The old legacy airlines should call it quits today. They have completely lost their way and totally forgotten about their customers. I just flew United to Hawaii and I have to assume that no one from the company’s management team has flown in seat 898 Z, like I just did, in over a decade.
Because if they had they would book their next flight on Frontier, Jet Blue or Southwest. Kind ladies and gentlemen of the management team, since when is the average American sized like an Unpa Lumpa? Because an Unpa Lumpa is about the only customer that might feel comfortable in your airplanes seats.
I don’t even begin to fit into seat 898 Z. And if the Unpa Lumpa in front of me decides to lean in his chair back, I’m left with two option. 1) spend six hours with my knees pressed against my cheeks or 2) spend 6 hours with my feet in the aisle tripping every other passenger on the flight. There is of course a 3rd option. I could surgically remove my legs, and I would have, had I been able to carry on something sharp enough to do a proper job.
Speaking of a proper job. Since when have all your flights attendance become surly-old-tired-disgruntled-unhappy-stubborn-chubby-way-over-the-hill curmudgeons? Here’s a free tip for the management team. When you conduct your flight attendant training you may want to add a new criteria. Any flight attendant that can’t squeeze through the emergency door without either a) a big push by the rest of the crew or b) liberal amounts of body lubrication from on board supplies like butter, should be suspended and put on a strict diet of weight watchers.
I certainly couldn’t get any butter on the flight to save my life. What, God forbid, would happen if the rotund flight attended on my recent flight got stuck, like a cork in a bottle, in the emergency door? There’s no way we’d be able to get enough butter to grease her down and squeeze her through the door.
Which reminds me of a flight I flew back home from Germany on Lufthansa. I was sitting in the emergency row that has the armrest with the built in food trays that don’t flip up. When, to my complete horror, this really chubby guy comes down the aisle sideways. He was so wide that he has to turn sideways to walk down the aisle. I suspect that he enjoyed his beer and schnitzel a bit too much over the years. I’m just praying that that he passes by, but sure enough he plops down next to me. Except that he really couldn’t plop down, as he has to wriggle his butt back and forth into the seat between the solid arm rests.
Now he’s wedged in the seat next to me like quarter in a penny slot. I’m about to pass out from lack of oxygen as I’m wedged between him and the emergency door. This is not really his fault as he’s trying to give me room, but he just sort of spills onto my seat cramming me against the door.
I’m facing a 13-hours flight with the knowledge of certain death for the rest of the passengers, should we ever actually need the emergency door. Because it is obviously to anyone looking that he wasn’t going to make it through the smallish emergency door without loosing about 100 pounds.
Luckily the German flight attendant is watching this unfold through his very stylish Germanic eyeglasses as shaking his head in a “This vill not do” sort of way.
Without any prompting from me he moves the dude to TWO seats in the back row. Did you know that they actually have seat belt extenders on commercial airplanes?
Perhaps Lufthansa could offer their training program to United. The only initiative I saw my crew take was when it was time to leave the plane. They seemed to gain a new hustle in their step. This hustle certainly was completely lacking, as they brought around the weird no name wafers they now call snacks.
I was stuck behind the snack cart (having gotten up to go to the bathroom) as the flight attendants brought it down the aisle in their turtle like way. I stood there for a while, like an idiot, staring at my seat while all the other passengers stared at me. I didn’t want people to think that I somehow liked hanging out by the toilets like some old-man-perv. I tried to express my predicament with my eyes to the other passengers looking at time. I would stare at my empty seat and stare at the beverage cart. When at last I could take it no longer, I politely asked the flight attendant if she could move the cart so that I could return to my seat.
She said NO! I tried to explain that I just wanted to sit down and get out of her way. She said I’d have to wait until she finished and that it was my fault I had gotten up out of my seat. OK I said and went back to hanging round the toilets feeling pretty helpless.
And that’s what I figure people really hate about flying. It is the feeling of complete loss of control and helplessness. At least in a car you have some sense of control if you were ever in an accident. In an airplane you don’t. You just sit there with no information, no control, and no idea of what’s going to happen.
I would humbly suggest to the airlines that they may not want their employees adding to this feeling of helplessness.
After about twenty minutes of standing by the toilets feeling embarrassed, I was able to get back to my seat. Keep in mind that I was in seat 898 Z at the back. I couldn’t get a drink or buy a snack as the cart had obviously gone by. My wife told me that the flight attendant had told the other gal working the cart that a passenger had yelled at her to let him by.
For those that know me, know that I don’t yell. It’s just not my way.
Besides it much more satisfying to get even in an altogether different sort of way.
So to the United flight attendant who wouldn’t let me sit down I only have one thing to say: Girl, perhaps it is time they put you out to pasture. And I do literally mean pasture!