Wednesday, July 15, 2009

JATRAN in the Sky?

Your friendly correspondent is about to board a flight at DFW Airport in Dallas.  We have just been advised that the bathroom on the plane is inoperable.  They also changed a fellow passenger's seat because his assigned seat was "broken."

It seems that air travel isn't what it used to be.  Infomercial stars die after the storage cabin collapses on his head, many stories of broken seats and similar problems, not to mention severe overbooking.

Are we about to witness the transformation of our once proud and luxurious airlines into JATRANs of the Sky? 


d-ashes said...

Maybe so. Take into account the 3 things I heard on the last leg of my return flight from NYC yesterday. To setup this up, know that I was seated in seat 1A of an express jet, which means I was sitting directly opposite the stewardess in her crew seat and within eye and ear shot of the cockpit (when the door wasn't closed before/after the flight).

#1 - Just after taking my seat I catch a snippet of pilot conversation: "...and you push this button to [garbled] on whatever it is we're flying here...[garbled]..." So to start with I'm really hoping the crew knows what model of plane they are flying.

#2 - Upon seating herself for take off, the stewardess (who incidentally spoke in a weird, high, warbly voice like Glenda the Good Witch of the East) somewhat whispers to herself "Okay, this is the take off." and then proceeds to do deep breathing exercises for the remainder of our taxi and until we are in the air." All with me sitting 4 feet from her. Please try to keep it together, my dear.

#3 - After landing but before we've disembarked the cockpit door is again open and I overhear the pilot and co-pilot discussing a wheel brake that's much hotter (I can see the gauge they are pointing to and it looks at least twice as hot) than the rest after the landing. They go into detail about how the mechanics first unstick the brake and then test it for the problem that makes it stick and therefore overheat, which means they can't find the problem since they've already fixed it. At one point the pilor refers to the model of airplanes as "...these pieces of sh!t..." At this point I'm just glad we're on the ground.

Granted that express jets are kind of the Single-A franchises of airliners: no one's there because they are the best, they are either on their way up or on their way down, but I was pretty impressed/taken aback to get all the above from one flight crew in the span of 40 minutes.

grspore said...

d-ashes.. if your air travel had not been so tragic, it would perhaps be the most comical story in the halls of commuter travel..

grspore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.