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Jerry’s Ink: Flying The Nutty Skies


How much did that JetBlue pilot going bonkers scare you? Let me tell you, it has me petrified. But if I know JetBlue, they are going to turn our fears of getting on a plane with a loony pilot into a profit center for their airline.

Ever notice how, when you fly JetBlue, they charge you for everything? Earphones are $2. If your luggage is overweight by a few ounces, there’s a “fat luggage” charge. If you want to sit in a comfortable seat instead of being scrunched up like a dog, there’s a new JetBlue charge called Even More™ Space seats, which you pay extra for extra legroom, early boarding and early access to overhead bins.

What do you want to bet that in the future JetBlue will add an additional charge? When you buy your ticket, they’ll ask: Would you like to fly with a sane pilot who has been examined by a licensed psychiatrist? Or do you want to take a chance on someone who we’ve noticed has been acting strange lately?


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Sane pilot flights will only cost $50 more per person, which is better than getting on a plane whose pilot has reported seeing tiny naked men dancing on the wings of his plane.

Flying has become a nightmare.

Have you been on a plane recently? How much worse can they treat passengers? Aren’t we covered by the Geneva Convention?

Take your shoes off … Take your belt off … Take your jewelry off … Remove all liquids from your bag … Open your computer … Then a bell goes off and the next thing you know you’re getting felt up by an unsmiling TSA security agent. (You would think that just once they would take your name and send you flowers the next day after touching the most intimate parts of your body.)

Once you’re on the plane, that’s when the fun begins. If you are sitting in seat 3A or B, or 39A or B, you’re screwed. You open the luggage compartment over your seat and it’s filled. Why? Because that’s where the flight attendants store their luggage. Once, when I took down a giant bag over my seat and replaced it with my luggage, I had an irate flight attendant scream at me, “Now, where am I going to put my luggage?” It took every ounce of decency in my body to keep myself from telling her where she could put her luggage.

Once you have dealt with the luggage problem, you have to deal with the seat situation. The airlines have crammed as many seats as they could into their planes. Sitting in a plane is not about comfort any longer, it’s about survival. It is impossible to get into a seat because the aisle space between seats is down to six inches. Soon they will be handing us little jars of Vaseline so that we can grease up our lower bodies and slide into our seats.

I have a plan. I think a bunch of us concerned citizens should approach the airlines and announce that we surrender. It’s useless for the American consumer to continue to fight the airlines. They have the planes … they have the destinations … they have everything on their side.

As a peace offering, I have an idea where they can fit even more of us into their planes. I suggest they remove all the seats from their planes. I know that on a plane that has 200 seats, one can install up to 300 hooks on the ceiling. So instead of 200 passengers sitting, I suggest that they can have 300 passengers standing or suspended in harnesses that they can attach to the hooks.

Now hanging suspended in a harness for hours can be a bit uncomfortable. I have a plan for that, too. My thought is that as you’re getting on the plane, when the attendant takes your ticket, she jabs you on the buttocks with a sedative shot that will keep you asleep for a few hours. When the plane lands, they can give you a few slaps to wake you up, and there you are at your destination – refreshed and raring to go. (I stole this idea from the movie “Coma.”)

A few years ago The Wall Street Journal ran a small item that put this airline situation in its proper perspective for me. The item told how Continental Airlines had announced a new pet policy. They were charging more for pets that were accompanying their masters on a plane trip. However, they were installing air-conditioning below so that the dogs would be more comfortable on the ride, and they set up a special pet information booth at the airport so that one could easily set up their pet’s comfortable flight. I read the article and thought to myself, “Those sons of bitches finally did it. Now they’re treating dogs like people and people like dogs.”

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