Air Travel Omnibus

Every so often, I find I have several small things to write about related topics, but not enough on any one of them to fill out an entire article. This is one of those times. I have just returned from a flight to Texas, and I have some things to say. They're not all from my most recent trip, but they definitely still apply.

De-plane is not a word. I know this because 'plane' is not a verb. When you get on a plane, you don't plane it, you board it. The airline even knows this, because the announcements they give always say "we're going to continue boarding zone 2" or however your suicide tube of choice chooses to order their boarding. You don't de-car or de-train, you get out or get off, respectively. Getting off the plane is called "disembarking" or "exiting." Or if you insist on de-somethinging from it, take the obvious option and use "deboarding." Hell, I think it's even a real word.

Bathrooms should be installed at terminal ends. If the bathrooms are five gates apart (random example), that means that no matter where you begin your hunt for a urine bucket, you have no more than 3 gates to walk past in order to get to one. Unless you're in a gate at the end of a terminal, that is, in which case you have to walk past at least 5. When I need to void my organs in an airport, walking for 2 minutes to find a toilet should always be unnecessary.

Toilet flush sensors need to be adjusted. If the toilet flush is triggered by me sitting down at the toilet, something has gone terribly wrong. The last thing I need when taking a shit is to begin my adventure with a wet ass. And to then have the toilet fail to flush when I'm actually done and I stand up, well that's just insulting. The sensors should trigger a flush when I walk away from the toilet; no sooner, no later. As Ellen Degeneres once approximately said, I'm the one who decides when I'm done taking a shit.

Don't lean on me in the aisle. When it's time to disembark (see what I did there?), not everyone can get off at once. This is partly because of physics, and partly because people are stupid, and they tend to wait until everyone in front of them is already walking away before they pull their bag down from the overhead storage. What that leads to is some people standing in the aisle, and some people sitting down. If I'm sitting in an aisle seat, and my arms are on the armrests, the last thing I want is somebody leaning their thigh and ass on my arm, dangerously close to farting-in-my-mouth territory. When there's someone sitting in a chair, don't fucking lean on it.

Don't wait to pull your bag down. There's one of you, and there's one or fewer of your bags stored overhead. When the plane comes to a stop, save everyone some time by grabbing your bag right away and putting it in your seat if you're going to remain standing, or on your lap or on the floor in front of you if you're sitting back down. That way, when everyone ahead of you is already walking away, you can immediately follow, saving everyone behind you five seconds of not having to wait for you to remember which side the wheels are on. It doesn't sound like much, but duplicate those five seconds for 100 passengers, and suddenly the people holding their breath next to the shitter at the back of the plane are getting off almost ten minutes sooner. When you have a connection to make, those minutes add up quickly. And this one reminds me;

Don't put small shit in the overhead storage. Suitcases go overhead, small bags and coats go under the seat in front of you. That's how it's worked for hundreds of years, and that's how it will continue to work for the foreseeable future. When you put a coat in the overhead storage, that's space that someone else can't use for their suitcase. Coats are pliable and can be put elsewhere; suitcases are not and cannot. If you're going to bring a giant winter coat on the plane, the only person who should be inconvenienced by your choice is you. And when you do put a suitcase up there:

Stow your suitcase in the right direction. This one isn't even hard: the flight attendants literally say "put it in with the wheels facing out" as you're boarding the plane. Sticking it in sideways means you take up more space than you should, and you end up closing the overhead storage area when it still should have room for another bag. This might be the first time I've ever essentially written "don't be deaf" in one of these, but there you go.

We live in a society where we need to look out for each other; more than half of this omnibus is based on people being selfish to the point of being detrimental for the people with whom they're sharing a giant Tylenol in the sky, with no way out. It doesn't take a million dollars to be considerate to people, it just takes some common fucking sense.

Oh, and no I won't put any pictures or videos in this article; I just got back from a day of travel, and I'm tired. Use Google.

Got something to say to me?