed before. This image:

Now I know first class is different than coach, but I have never been on a flight where TAP BEER was an option. Unless of course they are advertising that this particular beer magically fills up a glass (and who gets a glass on a flight - its plastic cups all around friendo) twice the size of the can it came from? In which case I would like to see the science behind that.

So now I am salivating over the idea of a beer but I know the best thing to drink on a flight is water. Doctors say so. Your body needs water on a flight. So I throw back a couple of waters because I am terrified of DVT, but now I have to pee. And there are few experiences more uncomfortable than an airline bathroom.

In fact I try to avoid using them.

I am not a big person. I am not a wide person. I’m 6’2 and on the skinny side. But sweet baby Jesus, every time I have to use an airplane bathroom I have to contort my body into a series of angles and loops that are far from natural. I feel like I’m auditioning for a spot in Crap Du Soleil.

I am too tall for the bathroom though so I have to stand with my neck at a right angle. Its such an uncomfortable experience that I need a visit to the chiropractor just to undo the damage from a simple potty break.

There’s no making any of this better. It just sucks. Well, unless maybe I kept my eyes closed the whole time. Yea, maybe that will work.


Neurotic Workaholic said...

Loved this post. Slow walkers bug me too, especially because they tend to walk in groups and take up all the room on the sidewalk so that you can't move around them without knocking them over. I've tried not to do that anymore, unless they're REALLY slow.

I hate traveling by plane too, partly because I'm scared of flying. I think the sound of a plane taking off ranks right up there with the sound of a dentist's drill.

Once in a while said...

I always re-assure people about to fly or already in flight - relax enjoy people watching, and remember you will always come back down to earth - that last bit doesn't always make them happy - spread the word of my blog for children

Flitterbee said...

One of the things I love about England is the fact that you can drive from one end to the other and back again in less than a day.

Who needs aeroplanes, hey?

Flitterbee said...

It seems that link only shows one end. Here's the other. Google says it takes about 10 hours, but chances are, most people don't have to travel to the extremes of the country very often.

Anonymous said...

Flying is totally an abusive relationship. BA kicked me in the teeth, then locked me in a hotel for a week and made me pay for it, then punched me some more, THEN gave me shiny presents (upgraded seat!) in order to entice me back.

Oh, and glassware does exist on that obscenely expensive 'club world' section of BA flights that cost about £1000 on a good day, it seems (yay upgrade). No beer on tap though.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

I hate flying for SOOOO many reasons so I totally feel you on this entire post.

Well, except the part about being tall in an airplane. But my hubby gets that part!

Lauren said...


Caroline B said...

And yet over here they want to introduce standing-room on planes and £1 charge for the toilet - can you imagine? It's bad enough on Easy-Jet with your knees up round your shoulders and so called priority boarding being just an excuse for the whole rest of the passengers to all get a chance to trample you....
Flitterbee - I don't know what England you know about but the one I live in is riddled with roadworks, diversions, speed restrictions, accidents and the M25 - it would be quite a feat to drive from Lands End to the Scottish border and back in less than a day!

Flitterbee said...

@Caroline: Oh, I speak not from experience, of course, I'm only going by Google, which as we know, is infallible, right...? ;)

Still, substantially shorter than driving from one end of America to the other, eh!

Caroline B said...

Ahhh, Google....they don't allow for the bit where you are found sobbing in a layby on the outskirts of Birmingham having been round the ringroad five times and ended up back where you started....

Pond said...

:D Yes, exactly and more Rich! I happen to have had to book some flights today, the hell begins even before you get to the airport, with the regulations, hidden fees, connector stress and the current assumption on my part at least, that if you have to change planes at all, anywhere; your luggage will be taking a different trip than you are.

Anonymous said...

I've been out of the blog world lately and I'm really regretting it right now. See, I have all of these hilarious posts of yours that I need to catch up on. And it's making me want to not do my job. And I'm at work. So... that's a problem.

Your bathroom picture made me giggle like a little girl. Mostly because i was trying to figure out HOW -- in that tiny space -- you managed to maneuver around enough to take a picture.

Nancy said...

I'm with you - I avoid the bathrooms at all cost. But then I have a bathroom phobia and avoid any and all that are not attached to my home, if at all possible!
What I find so annoying with the airlines is how their fees can change from one day to the next. $%^#@

Pat said...

Remind me never to walk anywhere near you, because, hey, this old gray mare? She ain't what she used to be!

Secondly, I HATE to go potty on the plane but since my bladder is about the size of a walnut, I have no choice. My fear is that I will be locked in the bathroom.

Do couples really have sex in there? Seriously? They must be contortionists!

Anonymous said...

@Caroline B: ugh, £1 toilets? I have yet to be on an easyjet flight that had a toilet even worth 2p!

librarygirl said...

Everyone in my halls must think I'm crazy now, because I spent the duration of that post giggling madly to myself. I feel your pain with the airplane toilets. When I was about 8 I got locked in one at 35,000 feet in the air. It's a good thing I was actually in a toilet, because I was crapping myself. Turns out I wasn't actually locked in, I just couldn't open the door because I can't tell my left from right. Still, it was one of the more eventful plane journeys of my life.

Cathy said...

Funny post - I have the same feeling that every flier is just as pissed off as I am! I loved that flight attendant who said "Screw You" to all the passengers and took off down the emergency slide! Who hasn't has that fanatsy?

Have you ever thought about the train?

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

You are one hilarious Mother F....this sums up my comments on ALL your recent posts....

Not who I will be said...

I haven't been in an airline bathroom since...well I can't even remember, I've probably been on at least 50 planes since the last time I did - and it's because of the weird angles. I'm only 5'9" but contortion has never been my shtick so I just abuse my kidneys instead.

Totally with you on the slow walkers thing. I almost killed everyone in my path on the way to the train yesterday because people tend to move EVEN SLOWER when it's hot outside and I can't stand it.

Otherwise, I love planes and the ridiculousness that occurs on them (oh and of course actually reaching my destination in a reasonable amount of time).

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