Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sky savages

On Monday morning's flight from Seattle to Denver, I frequently thought of the great Seinfeld episode "The Chinese Restaurant" where George Costanza yelled in frustration "We're living in a society here!"

It was the latest flight in which I've observed that airline travel generally turns fellow citizens into cretins who think they're in the land of the lawless in their little aluminum tubes at 35,000 feet.

In the spirit of returning some decency to air travel, here are two new rules for that would make things more enjoyable for everybody:

1. Just because the seats recline, that doesn't mean you should plop into your rearward neighbor's lap.

I once broke up with a girl, partially because when it came to this topic, she assured me that she'd use her God-given right to recline on any and all flights, despite whatever hardships it might cause the person behind her.

Such a statement, to me, reflected her true colors. And then she was gone.

Look, I know the seats recline, but they were designed 30 years ago in an era when a tightly regulated industry had the luxury of providing ample leg room, space to read a newspaper and stale lasagna.

Airlines have since shaved nearly a foot off the available space per passenger, destroying any semblance of comfort. Please don't wreck the already-limited space for the poor soul behind you. It's just common courtesy.

2. You shouldn't need a forklift to hoist luggage into the overhead bins.

The savagery in the skies is getting worse.

Fees for checked bags is the culprit.

When oil prices peaked and airlines freaked, they started charging their pax to check their luggage. This, in turn, caused nobody to check their luggage and instead attempt to wedge their belongings into overhead bins.

It's become open warfare for that coveted space.

Savvy flyers know this means you need to get onto the plane ASAP, and thus need to jockey for position in line and wait with bated breath as they call out rows for boarding.

But if you get on board late, you know what? You lose.

Don't argue with the flight attendants. Don't start re-arranging the bags of others who came before you. Don't attempt to wedge your over-sized bag in with hydraulic jacks. Please just give up, check your bag and the front of the cabin and stop pouting.

It wouldn't be popular, but airlines need to start strictly enforcing their rules on acceptable size of carry-on luggage.



At 2:43 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Amen to those rules!! I always hope that when the person in front of me feels my knees digging into the back of the chair they'll put it upright. It is also a huge pet peave...maybe you can also come up w/ rules regarding small talk and how to tell if a person isn't up for chatting.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Todd Cohen said...

Can we please also add two more rules?

3) Don't stand until people are actually getting off the plane.

Nothing pisses me off more than people who climb over you to get their baggage even though we're still going to be waiting another 5-10 minutes. Are you really that much in a rush, people? I mean, it's not like we landed in the Hudson. Studies show that the airport is still going to be there in 10 minutes. I promise.

4) No clapping when we land (especially in Orlando). News flash, the vast majority of planes land safely. Is there a reason for such an ovation? And if there is a plane filled with kids...well, then it's like you're at a Presidential Inauguration or something. I think a simple "Thank you" will suffice.


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