Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fly Airline Delight - Completely Customized for YOU

The news today lists the sorry state of airline travel, although, to my mind, it doesn't go into nearly enough detail. "On time" grievances seem to be what the industry is tracked on -- well, and safety, of course -- but they've missed some of the more important issues from the traverler's viewpoint.

How about this for the perfect flight:
  • Select your seat size to fit your body, just as you do your jeans. "I need a 32 short, please, and my husband will need a 40 long." This would accommodate every ass and every leg length, as well as also apply to the size of the toilet facility. No one I know, or have ever known, can possibly do everything necessary for personal hygiene in a toilet area that size. And on flights lasting over four hours, could one of the attendants please attend to the state of the stall? By the time you land, the facilities are too disgusting to use. A shower would be nice, too. I've taken shorter journeys on trains that have had shower facilities. Wouldn't it be wonderful to arrive at your vacation destination actually smelling good? I'm sure the taxi drivers and hotel personnel would appreciate it.
  • Choose your meals when you book your flight, so you know exactly which antacid or H2 blocker to bring with you. "No, I don't want the congealed pasta this trip. I'd much prefer the mystery fish, slimy lettuce and tasteless dressing, please, and without the cold, hard roll. "
  • A breakfast snack before landing? "I'll pass on the salmonella burrito...maybe the stale croissant and fake butter instead."
  • If we book early enough we can already choose our seat location, but wouldn't it be lovely to have the spot tailored more to our likes and dislikes? "Please do not seat me near anyone under the age of 30, and I'd prefer the quieter section for introverts. No big-mouthed, big-haired gals from Big D with too much makeup, jangling jewelry and a terrible accent. No Gen-X executives who want to show me their iPods and iPhones and pictures of their iWives and iChildren." If you're traveling alone, astrological seating would work... fire signs matched with air signs, water and earth signs seated together. Bladder compatibility would be a great touch, too.
  • Drinks? Your choices now are limited to alcohol, canned soda, stale Evian, weak coffee and tea, lukewarm milk and plain ice. Why couldn't they have a little Starbuck's cart and serve something worth drinking...along with a side order of whatever sleeping pill works best for you?
  • Reading material in the seatback pockets? Forget "Sky Mall" and "Duty Free" and stuff the pocket full of those thick magazines that each weigh too much to carry on board, a real news magazine or two, or maybe something naughty that you're too embarrassed to buy yourself. And forget the sick bag... If I need to vomit, I'd rather do it on the rude flight attendant's shoes. Oh -- can't a gazillion dollar industry afford real pillows, instead of those engorged Q-Tips with the scratchy covers?
  • The 777 airplane has individual TV monitors for your viewing pleasure, but, alas, nothing pleasurable to view. There must have been 227 million videos produced by now... surely some computer geek somewhere can figure out how to store a decent-sized library of watchable videos on a plane that big. And, I'm not really sure why the "flight map" representation (which tracks the true position of the plane for the entire flight) has all the site descriptions labeled in Spanish. I wondered for awhile if I was actually on Cubano Airlines when I saw "Oceano Atlantico" and "Nuevo York" on the map. It would also be a tad more comforting if the tiny airplane graphic didn't look like it was headed nose down, directly INTO the ground at the destination airport.
  • It's ironic how the airline informational magazine reminds us of the dangers of DVT's during long flights, yet the pilot keeps the seat belt sign on the entire time so you can only creep into the aisles when your bladder is about to burst. Take out two more seats and install a small treadmill, for God's sake. A human being is not meant to spend 18 hours seated in one position, strapped down with no room for leg movement. It's not an unreasonable request, particularly since they have already alerted us to the danger.
  • Decide either by lottery or an additional fee which passenger gets to use the shared arm rest, and ditto for which passengers get to leap into the aisle and off the plane first. Those final five minutes after landing get ugly.
  • It costs roughly $8000 to fly to Europe in business class (with reclining chairs, plush blankets, better food and service). I think it would be reasonable if the airline accepted one child or another asset in lieu of the $8000.
  • And my last request... how about if all airline personnel realize that passengers are customers -- the people who actually pay real (and lots of) money for their tickets --which ultimately provides their paychecks. If the minimum-wage grocery bagger at the supermarket can make eye contact and generate a little friendly small talk, why can't the "professionals" on airplanes do at least that? The only time I've seen any real warmth has been the cheery farewell as passengers exit the aircraft. "Bye, now. Have a great day....Thanks for choosing Snotty Uncomfortable Airlines" (Translation: "Thank God we're on the ground and you're finally leaving the plane. You are scum, and it was way too much trouble to serve you. I hope this flight was late enough that you miss your next connection. Ta Ta!")

1 comment:

annie kelleher said...

sounds like a delightful flight!!! you make me more eager than ever to book our next trip!!!!! RV - here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!

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