Thursday, January 2, 2014

Coffee, Tea or Tirade?

Coffee, Tea or Tirade?

By Paul Greeley


Did you hear the story about the flight attendant that grabbed some beer and triggered an inflatable emergency chute for a dramatic exit from a plane in New York?

When I fly, my idea of eternity is the time it takes the plane to stop at the terminal to when I actually get off. It seems like forever. So had I been on that flight, I would have shoved the attendant out of the way, grabbed his beers and been first to slide down. Wheeee!

I’m not surprised that someone did that, I just figured an impatient passenger would do it first. I’ve been on flights where a flight attendant appeals to passengers to let those with connecting flights get off first. That never happens. Instead, I’ve seen sweet little old ladies lower their shoulders like fullbacks and bowl over pregnant women with babies who are too slow getting down the aisle.

Flight attendants are on the front lines in what can be like a war between passengers and the airlines. Uniformed, visible, and available, with no chance of escape, they are easy targets taking the brunt of airline passenger frustration. Forget about giving weapons to under-cover marshals, it’s the flight attendants who should be packing heat.

I have some suggestions for how airlines can make more money and how passengers can save a few bucks.

Allow a few lucky passengers, for a fee, to exit the plane via that chute with drink in hand. If only the airlines can see how that attendant actually revealed a new money-maker for them and brought some fun back to flying for us! Seems like a natural for Southwest.

Charge passengers extra by their weight. It takes more fuel to fly a 300 pound adult than a 50 pound kid.

Passengers can pay extra to move their seat away from crying, fidgeting kids or snoring, drooling adults.

Smokers can pay a fee to open up a window and light up.

Passengers can avoid that luggage charge by putting on and wearing all the clothes they’ll need for their trip. It adds a whole new meaning to carry on.

Airlines should give passengers free drinks from wheels up to wheels down, but charge for use of the bathrooms. Do the math, hundreds of people guzzling drinks for a couple hours and only two bathrooms! I don’t know how much money airlines make charging for peanuts, but this idea has serious revenue potential.

Remove all the free air-sick bags. Then have the pilots bounce the plane in some fake turbulence and start a bidding process for each bag. If my seat mate looked green, I know I’d be kicking in a few bucks.

A friend told me a story about a cruel, but harmless prank he and his friends played on a flight attendant. They made a big show to the attendant that one of them was sick by barfing noisily into the bag. They rang the attendant to dispose of the full bag, and as the bag was passed to the attendant, my friend opened it, reached in and grabbed a piece of the contents and popped it into his mouth, savoring it with a flourish. Unknown to the attendant, the contents were really the remains of their dinner. Horrified, the attendant almost barfed herself. Had I been that attendant, I would have deployed that escape chute and been gone, even at 30,000 feet. Wheeee!


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