Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fly The Annoying Skies.

  • I have come up with a new idea for an airline: The only difference would be that to reach the boarding gate, every passenger would need to scale a 12-foot cargo net with their carry-on baggage and no assistance. This would eliminate the sick, lame, and lazy, as well as small children, and all the consequent gagglef&^%ing around in the aisle that goes on on airliners. I'll bet boarding and debarking would be faster, even allowing for the cargo net, than regular airliners.

  • They've obviously gone completely pro forma on the exit row restrictions, as I saw people sitting there that were outweighed by the 45-lb escape hatch they would be expected to manhandle while I was playing Nero's Tiki Torch in the aisle.

  • Dear Jackhole sitting next to me: I realize that it was important for you to sprawl out in the most crotch-airing stance possible, but I paid for my whole damn seat, and that's why I shoved your leg out of my way, so don't look all pissy at me and expect anything other than the glare you got. At least I didn't call you out and humiliate you in front of everybody for three aisles around like the flight attendant did when you sprawled you other loafer out into the aisle when she was trying to, you know, do her job. I can't believe I have to play "Mom! He's on my side of the line!" with a balding, gray-haired grown man. Manners: They aren't hard.


Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Manners: They aren't hard."

You wouldn't think so, would you? Yet some people wouldn't recognize manners if they walked up and politely asked to whack them on the head for their stupidity.

Chris said...

Those observations of airline passengers illustrate one of the reasons civility is breaking down: too many people have bought into the concept of "Me, First and Only".

I'm feeling cramped in only one seat? I can sprawl out wherever I choose. I want to sit at a window seat, even though I cannot possibly operate the escape hatch? No problem, Happy Air won't hassle you. Don't feel like checking a bag for your two-week vacation? Just bring everything you need in a carryon that grossly exceeds the posted limits, and then spend 15 minutes (with an attendant's help) getting that monster-truck-sized bag into the Prius-sized overhead bin. Talk about a blivet.

I'm not even gonna start in on how too many parents don't understand major components of their job description, or how the set of actions once called common courtesy seem to be as rare as honest bankers.

Dave said...

We need to re-legalise dueling. The risk of being called out to rapiers at dawn would fix that manners problem quickly. And as a bonus, there would be a lot of dead people who believed that manners are a bourgeoisie weakness.

Anonymous said...

excessive carry-ons are my biggest pet peeve. Folks with the "personal" item that is as big as my backpack, plus that "monster truck" roller bag and a laptop that has a case the size of a large briefcase, arrgggh. And then they act helpless when it comes time to stow all that gear. I figure if I can't throw it up the steps to the shuttle bus, I sure don't need to be taking it into the cabin.

Stuart the Viking said...

When the TSA started groping and nudi-scanning, I "stopped flying", but before that, I would only get on an airplane for the direst of emergencies anyway for exactly the reasons that you state. My last flight featured the approx. 10 year old boy sitting behind me repeatedly kicking the back of my seat as hard as he could (both feet, on purpose, because he was mad at his mother from what I heard of their conversation). His mother, sitting beside him, had given up and was just letting him do it. I finally got him to stop by turning around and threatening to pummel the crap out of him (hey, it was all I could think of, I'm not exactly proud of it). Apparently, I was scary enough that he stopped. I thought his mother was going to have a melt down of the we-don't-hit-our-child kind, but with Jr. settling down and behaving for what might have been the first time in his short, undisciplined life, she just let it drop.


Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

@Dave: I'd be happy with Tasers at 10 paces.

Scott J said...

As long as we're posting annoyances how about drivers who must come to a complete stop even though they have a lane to continue on protected from oncoming traffic by a large, concrete median.

The traffic safety Nazis always harp on speed. I say timidity likely causes far more accidents.

cj said...

I'm convinced airlines won't be happy until we all strip down to hospital gowns, lay out on stacked stretchers, and accept the gassing to knock us out until the end of the flight.

No annoying passengers to deal with (so they can remove flight attendants), people become cargo that can be stacked 5 or 6 high in bunk-like stretchers, and no screaming if they go down.

Tam said...

Scott J,

"The traffic safety Nazis always harp on speed. I say timidity likely causes far more accidents."

Because timidity is so often accompanied by nervous hunting, hesitation, and darting movements which make it impossible for your fellow drivers to anticipate your next move based on your current vector.

Shrimp said...

"Manners: They aren't hard."

Oh, but they are. In order for manners to be understood and employed, one has to develop a sense of empathy, along with personal responsibility and self-denial. Without those, manners will never exist--let alone engage--in that person.

Chris nailed it in his first sentence. Too many people have bought into the concept of "Me, first and only."

Murphy's Law said...

I always enjoy how the airlines will search passenger lists for the largest, fattest passengers on the flight and then seat them in the aisle seat next to me whenever I'm on a small commuter flight. Whatever happened to the policy of "if you can afford enough food to get that disgustingly fat, you can afford to pay for two seats so as not to take up half of the space allotted to the normal-sized person next to you"?

Oh, and I'm good with the cargo net idea, if only to keep Blotto and Large Marge out of the seat next to me, and those perpetually-crying kids, too!

Erin Palette said...

I will agree with Point 1 if, and ONLY if, you allow us to go down the inflatable exit ramp at the end of the flight. Because dammit, that looks like fun.

Anonymous said...

I do like the cargo net idea. If it doesn't make it in the aircraft, you loose it forever.

I would also allow the sky waitresses to use cattle prods to get people in their seats quicker.


Peripatetic Engineer said...

The cargo net is a good idea. I hate it when a small woman with a tail dragger heavier than she is tries to put it in the overhead bin only to fail either because she isn't tall enough or strong enough and then waits patiently for someone to help her. She knew she couldn't lift it when she packed it so why didn't she check it?

Woodman said...

Last time I flew, first time in years, was this summer. I took a Finnish protective mask bag that I've been using as a purse, I refuse to use words like Murse, or Man-Bag, it's a purse, deal with it, and I tied my extra shoes to the back of it.

I felt like I was on walkabout, and I have no idea how some of these people with their 50 lbs of extra carry on bags expect to have a pleasant or efficient trip.

I think the only people who enjoy flying anymore are kids, people who decide they don't give a shit, and the real road warriors who ignore it all and are super optimized for it.

Woodman said...

Oh, and on being a larger guy. Even though I fit between the arms, my knees will hit the seat in front of me, and no, putting your seat back up and then pushing back harder won't move them.

Anonymous said...

It's only going to get worse:

--- Flying will only get worse, with higher fees, more intrusive security, smaller seats, fewer amenities, and lousier service, until it becomes so bad that the majority of people will gladly drive, walk, or swim to their destination;

--- Manners will only get worse until people get over the idea that "It's all about me."

Frankly, I think that Dave's idea about dueling is pretty good. Yes, I AM prepared to gut somebody like a fish or put a bullet through them after they've made my cross-country flight even more unpleasant than TSA and the airline itself.

og said...

Though I have knees which make a whole symphony of noises whenever movement of any kind is involved, I manage to get to my seat quickly and with no fuss. Though I am the size of a bear, I do not have enough luggage to weigh down a pack mule, and can get my carryon into the overhead and get into my seat in one smooth movement. Though I am the size of a bear I keep my knees together and keep BOTH armrests down so that I do not intrude on the space of my fellow passengers. Though sitting in one position for long periods of time does cause me some not insignificant pain I do not shift restlessly around during flight. Though I do physical labor where I work as a general rule, I make a point not to smell badly (neither with BO nor with strong scents of any kind)

I do tend to fall asleep and snore loudly, at times. Hey, nobody's perfect.

I will also cropdust morons if I have the opportunity.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I used to say that I'd drive up to 600 miles both ways to avoid flying. That's about the distance from home in Indy to the east side of DC where the office is.

Now I'm thinking about driving to Florida next spring instead of flying.

It's getting -- no, scratch that, it's gotten -- that bad.

The Raving Prophet said...

Can we get little signs on the backs of airliner seats that say "the poor bastard in the middle seat gets BOTH armrests" while we're at it?

sobriant74 said...

We now drive from ohio to tampa where we have a time share, 17 hours one way, just to avoid having our kids microwaved or molested. The police state must end.

Robert Fowler said...

My last flight was several years ago. I had driven a truck to Florida from Iowa to the man that bought it from a friend. The friend paid my airfare home. I had no carry on and my only purchase at the air port was a gun magazine (just to piss off TSA). This was after we were taking off our shoes but before the porn-o-scan. I was asleep before the wheels left the runway. Never did get to read that magazine.

Window seat and nap time, the only way to fly. Now I'm going to drive the 1800 miles to the in-laws when we go.

Critter said...

i like the cargo net and emergency slide idea.

Anonymous said...

"Manners: They aren't hard."

Oh, but they are."

Especially when your mom and dad didn't beat/repeat them into you.

The cargo net idea is cute.

I want a new loading algorithm, a variation of Southwest's first in sit where you want.

It's called: you line up in that order back of aircraft first in line. Sit down, shut up. Leave the buttons and things alone until we are off the ground.

Oh and absolutely no carry on larger than you can't hold at the end of your outstretched arm for longer than a minute. (plus enforced size restrictions, there's a plywood box at the check in and if you can't fit your luggage into the box and close the lid gently - not a carry on.

Finally to the guy who can't allow the person in front of you to recline because your knees are there: Brother, I feel your pain.

To the guy who told off the kid, politely: Amen. I've done the same, twice and have never had a parent question me, and one set thanked me.

Kids in general do not bother me, the small one's screaming (The really small ones can't help it usually.)can be annoying but I have earplugs.

Anonymous said...

Manners are so old fashioned!!
You must 'rahspecht my rights'...
No I don't have to.
Since you are stomping on mine..
Good thing you were unarmed...
Or weren't you?

Anonymous said...

As long as people continue to fly, this is going to continue to get worse.

Tam said...

Anon 11:46,

"As long as people continue to fly, this is going to continue to get worse."

Yeah, because boycotting the airlines will make everybody have good manners again!

How does that even make a fucking lick of sense?

Tam said...

To expand: People acting like giant, entitled douchecanoes on airliners is just a subset of people acting like giant, entitled douchecanoes everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

If we can't do the slide, how about an option to skydive? It bugs me to fly over my house on the way in and kill more than an hour to get back to it.









Anonymous said...

Yep, we need a constitutional amendment establishing a Code Duello Americano. That'll shut the assorted douchecanoes and jackwagons up.

og said...


"Or weren't you?"

I don't expect Tam is ever unarmed, though she might not have a firearm.

Tam said...


"It bugs me to fly over my house on the way in and kill more than an hour to get back to it."

Coming back into IND this time around, the turn from the downwind to the base leg was almost directly over Roseholme Cottage.

Yes, I did blurt "Hey! I can see my house from up here!" out loud.

Windy Wilson said...

I don't suppose Aeroflot will let the flight attendants carry on international flights to and from the United States.
By-the-by, what is the safety reputation for Aeroflot now that Russia is ostensibly not Communist? I flew on TACA Airlines 6 years ago and found out afterwards that I was taking my life in my hands . . .
I note their fares to Europe are a bit lower than Lufthansa and the various American carriers, and wonder if that is due to reduced demand, and if that is due to some fact-based reason.

Geodkyt said...

'm going back to the "dueling with Tasers" idea.

90% of the benefit of dueling with blade or gun, 1% of the cost from duellists picking fights for moeny or just kicks.

Best of both worlds. Riding the lightning ain't fun, and it is less-lethal than a "fair"* fist fight.

* Semantics rant -- I do not grok the idea of "fair" and "fight" used together, but I'll accept the ridiculous notion for argument. "Fair" is a weather description, or a place you eat cotten candy and go on pony rides. In a fight, either you're there to cut the other guy's heart out and eat it like an apple, or you're there to get your ass kicked. If it ain't worth that, it ain't worth me missing my valuable "sit and stare mindlessly at trees" time for.

The Freeholder said...

3 of the many reasons that I no longer fly unless my life is on the line.

dave said...

Despite what you may have been told, caps lock is not cruise control for awesome.

Joe in PNG said...

If at all possible, I fly international via non-American carriers. Chances are the people flying them still have manners, and often times the airline provides free booze.
As for the hospital gown/ anesthetic/ stretcher idea, I'm all for it! A 15 hr trans-pacific/American flight in a tiny airline seat is a bit rough for one that is 6'2".

Angus McThag said...


Because that's how the above was typed!

JeffJ said...

I fly at least once a week and the only thing that really bothers me is the oversize passenger. I think they should make the security scanners smaller - "Oh, I'm sorry sir, can you not fit in there? Yes, we do have a special line, can you show me your second ticket for your extra seat?"

They could do it for carry-ons too, Doesn't fit into the X-ray - gotta check it

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"They could do it for carry-ons too, Doesn't fit into the X-ray - gotta check it"

The problem with this is that not all overhead compartments are the same size, either. Dad ran into this issue when we flew to Michigan for his brother's funeral. He checked with the airline rep when he ordered the tickets and got the max dimensions for carry-ons for our flights, but when we got on the first plane he tried to put it in the overhead and it wouldn't fit. Fortunately, the airline had a "valet bag check" service (I think that's what they called it) where they would put it in the hold in those cases without charging - you just picked it up on the ramp on the skyway on the way out.

His bag fit just fine on all the other flights, it was just the first leg that was a problem. Either the ticket-seller looked at the wrong plane (or was lazy and only looked at one), or the plane got changed, or the airline only gives one set of dimensions and if it doesn't fit then it's "Oh, well. We'll just toss it in the hold, no charge." Even if they tell everyone the right size, a last minute change in the aircraft can make a lot of people suddenly wrong.

JustSomeGuy said...


Because timidity is so often accompanied by nervous hunting, hesitation, and darting movements which make it impossible for your fellow drivers to anticipate your next move based on your current vector.

I knew what your were saying, but a persistent part of my brain insisted on reading this from the perspective of an irritated apex predator just wishing the silly gits would settle into a pattern in time for lunch...

My brain, it is odd.


Ian Argent said...

Flying on business in a few, and I paid enough attention to the carry-on restriction to actually pull out some tape and measure my bag. Corporate policy forbids checking their gear (they pay my mortgage, they can set rules), so it's a damn good thing the BSA taught me a thing or two about packing.

perlhaqr said...

Yeah, I hate flying.

My hips are built weird, they have very limited internal rotation, and lots of external rotation. Which means when I sit down, my legs splay. I literally cannot sit down in a chair and touch my knees together. I can bring them together with my arms, so I suppose I could tie them together, but that starts to hurt something fierce awful quick.

Now, I can bring my legs together for longer periods by slouching down and laying my legs out... which isn't an option at all on an airplane at 6'5". Not to mention my shoulders being wider from side to side than the armrests are.

I'd gladly pay 50% more for 50% more seat and floor area.

Roger said...

You're lucky that your sprawling fellow passenger had bathed within the past few weeks. On a trip back from Japan (on JAL yet) my seatmate was beyond stinky to the point of being putrid. Every time it moved, fumes of BO and other aromas less distinguishable wafted my way. Full flight no other seats. A 13 hour flight from hell.

Kristophr said...

Angus: NAVAGATOR's means of posting doesn't allow him to choose small case letters.

As for all the dueling fantasists ...

Code Duello went out of style in the US because it started to become a means to use someone's personal pride to commit murder on them legally.

In the old South, towards the end of that institution, if you wanted a rival removed, you could pay a duelist to find offense, and threaten to posts notices of the victim's cowardice if he didn't come forward for his legal murdering.

People simply got tired of this shit, outlawed the practice, and started hanging professional duelists that were slow to get the message.

Justthisguy said...

Oh, on the Exit Row: I mind the time , back in the seventies before it all went full crazy, when I got a ride in a Delta airplane. I asked the gate agent for a seat right next to the emergency exit, and he put me one seat away, with a nice old gent between me and the exit.

Nice Old Gent and I got to talking, and it turned out he was a retired railroad yard bull, stuck between me and the exit in case I were to do something crazy. (I inferred that)

Once we got to talking, and he understood I was not crazy-dangerous, but just interested in surviving a survivable crash, we had an excellent flight together, with some good conversation.

That was airline security done right; with subtlety.

Dave said...

@ Kristophr
So trade the real blades for shockknives. No one dies, but the loser will feel like he just got tased and may learn some manners.

Geodkyt said...

Kristophr --

That's why the idea of Taser dueling appeals to me.

Duelling no longer removes a substantial percentage of duellists -- but losing is still something to seriously avoid.

@JustSomeGuy 5:50 PM, October 11, 2012 -- WIN!

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"but losing is still something to seriously avoid."

As is putting yourself in a position to be challenged in the first place. Which would really be the biggest point of the whole thing. Manners = "lower chances being challenged to a duel"

Justthisguy said...

Oh, yeah, Jake. Manners are what you do to avoid un-necessary fights.

I do try to keep up my manners on the net, but being cautious, I trust only a couple of Milbloggers with my True Name, and nobody else. Those guys are honest, and I can trust them to keep me honest.

Besides, they put up with me and forgive my weirdnesses and strangeness. Oh God I miss you, Cap'n Lex!

Tam said...

"I do try to keep up my manners on the net..."

Ell. Oh. Ell. Srsly.

Justthisguy said...

Hey, sometimes I fail.