Friday, March 9, 2012

There's always someone that makes life hard on the rest of us.

My shipmate has just started to plan his next time off and he has to fly around a bit. He's starting to get pretty annoyed with the way the airlines run things. I don't blame him.

Many of the airlines have been charging extra for luggage for some time now and things have gotten a little out of hand as now everyone and their cousin is hauling their luggage on board so as to avoid the $25 per bag fee. My shipmate travels with a full sized backpack which he coughs up the $25 for and brings a small soft briefcase with his as a carry-on.

Of course, there are an awful lot of people that manage to get on board carrying stoves, refrigerators, steamer trunks and the like on board that insist it will fit into the luggage space. It irks him to no end because half the time after he sits down someone tries to yank his briefcase out of the bin to cram their behemoth into the space.

Needless to say he tells them to leave his stuff alone and refuses to cram his briefcase under the seat. After all, HE coughed up his $25 so he wouldn't have to try and cram things in. I can't say as I blame him. He coughed up the $25 simply so he could have some space under his feet and some jerk too cheap to cough up wants him to give up his legroom so they can cram their trash into the overhead by pulling his stuff out of it to make room.

Of course they call the stewardess who tries to take the easy way out and try to get my shipmate to stuff his briefcase under the seat and he rightfully refuses. The stewardess-excuse me-flight attendent-(hoop-de-doo) generally is trying to take the easy way out to expedite things.

What she actually should be doing as making the jerk cram his goods and garbage under HIS seat instead of inconveniencing everyone else.
Needless to say, when it is all over and done with, my shipmate winds up being labeled the asshole. It always seems to work that way.

In reality this scene plays itself out just about every time a plane takes off and when you think about it the airlines encourage the practice with the $25 per bag fee. Americans hate to be nickel-dimed and I can't really blame the passengers for trying to avoid the fee.

In a sense the airlines have brought this upon themselves with their luggage policy. What they ought to do is simply charge another 10 or 15 bucks and simply permit one carry-on item, period. Simple policy. You toss your purse, laptop, whatever in the overhead and sit down and get the show on the road.

Another thing the airines do that is just plain stupid is that they load the plane from the front to rear. The First Class set gets seated first and they jam the aisles up until they are seated. It works its way down creating pushing, people slowing things up. Elbowing and pushing are not unheard of and the entire process is chaotic.

If they would let the people in the rear get on first instead of the system they have now everything would run a whole lot smoother.

While the First-Class passengers might gripe a bit I would imagine that if you market is 'reduced pushing and shoving' you very well might be able to change the order of self-importance that people pay extra for from being 'Boarded first' and being elbowed by everyone trying to get by you being the status symbol to being 'boarded last' and avoiding the chaos. It cold turn out to be a win-win situation.

Then again, asking people to think is a lot to ask for.

There is another thing that irks me about flying and that is the reluctance of an awful lot of members of the general public to turn off their electronic during take offs and landings.

While I doubt that the use of most electronic devices endangers the flight instruments as such, the airlines want you to do this. It is their airplane and their set of rules. If they do not want you to run your electronics you don't have to fly on that airline.

If you're so damned special that you think the rules do not apply to you than get back on the short bus where you belong and take that to where you are going.

It's as easy as that.

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