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Vagabond Kids: Rants and Raves: A post about plane travel

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rants and Raves: A post about plane travel

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So, I get it. You get on the plane, you are stuck in a tube of metal flying a million (okay probably 30,000 feet) above sea level and you get tired, cranky and the food,if served at all stinks. But, why the attitude? Those who know and love me will all tell you I have not been blessed with an over abundance of patience. My basic motto is "Instant Gratification just isn't fast enough". However, when I fly I try to push those inborn traits into the corner and behave like a normal human. I try to be kind to those sitting around me, I try to pay attention if the person sitting next to the window is desperately looking like they need to escape to use the bathroom and I give way. But I can't tell you how often I see people treat the flight attendants like crap and or ignore them all together. Oh no, I am not talking about those up in Business or First Class, nor am I talking about the rock stars over drinking, nor am I discussing the first time flyer who has never been on a plane before and this is a once in a lifetime flight. I am talking about Joe Business Traveler.

So, Joe sat across the aisle from me yesterday. His family was traveling with him and they sat in the row directly in front of me. They boarded with the rest of the crowd, he stayed back and only boarded right before the plane took off. As soon as he walked in he opened every single bin looking for a place to put his stuff and then was incensed when there was no room. Once he shuffled stuff around he found a spot for his bag, sat down hard and laid the seat back right away, pushing the girl behind him. Needless to say, you can see where this is going. The rest of the flight was a continuation of the same. And, then, at the end of the flight once the announcement to put away your electronics was made, he pitched a fit to the attendant.

I Know, I get it, I think the rule is stupid too, but I put my stuff away. I can't believe that my iPad is going to interfere with the planes navigational system.....but I don't backtalk to the attendants, they are just doing their job. Why did you need to be so mean? Why did you throw a fit and demand to use your earphones? Why did you sigh loud in disgust when they turned off the in-flight movie? Dude, you are obviously a frequent flyer. You know the rules and as seemly silly as they are, they are the rules after all.

Lots of people complain that flying isn't the great experience it used to be with waiters and waitresses in the sky catering to our every whim. Well if Joe Business is the average traveler, I can see why. So, long rant over...mostly anyway. Here is what I took away from that exchange yesterday.

1) Flight attendants generally don't get paid enough
2) The Rules while silly are probably there for a reason
3) There are better ways of treating your fellow human
4) Basic Manners and polite behavior will get you much farther in life than being a jerk, case in point, I asked for and got 2 Bloody Marys while in flight both were served right away and with a smile. Joe asked for a drink later in the flight, it took 20 minutes to get it to him.
5) Life is too short and it is time to get over it. And time for me to get over it as well. So I have.
6) When my kids travel they will and are taught to treat each and every person they interact with with the same level of respect that they would in any other social environment.

Enjoy your next flight. Someday I will tell you the story about flying on a retired Aeroflot plane, on the way to Chengdu over Chinese New Year where the flight attendants were as drunk as the passengers and Karaoke competitions were being held in coach class.



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