Monday, March 19, 2007

Thank gawd I don't fly anymore.

I remember the purgatory of waiting for 40 or 50 people whose presence I couldn't stand for one second longer to take their sweet time to empty themselves out of the flying pencil tube of a 727 so I could finally disembark without getting tangled in the herd. If that was purgatory, this is hell:
As a test on Sunday, organizers boarded more than 500 people onto the [Airbus 380] using two jetways with an impressive time of less than 20 minutes. A second test was held shortly after to see if the Lufthansa workers could board it faster.
Once flying became little more than paying to be treated like cattle, I gave it up as a bad thing, and this takes the term to dizzying new heights. If I can't get there by car or boat, they're just going to have to do without me.


BobG said...

I refuse to fly anymore, unless it is absolutely necessary. I haven't been on one of those flying jails in years.

Anonymous said...

I like to imagine 500 people fighting over the small space around the one functioning baggage carousel.

And then 250 of them "discussing" who will get the ten available taxicabs while the remaining 250 form a piglet in a snake on the shuttle to the parking lot.

Oh, yeah. Good times.

Anonymous said...

I'm with tou Tam. If I cant't get there by bike, car or train I'm not going. Between the crappy service and the "security" protocols I've given up on flying anywhere. Jim B

Unknown said...

One of my life goals is to be able to call up Raytheon and order a brand new Beechcraft Baron 58, at which point I'll never *ever* set foot into a commercial cattle hauler again.

Then we'll be traveling Wrangler Airways, where guns are *required*.

J.R.Shirley said...

Well, until my ground effect swifter is perfected, and my bullet train finally gets Federal approval, guess airlines are about my only choice for rapid movement from state to state.


Dr. StrangeGun said...

I have a "two tank" philosophy. If I can get there on two tanks of fuel one way, I'll always drive. Otherwise flight is an option.

That gives me ~700 miles radius to play with.

Anonymous said...

If not for the $1k airfare (two adults, one child), I'd gladly be treated like cattle in order to avoid the 17hrs I will be spending in a car this coming weekend. We're driving from NoVa to Mobile with a 3yo. My only solace is a side trip to CMP South.


Anonymous said...

Quite conspicuous by not being mentioned is: Did all of the 500 test passengers have carry on luggage? If not, then that is one flawed test.
Were they all in order, front to rear by seat assignment? Or mixed. Did they load windows in, or allow aisles to load first?
Fly naked, it really makes the TSA folks job easier.

Anonymous said...


For my sins, I travel for business.

This plane has become my personal nightmare, replacing the seldom seen on domestic routes, 747.

All those stupid tests they do for unloading and loading an aircraft of it's passengers are BULL-feathers. They load compnay employees who are fully briefed on good behaviour and tactics, and the quicker they get out the sooner they can enjoy the compnay provided cocktail hour.

And forget baggage handling, in my experience: passport control is the killer - especially if your're inbound from anywhere "interesting" - never mind even if you avoid flying these beasts if you arrive 10 minutes after one your dead in the water too.

I like to see a real life test:

600+ travelers grabbed randomly off a terminal and shoved in the plane willy nilly. Now takeoff and in the air declare an emergency. Depressurize, and then land hard. As the plane is landing fill the cabin with dense dark choking smoke and and a wiff of tear gas while ringers yell " we're all gonna die", "Allah akbar", and finger their rosaries, and fake flames lick outside some of the exits.

Now count how many get out in time to prevent death by asphyxiation, how many are crushed by fellow passengers, etc...

That would be test.

brbiswrite said...

For me, it's the whole event that sucks. Getting to the airport; getting past security; loading with all those strangers. To paraphrase Zorba, the full catastrophe.
Last Nov I took a plane to visit my Mom in CA. Many asprins and beer later I arrived. My anticipation I wrote about here:

Again, the whole experience SUCKS.

Anonymous said...

As Sartre said, " Hell is other people". Perhaps he would have formed No Exit Airlines ?

Billy Beck said...

On average over a whole year, I fly to work a little over twice a month, ranging from an hour's jaunt to halfway around the world. To me, these days, the pre-eminent study in StoopidPeeple is airports and every single thing associated with them, from the FAA, down through the thoroughly appalling assholes who work for airlines as if they were trained at the Felix Dzerzhinsky School of Customer Service, to the mal-conscious meatbots drifting through these places like a million ball-bearings scattered across my path in order to make every last forward step as nearly impossible as possible. Verily: I most often believe that the authoritative volume on the origins and current manifestations of Endarkenment would find all necessary research material in this single human endeavor, now. It's all right there.

And I ain't seen nothin' yet. When this thing goes into service, we're really gonna start having fun.

You'll find me in a window seat, jabbing heroin right straight into my eyeballs.

Old Blind Dog said...

Heh! go here tam, marko.

Matt G said...

Heh. Last flight I was on, it took us 5 minutes to board because we were chatting and I was tossing gear on by myself.

Pilot had .380 in his pocket.
I had a Chief's Special in one pocket, a .380 in another, and a Kimber .45 on my hip.
Other passenger (Dad) had, IIRC, a 4" Cobra in a swell shoulder rig, and likely had something tucked into his pants.
The dog was not heeled, but that was true enough to character-- he wouldn't heel the entire trip (tripped Ashley up a time or two.).
We were a flying contingent of private air marshalls.

Anonymous said...

I don't fly on Airbus products. Anything that will fly into a treeline instead of climb while overriding manual control as dictated by its' Microsoft-OS flight operations program isn't gonna get my butt in a seat.


Gewehr98 said...

I logged way too many hours in a C-5B to ever want to get near that A-380 monstrosity. Even in the C-5B, I felt that Gawd Almighty was going to strike us down from the heavens for being a tad blatant.

One can only imagine what will happen the first time one of those A-380s crashes, killing all 500+ souls on board...