Did you ever go to the circus and see twenty clowns climb out of one car? You may soon get to witness the aviation equivalent
of that feat
Airbus has reportedly pitched a "standing room only" option to certain Asian carriers that calls for creating a section where
passengers are propped against padded backboards, and then held in place with harnesses. What you've just read is not a
This innovation may soon spread to commercial airlines throughout the U.S., who are running out of traditional ways to degrade,
debase and humiliate passengers. Imagine propping people against padded backboards and strapping them in with harnesses for
hours? Air travel has bottomed out when passengers resemble a David Blaine stunt gone wrong.
In addition, some U.S. airlines have been quietly slipping six extra seats onto planes, creating borderline inhumane crowding
conditions, making airlines identical to airborne Turkish prisons, if Turkish prisons had less appealing restroom facilities.
Not only are they cramming more passengers onto planes, but the seats are getting smaller as the passengers' luggage
gets bigger, with carry-on bags with wheels attached now resembling stretch Humvees as passengers freely roll them onto the
plane, scattering other passengers like bowling pins.
No wonder Hare Krishnas fled the airports, being linked to commercial airlines was bad for their reputations.
Between the long lines at security checkpoints, the invasive security patdowns (which used to be called "getting to second
base"), the quality and dearth of food, and the high fuel-related costs, the best thing about airline travel is now the barely
English-speaking reservation agent who answers the 800-line in New Delhi, and mispronounces Phoenix.
Remember the good old days? Those halcyon days when flights weren't crowded, costs were reasonable, and there was
no concern about terrorism? Remember when male passengers actually put on a coat and tie? Now before flying I don a rubber suit
to protect me from the projectile vomit of the drunken pilots.
I miss those days when flying was so special people dressed up, when passengers didn't look like refugees fleeing a
natural disaster. I saw a passenger recently wearing nothing but a bathrobe and flip flops, which I wouldn't have minded so
much had the guy bothered to tie his robe.
I've also seen an entire family board a cross country flight in their bathing suits. So the good news is next time the airlines
lose my luggage I'll just wrap a pilfered Holiday Inn towel around my waist and head for the airport, I'll fit right in.
Meanwhile, airlines have actually upgraded their first class sections, with in-seat massagers and "lie flat" seats on
The resulting schism between first class and coach creates a divide the likes of which hasn't been seen since before the
fall of the Berlin Wall. The uncomfortable feeling as one walks past the Haves (First Class passengers) into the Have Not (Coach)
section has grown exponentially more uncomfortable.
I used to enjoy flying. The declining quality of airline travel has resulted in that no longer being the case. The following is a
short list of things I'd rather do than board a commercial airliner.
- Undergo root canal
- Spend a weekend locked in a tiny room with my mother-in-law
- Take away meat from a hungry pit bull
- Take away a jelly roll from my mother-in-law
- Watch an NBC television program
- Go hunting with Dick Cheney dressed as a quail
Meanwhile, nearly all the airlines are struggling financially. Collectively the airlines couldn't do worse if they were taking
investment advice from MC Hamer, and Mike Tyson was in charge of the pension plan. Airline bankruptcies are now as ubiquitous
as airline crying babies. And so in order to save money they keep cutting back on "amenities" so many of which have been
eliminated the only "amenities" left are bags of salt with a couple pretzels inside, and the oxygen masks, which will probably
soon be replaced with much cheaper nose plugs to be used in event of a water landing.
So go ahead, try to make a profit by selling standing room only tickets. Don't stop there. Stucco passengers onto wheel
wells. Super-Glue us to the wings. Cram in ten more paying passengers by removing the restrooms and telling people to "just
hold it, we're almost there."
And by all means, harness us to padded walls. A harness is a term generally associated with horses, who are amongst the
dumbest of animals, but are still intelligent enough to not fly commercial.