Tuesday, October 5, 2010


There is definitely something to be said of the airline industry these days.  I have yet to understand why the government hasn’t taken that over ….yet.  Sarcasm.  Today marked the end of  Love Fest 2010.  That can only mean one thing….a day of flying!  Oh boy!!  Our flight out was just loaded with delays, grumpy  and cranky people and heat happy flight attendants, when we flew out to Love Fest.   Lets start there, shall we?! 

What is with flight attendants that feel so compelled to always have their flanges on the upward position of the heater knob in the cabin?  It seems like every single flight I have ever been on is hot and muggy.  Why in today’s world do the cold and chilly people always seem to prevail over the heat intolerant?  To these human heat seekers, I say this, “layer, man!”  It is easier to layer on the clothes when you get cold.  Here is why:  Stripping down equates to  public nudity.  To achieve a comfortable body temperature in this fashion is socially unacceptable, and furthermore would create a scenario for an Air Marshall takedown in the aisle of a crowded plane, 38,000 miles in the air.  So, for those of us who like to be cool and comfortable and who for obvious reasons like to consider ourselves law abiding citizens during flight, we just have to be hot, uncomfortable and deal with those who just can’t handle anything less than sitting in an easy bake oven.

I won’t even begin to get into the price of air fares, because that is a given.  I suppose there may possibly be an acceptable reason for higher fares these days.  Not that I am happy about it, but taking into honest consideration the cost of doing business, I will give them that one.  For now.  However, I find it continually irritating for a few reasons.  You would think that for the cost of a ticket, you would at very least get free Wi-Fi.  No, it costs $4.95!  The cost of one checked bag has gone from $15.00 to $20.00 just in the year that this program has been in operation.  Hey, I have an idea, lets just cut through the chase and raise the fee to $50.00 per checked bag!  This way you greedy bastards get your dollar and your CEO’s can get their bonuses and all of the other things that the increase could buy you, and maybe if you have an ounce of decency you can stop the increase for 5 years so at least we don’t feel so misused when you throw us over the fence post with no petroleum jelly available!  Sound harsh?!  How is this for fiber.  I thought I had seen the day when they stopped serving real food for in-flight snacks, and started handing out packaged tablespoons of  Red #40 with cinnamon flavoring, bicarbonate sodium, Yellow Lake #20, ect.   Whaaat?!  Have you ever really read what they are trying to pass off as a snack?!  When it comes down to it, do me a favor and keep my packet for someone who feels adventurous enough to chew it themselves.  Funny, you never see any of the flight crew munching on it!

Now, we apparently have a real live Chef that makes the in flight meals you can purchase, for a fee.  Chef Clifton Lyles creates only the finest dishes for us flight customers with Alaska Air!  You can even email him to let him know what you think or give him suggestions!  He wants to hear from you!!  Which, by the way, I would gladly do, while I am scrunched up hot, uncomfortable in these crammed seats, dieing of thirst from the chemical sodium treats in a bag they serve you. if I felt like paying the $4.95 to go online in the first place to do that right now!  I would rather just write an airing of grievances for free on Microsoft Works, to be posted when I arrive at the airport and get Wi-Fi at no charge!  Today’s special is a Chicken Teriyaki sandwich with swiss cheese….for only $6.00!  Cash is an unacceptable form of in-flight currency anymore, which is cool, because I never really have any cash on me anyways!  But hey, that is 6 air miles for that delectable sandwich for those who are counting!

But despite all of this and more, the pilot informs us this will be a short trip home to Alaska today.  Due to some good tail winds, we will fly less than 3 hours.  Woo-hoo man!  This simply makes up for it all!  Alaska Air always tells me how important I am to them, and they continually thank me for flying with them, so I actually do feel special.  That is why I was in shock when during the first leg of our flight before the lay over, that I was mistreated by an overwrought flight attendant.  I think he honestly thought I was a terrorist getting ready to storm the cockpit the way he blocked me from the first class commode and pointedly directed me to the rear of the plane facility.  Come to find out later when I literally pulled him down to a more earthly level to let him know he bites, that there was a member of the flight crew….a pilot or co-pilot…using the head in first class at the moment I wanted to.  Funny, I watched a woman come out and I began to make my way up the isle the entire time, my eyes affixed on the prize….the commode door….and never saw anyone else walk in, much less a pilot.  I just think that there are ways to inform an allegedly important customer , as I have been repeatedly told I am, that he is going to have to use another toilet closet to relieve himself than the way this guy did.  I let him know this!  I think it was about the time in the conversation that he began to tell me that there was no need for me to get belligerent about it, that I realized, “ok…here we go….now your going to tell me to “calm down, sir….“  I have seen this in movies; the conversation escalates now because the customer is having a contest of wits with authority, who has a problem with portly men to begin with, and the next thing you know, some large pumped Air Marshall is coming down on you to see if there is a problem, tasers you in your seat, then cuffs you to the back of the plane, you are blacklisted from future flying on the ‘No Fly’ list, and your lucky if you make it out the cabin door  without Homeland Security waiting to escort you to the body cavity search facility.  No, I just put on my headphones, smiled and gently told him that I understood, and just wanted to point out my opinion to possibly help him in the future.  I think that  he just wasn’t happy with the eyeful he had coming towards him…my ’junk’ wasn’t impressive enough… and he discriminated against me for being straight.  Just a thought!  The whole scene offended me! (snicker)  Anyways, I suspect that they are giving me a line when they try to tell me how important I am, after that episode.

      ~ Minutes go by as I entertain the food and beverage service.~

Ok, I changed my mind just now.  Chef Clifton impressed me to no end with his gourmet Teriyaki Chicken sandwich with swiss cheese, and a little bonus…..a one time fresh piece of pineapple!  Not fresh as in ‘one time only’, but rather, as in at ‘one time many weeks ago’ it was fresh.  Couple this with the exemplary beverage service I just had….no joke…friendliest plastic cup of water I have ever had the opportunity to drink….I am bought again!  I feel important once again, just like they tell me I am.  Joy!  Oh, and Carrie, was quick to make sure I received the bag of, Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips: Luau BBQ, which the food service attendant forgot to give me with my sandwich!  Carrie, you are the sizzle!

Then there are the prisoner transports.  This is always a cause for concern.  I watched this huge dude, who made most linebackers look like patsies, come on board with a full suit, and briefcase complete with trademark bulge on his right hip signifying the concealed weapon he was carrying,  lead some guy in cuffs and shackles to the back of the plane….most likely where I almost ended up….and cause a bit of a commotion for a while trying to fit himself into the seat along side his prisoner.  Don’t forget the many times he needed to get into his overhead bag, drawing continuous attention to the matter, and the several rounds of musical chairs they played, he and the prisoner!

I suppose it could be easy to sit here and find all of the things that burn most of us out about flying these days.  I haven’t even tapped the Security Checkpoint scene yet.  Trust me, I got time as we still have a couple of hours of flight before we land, but as to not bore anyone with the obvious.  I guess when you want to get somewhere fast, flying is still the best way to go….and the flight industry knows this!  That is why they have you trapped in their web! I figure that if they ever burn me out enough, I will start giving my hard earned coin to the Canadian’s and tour Canada when I want to get away.  For now I have developed some skills to help aid my experience while flying.
- You don’t have to be a member of the ‘Mile High’ club to be important….they have repeatedly told me so and I truly believe it!  Wriiiight!
- A smile begets a smile, so pack patience.
- They don’t let you bring Vaseline on board, since it doesn’t come factory in a 3 ounce container, so take a few Valium before you get to the airport if you don’t like the fence …
- Window seats are nice, but the roomiest seat is the isle.  More room to spread.  But take note, and this is very important.  Elbows and ass don’t mix!  And invariably your elbow will almost always seek out some poor unsuspecting ass.  Good thing is most people are tolerant of this!  Some may even sickly enjoy it….
- Remember that old bumper sticker that read, “question authority”…don’t!  As Adonis most  agitatedly pointed out, “when a flight attendant instructs you to do something….do it!!”  This is important for the safety of everyone.  If we all behaved, who would need TSA?!
- Bring nose drops….it will help!
- Avoid the ‘soilent green’ in a sack, which they serve you for free….it will only make you thirsty, which will invariably lead to the urge to drink water, which will make you have to pee, which could cause you to be incarcerated for 'out of control behavior on board an airplane', while trying to dash to the head to relieve yourself!

All said, it was a great trip and I...we, will be so glad to finally get off this plane and be home, in Alaska, the one place we truly love, and so miss.  For those most recent comments, thanks for your support!  We both love to hear from our friends... new and old, and those who leave comments!  At least the good ones!!  (wink)

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