Tag Archives: airplanes

Airline Rodeo

I don’t get it.

We’ve all been there.

Yet it’s mind boggling.  It makes no sense.

None.

Airplane boarding.

Airplane de-boarding.

Let’s reflect, here at gate D-47.

There’s 15 minutes until boarding time, plenty of time to grab a coffee, visit the restroom, buy a newspaper, down a few shots of Jagermeister, make a phone call, snag a sandwich and some snacks for the flight but no.

Already passengers are lining up at the start of the catwalk entrance for the airplane.

Seriously.

The airline representative at the gate announces over the loudspeaker:

In a few minutes, we will begin the boarding process.  Please take note of your seat assignment and board when your row is called.

****

Right.  Like this actually matters.

Watch out, you’re about to get trampled!  Everyone and their brother pushes forward towards the gate.

Bags are hefted on to shoulders.

Pulley suitcases are squared up behind,  wheels double checked for quick launch and shoes scuffed against flooring, like bulls in tauromachia,  to ensure successful dodging of all slow pokes ahead.

Also remember at this time, your carryon bag must fit in the overhead compartment.  If it doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment, we are happy to gate check it for you.  (Side note: or just try and ram it into the overhead compartment while everyone watches while silently cursing you….as you are delaying the flight.. and see who wins, you or the Boeing 747)

****

Ladies and gentleman thank you for flying with Vexatious Airlines.  We are now going to begin boarding.

So begins the litany of prequalified fliers who are oh so savvy and much more dignified than you to actually BEGIN the boarding process:

First Class passengers.

Global Platinum Card Members  / Vexatious Advantage Shakers and Movers Members

Global Silver Card Members / Vexatious Advantage Unique Personality Members

Global Business Card Members / Vexatious Advantage Mediocre Members

*****

At this point you look around and a third of the gate has boarded the airplane.

Thank you for your patience.  We would like to continue boarding with our Vexatious Advantage Members who have reached Movie Star Status.

Those fliers who have reached Vexatious Advantage Soap Star Status, please board the plane now.

Thank you for your patience, our guests who have reached Vexatious Advantage Aim for the Stars Coupon Book Status please come down the catwalk.

*****

Another third have disappeared towards the plane.  Huh.

Welcome aboard to our Cat Lover Club

Welcome aboard to our Dog Lover Club

At this time, thank you for waiting, we would like to welcome aboard those guests who had tickets to the original Woodstock.  Those of you who had tickets to a Farm Aid concert, your time to board will be coming up, please wait for your announcement. 

Members of the press, we would like to offer you this time to board.

Families traveling with small children, or those who need extra assistance when boarding, you may board at this time.  If you need extra assistance, we hope you brought someone with you for that assistance.  If you are traveling with an emotional support pet please wait until you are called for boarding. 

Uniformed military personal, you can board at this time.  We thank you for your service.

Thank you for your patience, those who are too attached to their electronic devices to pay any attention to these announcements, we invite you to board at this time.   You aren’t listening anyway.

Prima donnas please board at this time and anyone who thinks they are all that, but aren’t even the pickle on the plate, please board at this time because you aren’t listening to any directions anyway because you think it’s all about you anyway.  

Our guests who are traveling with emotional support pets, including but not limited to: Golden Retrievers, teacup chihuahuas  himalayan cats, ferrets, ducks, teacup pigs, pygmy donkeys, ferrets, camels, spider monkeys, albino lizards, wallabies, hamsters, turkeys, porcupines, rabbits.

Farm Aid ticket holders, you are welcome to board at this time.

****

You look around and only a handful of people remain.

At this time we would like to begin general boarding beginning with the back of the plane. For those guests in row 35 – 20 please board now.  Oh, forget it.  There’s only 6 of you left, please figure it out and board now.  

 

****

Everyone is so anxious to get on the plane, they can’t hardly stand it.  It’s all about pushing and shoving. And for what exactly?

To be cramped in a tiny seat, with no leg room, shared armrests, crawling with bacteria and if you are damn lucky….your seat mates won’t be chatty. The toilets smell, unless bless the hearts of your flight crew (Who, by the way, have one of the hardest and least appreciated jobs in the entire world.  I thank them for all they do to make our journeys the easiest and most enjoyable they can.) have put a bag of coffee in the tiny little lavatory to absorb the piss-o-roma fragrance.

P.S.  Note, I don’t care about your kids, grandkids, your job, where you live or what book you’re reading or where you’re going. I don’t like to fly.  I only do it because it’s the quickest way to get there and I’m a little claustrophobic so please, leave me alone. I simply get into my seat, wipe everything down with my Clorox wipes, put in my earplugs and do my best to tune everything out.

As the fliers race down the gate catwalk,  waving their boarding pass in hand to be scanned, their magical entrance to the airplane granted and approved…quickly scurry beyond the doorway down the jetway.

Only. To. Be. Halted. 40 people back on the jetway.

Que the evil laugh.

They can’t wait to get out of the boarding area.  One of the privileged few.  Look at me.  See you suckers.  I’m outta here.  Yeah, well….guess what.

Here we all are.

Waiting.

In the jetway.

Aren’t you precious?

Let me grab my eyeballs before they roll out onto the tarmac.

Jackass.

You go from one waiting area to the next.  Why the rush?

Everyone gets on the plane.  No need to shove and sigh and huff and puff.

Bags stowed and we get into the air.

Eureka!

*****

For as absurdly impatient everyone was to get on the damn plane, it’s as if they had no idea everyone was expected to actually get off the plane upon arrival at the destination.

The plane lands, sometimes to the sound of applause…and arrives at the gate.

Passengers excitedly leap out of seats and annoyingly tap fingers and roll their eyes….annoyed we aren’t moving faster to get off the silver bullet.

Somewhere from the time we left the last departure lounge, to the time we arrived at the new gate…..the hundreds of passengers on this plane have had a mind fart.  Where has all the urgency gone?

Suddenly nobody can find their bags.  Where’s my glasses?  Where’s my book?  Where’s my chapstick?  Did I have a jacket?  Did I bring a water bottle?  What about the cell phone?  What gate are we going to?  I can’t find my shoes!  Is this my suitcase?  This isn’t my bag!  Where’s my husband?  What city is this?  Oh I’m not getting off here.  Can you help me close this zipper?

The circulating air has made everyone slow and stupid.  People who couldn’t get on the plane fast enough suddenly have spent the last 10 minutes, or longer taxinging from the runway to the gate picking their nose and pondering how daises grow rather than gathering their shit up from their seat and organizing their departure!

Fuck people – if you would pull yourselves together we could all get off the damn plane faster.  You idiots were so concerned about getting on first.  It’s all about me. ME. ME. ME FIRST. FIRST. FIRST.  However when we land, it’s like you’ve lost your mind.

Snap out of it and focus.  You are holding the rest of us up.  From the time the pilot said we have begun the 20 minute decent for landing, the smart ones started packing up.  Plan ahead folks….for arrival….not just the departure.  It works both ways.

Be smart.  Travel smart. Get out of my way.

 

 

 

 

 

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There’s a What in My Belly Button?

I wouldn’t say I am a giant germophobe.

I go to the movie theater without concern.  I drink out of restaurant glassware, although I will admit I am about two steps away from bringing my own silverware.  Thank God payphones are going away, I couldn’t use those anymore.  You know, close talkers and all.  WAH!  And I certainly won’t use a public water fountain or get into a public hot tub or pool.  (Don’t even get me started on those.)

However my biggest weakness is the 3 x 3 space called airplane seats.  Before storing my bag under the seat I break out my alcohol wipes.

I wipe down the seat belt clasp, both arm rests,  the incher recliner button, head rest, all of the tray table, the clip that holds the tray in place and the lip of the seat pocket. This is true, even when in first class.  I don’t discriminate against the germs.

Technically, whatever you do, you shouldn’t even use that pocket in the first place.

Ignore it.

Resist all temptation to put anything in there!

Do you know what’s been in there? Used vomit bags, used tissues, dirty napkins, napkins with spit, used cups, gum, candy wrappers that have been chewed on, diapers, used diapers, water bottles that are probably covered in germs, ear wax from headphones, lice from hats, half eaten items of questionable origins, finger nail clippings….not to mention toe jam from the people in flip flops that use the seat as a foot rest and finally boogers too boot!

There’s a plethora of bacteria growing on that material!  I didn’t even have to mention unwashed hands touching the magazines or flight safety card.   When was the last time any of this was actually disinfected?

Remember how there was always a mad dash to get the pillows and blankets on the plane?  Thank goodness they’ve gone the way of the 8-track tape….they were oceans of germs!

It makes me a little woozy just thinking about it.  So is there any wonder I disinfect like a crazy person when I get on?  Next time you have to fly, I bet you think twice about what you’re touching.

Betcha.

The other day, I was at the gym and came out of the toilet, washed my hands and noticed the woman in the stall next to me didn’t bother to even approach the sink when she came out of the stall.  She immediately went right out of the locker room.

If I could come up with a tactful way of saying, “OMG!  You didn’t wash your hands!  That’s so disgusting.” I would say it.  Unfortunately, I know myself well enough that it wouldn’t come out anything close to something Miss Manners would approve of in society.  It would be more like a rant from Ozzy Osbourne, or having just watched The Dictator, it would come out more like, “What The Fuck!”  See, that’s not so Emily Post either.

Now every time I see this lady I know she’s not a washer.  If I was ever introduced to her I’d end up declining the hand shake.  “I’m sorry.  Normally, I’d shake your hand but I know you don’t wash after peeing.”  That would be the end of the friendship.  Which would be a blessing.

We’ve all heard the stories about hotel rooms.  Put the remote in a baggie, it’s covered in germs from every orifice of the human body.  Immediately remove the bed spread.  They’re covered in dried puddles of once oozy fluid – we’ve seen that proven time and time again on investigative reporting shows.

The cleanest thing in a hotel room is probably you!

Of course, I am a firm believer, without a little dirt in your life, you’d be sick quite often.  You need to build up your immunity to the tiniest wonders of the living world.  Dirt is good.  There are things I don’t need to know and I’m okay knowing that over time, yes, I have probably eaten a bug or three.  It’s highly likely I have accidentally eaten hair – not of my own.  Random flecks of whatever have made their way into my body and the hearty little army of germ fighters have kept the battle strong and keep fighting the good fight.  Thank you.

However, the other day, I had a “like” on my blog,”Best Night’s Sleep in Ages” from Twinkling Pebbles and decided to check out her blog.  She had written about an article that was recently published online via National Geographic about what scientists are researching regarding…yes, that’s correct…our belly buttons.

They have described it as being similar to a rainforest……full of bacteria!  Seriously, how many of us have actually thought about scrubbing out that little innie or outie?  Well, now you should or sign up for the research.  According to the NatGeo article, “From 60 belly buttons, the team found 2,368 bacterial species, 1,458 of which may be new to science.”

That’s it, I now have a child’s toothbrush in the shower, to clean out my belly button rain forest!  Now of course I’m curious, is it easier to clean an innie or an outie?  I don’t know.  This could be worse than toe jam on your tray table!

Time to invent some alcohol q-tips swabs….

Je ne parle pas Francais.

I don’t speak French.
Huh?
What?
Arriving into Montreal tonight – after two days of travel to get here – I tried out my one liner on the cab driver: “Parlez vous anglais?” To which I received at least 4 sentences in French. I was flabbergasted in the back seat. The only thing I could say was, “I’ve got no idea what you just said.” HA! And we laughed. Thank goodness laughing is universal. Could you imagine if it wasn’t? Wow….that would have been awkward.

I actually have THREE lines when meeting someone here: Bon jour! Je ne parle pas Francais. Parlez vous anglais? However I haven’t enough nerve to throw it out there yet. Maybe the daylight will change my mind. I hope. I want to give it a go. Really, all it comes down to is my self-conscience saying “you’re a boob” when in reality the people on the receiving end will probably be happy at least I’m trying. Well they’ll actually probably end up laughing, but hey, people make money making people laugh – look at Ellen DeGeneres!

Okay so ponder me this – airplane bathrooms. By the time I return to Juneau on November 26th I will have taken 22 flights, counting Australia. (Still haven’t made Alaska Airlines MVP – seriously.) Things I have noticed that have given me pause are:

1. When you are using the bathroom on the plane, I have an idea – lock the door! It’s the little slider that turns the light on. Even has a note that says, “lock” with a directional arrow. You don’t have to sit there in the dark, Mr. Blue Boxer Shorts. I mean, really, you’re mad at me for opening the door – when really you’re the one who didn’t lock it! If I had esp I’d be in a different profession making millions telling fortunes not whipping the door open on mindless men on an airplane….don’t flatter yourself.

2. When you come out of the bathroom – don’t give me the stink eye. I mean where would you prefer I stand? Really, the back of airplanes are legendary for their expansive space and accommodations. In fact, some airlines offer full blown yoga courses back there. NOT! And why are you so surprised there are people waiting in line to pee? You didn’t think you were the only one right? Chances are you had to wait in line just like the rest of us so get over your attitude – everyone poops.

Side note: I would like to point out I actually feel bad for the people near the pee line. Throughout the entire flight, they have people hovering over them. Wondering: what are they reading? Oy, look at that outfit. Is he drooling? She really needs to get her roots done…soon. Those people should get a free drink ticket.

3. Today, I was on a flight – in a small plane. One bathroom – in the back. The light wouldn’t stay on. Really, you must be kidding and I checked my flashlight. I checked the lock – for fear it slid out of place. No, it was secure. The light was temperamental. I am not a trapeze artist. Hanging on to the sink, so I can hover appropriately over the bowl, with tissue ready in the other hand is hard enough – let alone having to pause every 4 seconds to turn the light back on. Someone should really mention something to someone about that light.

Finally, nothing to even do with bathrooms, but it was an enlightening moment. Recently I was reading an article in Alaska Airlines magazine and the author, whose name I now forget – made a comment that has stuck in my brain and is genus. I’d like to share it with you. Boarding the plane – we all have our 1 carry on bag and 1 personal item. How many times does that personal item turn into a homo sapien “dorsal fin”? I’m sure those people packing giant packs on their back are very kind and gracious people. However when they whip around to put their roller bag in the overhead – I, being an aisle sitter – have to watch out for the dorsal fin attack. After realizing the proper term for the attack, I laughed out loud when on my flight yesterday….there I sat when “AHHHH it’s the fin….the dorsal fin!!! Watch out!!” Karate chop that …. wahhhhhhhaaaa!

Alright then, enough talk about planes. I did fly into NYC today on my way to Montreal. It was like a flightseeing trip. We flew over Central Park, the Sears Building, the Empire State Building, the Twin Towers, Ellis Island and as we turned I could see the Statue of Liberty. It was amazing. I was so glad I had a window seat.

I made it to Montreal and am in my room. The first one was a gorgeous corner room – THREE french doors that opened out on the street. Only one problem….the lock on the door didn’t work. So now I’m down the hall – same room set up and actually there are stairs in this room. How funny is that. I’m also off the street, so I think sleeping will be easier, but with less light during the day. Although i don’t plan to spend much time in here so that’s okay.

Montreal hotel room - up the stairs!

Way cool shower.

Tomorrow I’m out on my own to explore before the convention. Watch out – Alaskan on the loose! Onwards and upwards!

Have a good one.
D.