I actually wrote a lengthy post on my travels from Fortaleza back to Colorado. It was full of observations on airline inefficiencies, security bullshit, and generally being uncomfortable. But when all is said and done it is still amazing that traveling long distances is as easy and fast as it is.
I left Fortaleza on Saturday afternoon and was at home with my lovely wife and three cats by Sunday evening. That’s pretty remarkable considering the distances traveled. So instead of a long rambling rant on being uncomfortable, I thought I would just post a few helpful tips and hints for fellow travelers. And a few questions for anyone out there who knows about airline logic. I also have a few suggestions for the airlines to help make travel a little more pleasant.
Tips and hints for passengers:
1. Don’t recline you seat any more than a few inches when someone is sitting behind you. More than that and you’re just being an asshole.
2. Read the signs before you get to security. They mean what they say; it is not up for negotiation.
3. Check your bags. Carry-on bags are a pain in everyone’s ass.
4. Wear a vest with lots of pockets to carry your shit. It makes things go so much easier through security. Just put all your crap in the vest, and toss it into a bin on your way through.
5. Do not order any carbonated beverages on a long flight. Not even one. Please.
6. Bring a little travel size deodorant with you for the flight.
7. Take a shower just before you get on the plane. Please.
8. Remember that every time you move in your seat the person right behind you is severely affected. Please make small adjustments, not giant floundering motions.
9. If you have a horrible wet hacking cough please stay home until your better.
10. Airports are huge places, run your kids ragged before you board the plane. Please.
Here are a few questions for airport and airline people:
1. Why is there more leg room in the bathroom than in the seats? Maybe it would be better to install rows and rows of bathrooms and just take out the seats.
2. Why do you have us board the plane backwards? The rear most seats should be boarded first. Let’s face it, if I was a first class passenger I would want all the riffraff to sit and wait on them. The airport is much more comfortable than even first class.
3. Why do they charge so much for liquor? I paid $7.00 for one ounce of Jack Daniels. Sure it was worth it, but the airline should give this away for free. I understand that there are violent drunks everywhere and some fool will overdo it, but come on, how about a 2 oz. freebee just to start the flight. Then cut everyone off.
4. Why are the windows so low compared to the seating? Even short people have to hunch over to look out the windows. My window was about level with my floating ribs.
I have some suggestions for the airlines to make our flights more enjoyable.
How about a ticket reservation system that asks your height and weight when buying a ticket? Then a computer system can arrange the seating in a way that complements the passenger’s needs. Put short skinny people in front of the tall fat people so they are less likely to recline their seats all the way back.
On long flights where there is a video display behind the seat for movies, create a channel that connects to a small camera facing forward outside the aircraft angled slightly down. I would just love to see a video of the landing or take off from that point of view. Or maybe a cockpit camera, so we can look at all the dials and gauges, I would be entertained for hours.
I also think it would be a great idea if the airline passed out customer comment cards to the passengers during decent. Then post the cards on the web so future passengers can learn what a great job the crew does. I would buy that app.
Have a lottery every hour during a long flight and pick people at random to spend one hour in first class. I hate to see those seats remain unoccupied while we poor people are crammed into the back of the bus. It would be great moral booster, and show people what they are missing, maybe sell more first class tickets in the future.
On the TV displays have a channel where you can learn about your destination. Not just about the history, culture and historic monuments, but also a little information about the airport. That would be nice.
Any other ideas?
Here are two photos I took from my seat. One leaving Brazil and one entering Colorado. Nice contrast.