When we were growing up, flying or air travel was, for the most part – a luxury. Maybe we went on a family vacation to a neighbor island a couple of times. Or a trip to Disneyland when we turned 8. But nothing like today – where a family trip to Las Vegas is almost an annual event. Maybe even twice a year- with a trip to San Francisco, or L.A., or Seattle thrown in between.
But back in the old days when air travel was mostly a luxury, passengers dressed and behaved in a luxurious manner. And stewardesses reciprocated in the same manner.
However, air travel today is so much different. It’s almost “business-like”. We’re on the plane for one reason only – to get to our destination. And the
stewardesses flight-attendants are there to dispense the obligatory snacks and drinks and keep order. Gone are the days of flirting with the help.
Do that now and you might get arrested. Although I must say that the Hawaiian Airlines folks do treat us with warmth and aloha.
But back to the topic of Airplane Ponderings. These are just my observations and opinions and I apologize in advance if I offend anyone.
People dressed inappropriately for flying. I’m talking about people who dress like they’re going to a beach picnic. Tank-top, shorts, and slippers doesn’t strike me a appropriate – especially when the person is sitting RIGHT NEXT to me. I don’t really want to see your arm-pit hair, much less – smell it. A little more cover up, please. A collared pull-over would be nice, or at least a t-shirt. The shorts, well – I can give you that one. It’s your legs that will get cold, not mine.
And hygiene. What more can I say. Just try your best to take a shower before flying. It’s that close proximity in an airplane that make this so important. And maybe freshly washed hair. Nobody – especially the ones sitting behind you – want to be smelling head-sweat during the whole flight.
Something else I noticed – why do passengers want to go to the bathroom when the flight attendants are serving food or drinks? I mean, you can see that there is a huge cart blocking the whole aisle. If you know you can make it to the restroom, do your business, and get back to your seat before the cart blocks your path, then go for it. But if you’re in doubt – then just wait until they’re done serving. Sometimes I see the flight attendants back up the cart all they way until the person can get back to their row!
Okay, be honest here. Raise your hand if you’ve ever farted on the airplane. Don’t lie. It’s not like anyone can hear your fut over the engine noise. And the air is blowing so much that if there is any smell, it dissipates fast. I’m talking about when the plane is in the air. When it’s just taxi-ing down the runway – you take your chances of being heard. And smelled.
On the last flight we took on Hawaiian Air, I had a hard time trying to sleep on the red-eye. I kept tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable. I’ll admit that the slim-fit jeans didn’t help. But later on, someone mentioned to me that the seats on the Airbus planes don’t have much cushioning on the seats. Then the light-bulb above my head went one and I realized that I was tossing and turning because my butt cheeks were getting sore – so I kept switching sides. No wonder! The tip they gave was: Use the blanket as additional seat cushioning.
Which leads me to the next issue. How clean is the blanket and pillow? Much like eating at a Chinese restaurant and not wanting to see the kitchen – if you don’t think about it, it’s okay. If you think about it, well then you start freaking out. If that’s the case, then just sit on the blanket for additional cushioning and pull out your own jacket to use as your blanket. And the Airbus head rests have the “wings” that you can adjust to support your head. As it did for every single other person who sat in that same seat. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT!
Shoes. I have a special pair of shoes that I use just for flying.
They look similar to this shoe above but is suede. And since they slip right on and off, they’re great for going through the TSA security check points. No need to bend down to untie shoelaces or sit down after putting them back on to tie the shoelaces. And while in the air, they’re easy to simply slip off and rest my feet on to buffer the vibration from the airplane floor. And did you ever notice that when you take your shoes off during flight, it’s harder to put them back on? That’s because your feet tend to swell in the higher atmosphere – and it takes a little time for them to shrink back down to size. So these slip-ons gives me the room for me to put my inflated feet back into my shoes before landing.
Drinking on the plane. When the beverage cart comes around, usually someone will buy a drink, maybe two to help them take the edge off or catch a few winks. But on this one daytime trip, I heard the “psshrt” of a can opening. I looked over and there was this older gentleman cracking open a can of beer. He had his tray down and a cup where he poured his beer and enjoyed it. I heard other cans opening too and figured that the guy was just thirsty or something. But by the time the plane was getting ready to land and they were clearing the trays, he had at least of 6-pack of empty beer cans on his tray. And I’m positive that his tiny wife sitting next to him was helping him drink all that. But when it was time to get off the plane, he let his wife walk first as he held on to her shoulders to stable himself on the way out. I was saying that his vacation started even before they reached their destination. But then maybe he has a fear of flying and this was how he copes with it. Or he just enjoys beer.
One final pondering. Living on this rock in the middle of the Pacific ocean means that any vacation outside of this state pretty much means a five hour flight, at least. I used to wish that there was some way that the plane could go faster so I wouldn’t have to wait for so long to get to my destination. But that all changed when someone told me that their dad or uncle or some family member liked to fly. He said that when he was flying – that gave him five hours to just sit and relax. Listen music if he wanted to, watch movies, sleep – whatever. But it sure beat cleaning yard, doing house work, running errands. And with that – my attitude changed. And flying wasn’t so bad anymore. It was a time to sit and cruise and do nothing for a bit. And even get a drink and snack served to you. See if you get that at home.
What airplane ponderings do you have? Stories to share? Observations? Pet peeves? Tips? 7-11 spam musubis taste real good on the airplane. But the zip-pack in the next row looks even better. Airplane Ponderings…