Fear Of Flying

Flying itself is no big deal. I did a lot of it back in the day. Forget about the glory and drama of flight. It sucked. The only thing that I had to look forward to was the fact that as soon as those engines started droning… I was out like a light in my cramped seat, usually before the plane ever rotated off the runway. And then I earned the right to fly up front at no extra charge. I got a bigger seat to sleep in. The food is crappy, the flight attendants surly (or very bad comedian wannabe’s), the rules onerous (just what can you really carry on these days?), the bathrooms smell bad… And now you even get charged for checking bags. At first, I feared the advent of the Sky Phone because I thought that the flying, stinky sardine can was going to turn into a non-stop gab fest. Thankfully, the cost was too high and it didn’t quite catch on. Attempts to allow folks to use their personal phones in mid-flight have been shot down. Never mind that take off and landing sounds like the parking lot at the local high school.

Now, according to the SiliconRepublic, airlines want to charge you for the privilege of broadband in flight. Gee… now Ernie Executive can be productive on his/her flight across the country instead of napping. This assumes that the broadband service will allow, say, VPN connections through its servers. And if VPN gets through, what about Skype and other VoIP services. Welcome to the gabfest you were trying to avoid. And what about the perv in 17C that is watching some artfully airbrushed porn on his lapper while seated next your 6 year old darling whilst you wing your way to Mouse World? And remember, all these rising fuel prices have had an effect on airlines, too. It’s damn expensive to drive where you want to go. Airlines are feeling the pinch, as well. Many of the national carriers have laid off employees AND reduced the number of planes and flights. What does this mean for you?

More crowded, more expensive, noisier, smellier, more expensive, and down right rude travel. How is one supposed to nap in a situation like this?


2 Responses to “Fear Of Flying”

  1. June 10, 2008 at 12:42 am

    I flew from Shreveport to Phoenix on Sunday. At least I left Shreveport on Sunday. I finally got to Phoenix early, early, early Monday morning. Phoenix time. Shreveport time it was almost 3am.

    In a rare moment of clarity and honesty, American Airlines told me my 2 hour layover in Dallas was extended to 4 1/2 because they were waiting on an airplane. That’s like, you know, one of those prerequisites for flying these days.

    Finally after boarding more than 30 minutes past the stated delayed time for departure, I thought we were on our way. But wait! For no extra charge we got to sit on the plane for an additional 45 minutes while for the lavatory crew to come pump the overflowing (according to the pilot’s announcement). The real problem was stated about 25 minutes into this wait with the announcement that so far, no one had been able to locate the on-duty lavatory pumping crew at DFW.

    Asking if the passengers would rather take off with “full” lavatories than wait any longer, the pilot was greeted by massive applause from the passengers. Especially those passengers in the cattle car section. I was flying on Advantage miles and paid $90 for an upgrade to first class. I’d had two glasses of wine before we ever took off. I was mellow.

    I have to admit that all the AA personnel I had contact with extremely professional, competent, and very nice. Unfortunately I had no contact with the person in charge of scheduling aircraft for sold out flights.

  2. June 10, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Wow… a GOOD flight!

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