Thoughts on the madness of flying these days, and probably why we end up driving everywhere. Well, that, and the need to purchase 5 airline tickets…
1) The airlines basic premise: First, we are going to charge a ton of money. Then, we may or may not be on time, but you had better plan to spend several hours at the airport waiting on us. But don’t bring any of your actual belongings on board (all the people with bad intentions always go though security and are forthright about their items). And since you can’t bring anything on board, we are going to charge worse-then-concession-stand-prices for everything once you’re on the other side. Bwha-ha-ha-ha! We are also going to charge you per bag, for the privilege of us losing and or/damaging your luggage.
2) I think they should make the seats smaller and pack more people aboard. I am petite and feel like I have just enough space to not feel squished. I don’t know how normal-sized people manage. Meager-sized seats, potties, and even the aisles.
(A note on potties here, I know that airplane lingo designates them “lavatories”, which I deduce from my high school Spanish has something to do with the verb, “lavar”, or “to wash”. But come on–I cannot imagine anyone being able to do anything in that tiny space aside from picking spinach out of their teeth. If claustrophobia doesn’t get you, the scary sucking sound the drain or potty makes will.)
(Oh, another note on lavatories: last time I flew, I had at least two kids with me, one in diapers. I had no idea where to change Lady Bug who had decided the plane was a fine, fine place to poop [honestly, don't the rest of us have the opposite problem when we travel? But I digress...well, I digress more then I was digressing, which was a lot...anyhoo]).
3) Amazingly, through 3 kids, I can never remember having to actually change a diaper on a plane. I started to change her on the seat, banking on the fact that a helpful flight attendant would intervene if I wasn’t supposed to. Yep, whadda-ya-know. No diaper changes on airline seats. (Now that I think about it, I believe I have changed a very little diapered butt on my lap on a plane–must’ve blocked that painful memory). The flight attendant informs me that FAA rules prohibit me from changing my baby on the seat (I thought she was joking for a minute about it being an FAA rule, and I barely stopped myself from laughing), but that there is a changing table in the lavatory. Really? In that little closet? Intrigued, I hauled poopy baby and stuff into 2ft space. Sure enough, there is a little table that folds down above the seat. Huh, who knew? I eyed it critically, ’cause it was exceedingly tiny. Only slightly bigger then the fold-down tray at my seat. Hmm. I should mention here that Lady Bug has always been a bit mistrustful of changing tables that dangle off of walls. She is okay with a nice, solid table, but attach a hinge to it and the girl gets nervous. She eyed me, clearly thinking I’m insane. “Are you sure? You tested this thing for weight? It feels wobbly, really wobbly. Not to mention germy, really germy. Hey! I’m slanting! Are you sure this thing is stable?” You can imagine her horror at the prospect of being on a tiny, hinged, slanting table at 30,000 feet. With slight turbulence. Poor baby. If she had been any bigger, I don’t know what I could’ve done. Change her on the spacious, clean floor?)
4) On my flight to Boston, there was a notice in the lavatory that read something like, “If the fasten seat belt sign is on, remain seated on the toilet.” This flight doesn’t have that same notice (I checked, cause I wanted to take a picture of it for you guys). I think to myself, sure! That’s where I want to be in the event of turbulence! On the potty with the sloshy blue stuff in it! Maybe they mean with the lid down, but still. Ick.
5) I recall a time when there was a little sign asking you to wipe down the sink after use, to be courteous to the next passenger. Well, they don’t do that anymore. Apparently, it is totally fine to leave dirty, soapy water in the sink. I always hit the center “drain” lever before I figure out which one is for water, in any case. And then I nearly lose a hand trying to stuff the paper towels into the teeny trash receptacle with the hinged flap that’s on steroids.
6) All of the above is prefaced, though, by moving through the plane. With the wee, wee, close together seats, you practically have to sit on your seatmates laps to extract yourself from your row. Then, if you encounter someone coming the other direction down the aisle, there is the critical question of “which way do I turn to get past?” Turning away from them seems unfriendly, as you are basically offering them your butt. But (har-dee-har) turning towards them to pass is extremely, well, waaaay to intimate. (I know, I tried it for research purposes. Let me just say that there are close friends who I haven’t been in that much contact with me. Something I just save for strange men on the plane, apparently. Was it good for you?
7) You sit next to strangers, sometimes on their laps, practically, you siddle past them, hopefully decently, and have them deposit your tray table in the lab when they recline their seat.
9) Oh, onto the tilty seat and airplane safety. Really? Having my tray table and seat in their upright, locked position makes a hill of beans? How is that possible, really? I think it is all part of the power mongering of the airlines. Just sayin’.
Remind me to come back and read this blog if I whine about driving somewhere instead of flying…