"You've got these runway lights, and you are looking at them, and they're saying: 'Come to me, come to me. I will let you land.' They're like the sirens of the ocean." —I was talking to a friend the other night and I brought up my embarrassing but shockingly firm superstitious belief that we are all born with so many airline flights to our name and when we reach our appointed number that is when our plane goes down. It's an absurd theory on its face—the idea that not only is there some higher agency which controls our fate but that it also keeps a ledger of our travel arrangements—but [...]
This weekend the Times travel section wrote about frequent flier security programs, including TSA PreCheck—or, as the government likes to call it, TSA Pre✓™. Mostly it was just speculation from the writer: "I’m anticipating an expedited stroll through a special security checkpoint." Oh honey! Well, let me tell you about that expedited stroll, as a bona fide government-approved flying person who has now strolled security more expeditiously than can be believed.
This is one of my weird hobbyhorses, so, sorry, but! Everyone I know is terrified by turbulence, so today's PSA is: "About 60 people, two-thirds of them flight attendants, are injured by turbulence annually in the United States." That's also usually because they just weren't wearing seatbelts. THE MORE YOU KNOW.
Nothing makes my day like an upgrade clearing at the last minute!
— Matthew Klint (@LiveandLetsFly) January 26, 2012
This story has it all. Okay, first the facts, as we know them. (We know them, so far, from the account of just one party.)
Dude—Matthew Klint, a 26-year-old preppy white man and a frequent flier blogger—boards plane. (The plane is a United plane.) Dude takes a few pictures of his seat. Flight attendant says pictures are forbidden, points out printed rules. (Photography is disallowed on-board, say rules: explicitly any photos of other passengers, crew, equipment and procedures are banned, with an exception for "personal events.") Passenger says [...]
Dear brown friends,
So by now you know: if you make noises, move about the plane, feel ill, talk to people in a non-English language, gesture, wear a backpack, or, now, spend your time on the plane "passing notes and writing in a notebook," you will not arrive at your destination, as the allegedly brown passengers on this week's Delta flight from D.C. to Oregon found out.
Please make a note of these forbidden behaviors. It might be best if you just drug yourself into oblivion while flying? But don't get too drugged: if you slur your words or "act strangely," you will also find [...]
The skies over Europe have reopened after days and days of being blocked by ash from Iceland's EyjafjallajÃ¶kull volcano, with 80% of scheduled flights expected to take off today and all of them supposedly going airborne tomorrow! But given that there are some 95,000 cancellations that need to have their passengers rerouted, we can probably expect to hear complaining about The Deal With Airports for another couple of days, at the very least.
Did you read this alarmist story about terror in the skies? Apparently some wacky, backwards country has corrupt support staff, aborted landings, exhausted pilots, runway light failures, eccentric pilots, crazy turbulence, ground control issues, pilots forced to speak out about safety conditions, aging planes, and chaotic crowds of passengers desperately trying to get on overcrowded flights. Let's all point and laugh at the backwards third world!
People who hate flying all pretty much hate the usual things. They hate: turbulence, confinement, heights, strange sensations of velocity or tilt, being out of control, and, of course, other people. And there's lots of these phobic people! It's the most popular of all of our modern phobias. The other day, someone asked: what are the most important things to do in life before I have a baby next year? And I was like: fly on airplanes all the time, because flying phobias often have their onset when people have babies. (That's because that's when straight people finally realize their mortality. Silly straight people.)
There are plenty of programs [...]