Archive for October, 2009

The Last 13 Remaining Observations about Air Travel

October 17, 2009 in rantlets | Comments (0)



The pinnacle of airport sophistication is the row of potted plastic plants separating Chili’s Express from the soulless linoleum wasteland expanse of the terminal.  On this side: bloomin’ onions and blue margaritas.  On that side: defeated, dehydrated travelers trudging to their indefinitely-delayed flight gates.


There’s absolutely nothing worse than those beeping geezer-taxi golf carts that buzz through the terminal and turn handicapped old people into VIPs.  Please, just put all the gates to Florida at the start of the terminal.  Or just drive the old people all the way to Ft. Lauderdale in the carts; save the planes for people who can walk.


Planefreeze: brainfreeze that results from rushing to finish your sample-size soda before the stewardess makes her last trash run through the cabin before landing.


Nowhere else on earth but an airport would you consider “cinnamon pretzel with frosting dipping sauce” to be a complete lunch.


I’m going to start collecting those appallingly generic airport gift shop t-shirts that just say “Washington DC” in cursive and nothing else.  That way, when I wear it, the memories conjured up of my vacation are of waiting in security lines and staring blankly at 12 cycles of CNN Headline News in the terminal.


I have never flown on a plane built after 1970 in my life, yet Boeing is still in business.  They must all be in Saudi Arabia and Singapore, fleets of gleaming new planes with massage chairs and cookie dough dispensers.


Is an iPod really going to scramble the cockpit communications?  A Boeing 747 has 5,000 metric tons of pound-thrust and a reinforced bulletproof cockpit door, yet I can bring it down by playing a Whitney Houston mp3 during taxiing?


Maybe all the second-tier cable TV channels should focus on reaching the first tier before they all start opening depressing terminalside theme cafes.  This means you, Fox Sports and CNBC.  I’m not sure if this reflects more poorly on the channels or the airport.


Come to think of it, why not have airport cafes branded for other channels, like Lifetime (for women only) or TBS (Seinfeld and Family Guy all day).  CSPAN seems like an appropriate fit, they’re all pretty boring places.  I think the Weather Channel one may draw the most crowds, at least at an airport.


Studies have shown that people’s opinions of a supermarket are subconsciously shaped by how neat the banana display is.  I think the same is true for the hand-drying situation in the airport bathroom.


Why the maze to enter the restroom?  Nothing makes you feel sillier than walking at 180-degree angles.  Just put in a bead curtain or a door made of those carwash octopus things.  Or a hedge maze, made of leftover potted plastic plants from Chili’s Express.


The terminal is an awkward social space where you’re forced to make eye contact with strangers.  Why is this necessary?  You don’t face other people on the plane, in restaurants, at the movies, in a classroom.  Why do I have to gaze into the reflected misery of other travelers?


I’d like to have a birthday party on a plane, just so I can use those overhead air-nozzles to blow up the balloons faster.