Tuesday, October 16, 2007


And, believe it or not, all of them are the passengers.

Is there some benefit to being not only in Boarding Group "A", but being first in line in Boarding Group "A"? You realize that the plane is not taking off until the last person's on, right? The only benefit I can see is being in exit row and you're one person fighting for, in most cases, one of only four seats. Grow up, relax, don't be a nincompoop.

Look, I'll put it this way. The exit row is intended for those requiring extended leg room. If you are shorter than 6'3", you do not qualify for exit row seating. I mean, imagine if something actually happened and you had answered to the flight attendant that, yes, "You would be able to complete all of the tasks required of a person sitting in the exit row in the case of an emergency." If you do, in fact, take the exit row seat away from someone who actually deserves it, you at least owe me a look in the eye as I walk by. Look me in the eye, butthole. At least give me that. But don't put your head down like you don't see me cramped in the aisle as I walk by.

It's pretty simple: you get onto the plane with your crap in hand, you locate your seat, you put your crap up and you sit down. If you want a magazine out of your bag, do that before you get on the plane. If you know you're not going to want to wear your jacket on the flight, take it off before you get on the plane. The faster this process goes, the better my flight is going to be. I absolutely hate standing in lines and even moreso when my head is bowed, my chin's in my chest because I'm too tall for the cabin and I have a person two inches in front of me and two inches behind me. Sit down, you moron. And, another thing, the seats are labeled on each row so if you're looking for "13A", you can actually look where "A" is on any row because they don't change and then, by the time you get to the thirteenth row, you can just plop your tail end down into the correct seat.

Your asked once and get one polite reminder. Again, you're stalling the plane from taking off. I don't know if there's any good reason to turn off electronic devices, but I know they ask you to do it. Since I'm not smart enough to fly a plane or patient enough to serve hundreds of moron passengers, I do what I'm asked. And I don't know if any song is that great that you just have to finish it. Turn it off when you're first asked and, don't be a dumbass, take the headphones actually off of your head so that there's no mistaken that you're not listening to the device. I know you enjoy testing people and are hoping you get asked again so you can say, "It's off! I just have the headphones on my head!" Stow it away, homeboy.

As a general rule, look at the person behind you and evaluate whether or not you're gonna have enough room to lean the chair back before you so launching it back into their knees or, like me, my forehead. I stand 6'3" and there's not much room for someone else's torso in my space. At the very least, ask if it's okay. Maybe because of your thoughtfulness, I might actually approve a few inches, but if you're sitting in front of me, you can pretty much write off a full recline and a nap. Go to a seat where a gnome is sitting behind you. I don't shrink, fold or budge.

You know when you land and they say, "It's now okay to use your cellular phones," and you look around and immediately see crazy people firing off phone calls like they just couldn't wait to begin calling someone? These people are both intriguing and mad annoying. I didn't know there was a contest to be the first to successfully place a phone call on your cellular telephone after landing. What are the prizes? Is there also a prize for having the whiniest cell phone voice? If so, I have a winner.

As a general rule, if you gotta window seat and there's two or more individuals between you and the aisle and the flight is no longer than an hour and fifteen minutes, you're gonna have to plug the urination. You're in a no-pee zone. You get one free pass on flights with a duration longer than an hour fifteen. If you're sitting next to me, I'll govern your liquid intake. "No, it's not necessary to give this person any fluids because I will not get up if they have to pee." Then I'll turn to you and say, "You're not going to die from dehydration in an hour. Take a nap."

It's entertaining, but when you try a second time, you've become an annoyance. Knowing when a bag doesn't fit in the overhead bin is crucial for making my flight enjoyable. It's like simple physics, or mathematics, or observation. I've seen a guy trying to cram a bag four inches bigger in every direction into an overhead compartment and I just felt like standing up and asking him, "Are you retarded?" Abandon the mission while you still have some energy and your life. Because all those cats waiting in a line behind you are due in mere seconds to bum rush you and beat you with your bag. Check it next time.

Look, I don't like talkers--generally speaking, of course. It's not that I don't like "talking." I don't like talkers. You know the people that launch right into conversations from the time they hit their seat. Some start off subtly with, "Well, looks like we have a bit of a delay," while others just get right into the personal business: "Where are you heading?" I don't like to talk and, usually, have no problem projecting this to other passengers because, well, people just don't talk to me (unless its my lovely wife, of course). Even more annoying are talkers that project in such a way so that more than the person they're addressing can hear it. It's usually when they want others to feel the glow of their status. They'll talk about their new BMW, their job as a regional director for a large company, their downtown loft they just moved into, their strained shoulder which was injured when lifting a compact car with one arm. They yearn for acceptance and their abrasive conversational voice is a cry out for help. My answer is: "Pipe down and tell someone who cares. I'm not interested in dating you."

It's Tuesday. Which means it's the second day of the work week. Sox are down 1-2 to the Indians. Knew this wasn't going to be easy. Rockies are the team to beat...and root for, apparently. More on that later.


Anonymous said...

OK, J3, never have I been so motivated or qualified to comment on one of your posts. I feel like I am an expert in this topic as I take to the "friendly skies" about every two weeks. While I'm astounded there was no mention of the fine folks of the TSA, or the wonderful world of delayed flights... perhaps you are saving that for another day.... I hope so.

So here's my frequent flyer take:

9) First Person: I'm semi-guilty here. Being a competitive type A, a creature of habit, and desiring to put as much routine in traveling as I can I have some tendancies in this area. First off, SW Airlines kind of forces this behavior on us, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of open seating especially with the recent enhancements SW has made, but I generallly like to sit in the same seat. It's not in the front of the plane, but rather right after the wings in about row 18, 17 if I'm feeling wacky. I like to be very early in the A Group so I can head directly to the back of the plane, claim my coveted isle seat (in case I run into an item 3 situation). Now being so focused on boarding close to first and then running to the back may seem contrary, but instead it affords me the time to take MY time, take off my suit coat (to avoid wrinkling in advance of my business meeting) get out my magazine (not go down the isle with it in my hand - how absurd) and settle in. The back also increses my chance that I won't have someone sitting in the middle seat and we play elbow hockey for the armrest for the duration of the flight. Who really gets to claim that armrest? Do you share? Take shifts? I digress....

8) 4 Footer Exit Row: OK, here's where I REALLY differ with you! Not because I want to sit there, just because I think your premise is all wrong. This is America, home of the free, land of opportunity, equal rights for all (unless you are gay, of course). It is not your birthright just because you were born freakishly big/tall to occupy that space. If you want it, fly on an airline that assigns seats and nab the bulkhead seat, even better than the exit row. OR God forbid you get there early, get a little of Item 9 in you and pony up, dude. Join the party, board early and you can sit where you want! A tall guy has no more right for those more spacious isles than a fat guy has the right to two seats without paying for them (or even worse half of your seat). I know I sound a little Republican here, and it even surprises me since I'm such a liberal... but maybe at 5 feet two inches I'm a little bitter. Look at it this way, you'll always have a better view at a concert than us vertically challenged folks, let us exact some revenge with the isle seat, Sasquach!

7) File in File Out: Agree with you on this one to a certain extent. If you are going to be one of "those", be self aware and courteous, refer to my comments on item 9, board early and got to the back of the plane. People will like you better.

6) I-Pod guy: Agree completely. I think there's a little show-off factor here too like the loud talker. "I'm so cool, I have an iPod and I don't respect authority".

5) Seatback: Can leaning back three inches really make that much difference in your comfort? I'm with you here, J3, the 3 inches "comfort" given to the seatback guy is far outweighed by the poor person behind them that has to look at their bald spot or dandruff all the way to your destination. I also hate when the seatback guy acts like he doesn't know he's supposed to wait until we are at a cruising altitude. Downright rude. If i had my druthers, no seats would lean back on a plane.

4)Cellphone first: Guilty. It has to do mostly with me underlying anxiety about flying. Yes, despite how often I do it I worry every time I fly that I won't see my loved ones again. Turning on that phone while we taxi up to the gate (once they say it's OK) is my way of reassuring myself that I made it and hearing MY lovely wife's voice. Also it is very pragmatic, becaue once I get off the plane it's a rush to the rental car, rush to the meeting, etc. All about time manangement in that regard.

3) Pee: I'll give you this one. Some people can be a pain with the up and down. They should have more item 9 in them and board early and get an isle seat.

2) Overhead bin: Dead on right! (although I hate to use the word "dead" when referring to anything regarding flying). I'll even add my mantra to this item... "If you can't lift it above your head, then you shouldn't carry it on!" I am so sick of seeing the barbie doll sales person who has probably stuffed her bag with hairdryer, beauty products, shoes, etc that she can't lift her bag into the overhead and sits there looking defenseless until some business man comes to her "rescue" to put her damn bag in the bin. Great, sister, you just set us back 30 years! We HAD come a long way, baby. Pack less dumba$$, work out more or check the darn bag.

1) The dreaded Talker: This one is number 1 for a reason! You are right again J3! The unofficial frequent flyer rules are: you get a moment to say a pleasant hello, then shut up. If I start reading work papers or a magazine or play my iPod, i don't want to talk to you. This is my time. Remember, I'm thinking I could die on this flight and I sure don't want my final moments to be filled with your irritating voice and comments. If you just can't stand it, the unofficial rules also give you a few moments at the very end of the flight once we are decending to land and our tray-tables are in thier upright position.

Thanks for reading and giving this topic a forum. I flew this Thursday and I do it again in two weeks. My life is glamorous!

j3 said...

Wow, Sheryl. I hit a nerve. Glad we can agree on some things, but I'm reluctant to endure your comments on tall people. I don't expect a red carpet, but I'm the type at the concerts that move to the side or hunch over so I'm not blocking the view for everyone else. Out of the same consideration, I would appreciate some of the unfairly short folks of the world to show a little class and allow me the same pleasantries.

Oh, and it's spelled "aisles". "Isles" would be a series of islands.

Anonymous said...

smart a$$!!! No spell check, dude. I was lost.