Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Welcome Aboard, A Pleasant Airline Experience


Capt Kang Good morning from the flight deck, on behalf of Captain Kangaroo I would like to welcome you aboard Pleasant Air Flight 123.




You have made it on board and must now navigate a sometimes narrow aisle to your assigned seat unless you are flying Southwest Airlines. With short ground times as a part of it's business model, Southwest Airlines does not assign seats.


Picture 011 This is done in hopes of speeding up the boarding process. As the following SWA Flight Attendant announcement demonstrates, it does not always work.

“People,people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”




Large Carry on Is there still room for your carry on luggage? Usually there is but it may take creative arranging of other bags in the overhead bins to do so. Your flight attendant can be a big asset here but don't expect them to lift your 300lb carry on bag. If they do so, it is as a courtesy and not a part of their job requirement.





Although the area around your feet must be clear in order to not block access to the aisle in case of an emergency. I am sometimes baffled why some airlines with already cramped seats emphasize this as a reasonable storage place. Even the so called “smaller items” can cramp your style in an already cramped space. Limiting carry on luggage and their size, like Spirit Airlines will attempt to do beginning in August can go a long way to make us all a little more comfortable.


Safety briefing Card With your luggage stored, even as a frequent flyer you should pay attention to the safety briefing and review the safety briefing card in your seat back pocket.

Like you, I have been in a few automobiles since the 1960’s. Still, I do share your pain that the government (FAA) thinks we have to be constantly reminded on how to operate a seat belt.



The important items of the safety briefing is knowing your location in reference to the nearest emergency exits and the operation of a life vest which most us do not wear everyday. A life vest demonstration is only required if your flight will fly extended distances over water.

Airline emergencies especially among US Airlines is extremely rare. Still, knowing how to exit the airplane quickly and safely becomes paramount should the need arise. Counting the rows forward or back to the nearest exit is something I recommend. In a dark or smoke filled cabin even with emergency lighting this can ease confusion getting to an exit.


sammy-davis-archie-bunker-kiss-2 Have you met your new neighbor Archie Bunker?

I hope you will break the ice sometime in the next 4 hours and 20 minutes and meet your next seat neighbor. Even if you have that project to work on or need to catch up on your sleep here's an opportunity to meet someone possibly as interesting as you.



Most everyone, even Archie has a story to tell which can be entertaining unless of course it causes your ears to fall off then it's probably down right hilarious!

Sometime during the hundreds and hundreds of boarding announcements you should be informed of your flight time, destination weather or any known delays.


Picture 1475 There is no magic to dealing with the effects of mother nature. If it is snowing or thunderstorms are in the area expect departure delays.

In the winter and on flights to destinations which have chronic delays like New York or Chicago or Atlanta, airlines attempt to compensate for these known situations by allowing more time in their schedules.


This is known in the airline industry as “block time”. A flight is scheduled to leave Atlanta (ATL) at 7:40 am and arrive in New York (LGA) at 9:59 am. A scheduled time of 2 hours and 19 minutes which takes into account historical ground time delay data leaving ATL and historical air traffic control en-route/arrival delay data into LGA.


Auckland Airport Your airline hopes variables in your actual ground time and flight time will help it meet it's published scheduled time. If it does no one pays attention.

If it does not then …

“It's the worse airline I have ever flown”.

“I am never flying this f'ng airline again”.


“Of course unless it offers me a cheaper ticket than the other airline I was going to fly.”


Qantas 767 View Today, the weather is nice and there are no take off delays. The airplane gently vibrates as it's powerful engines come to life. With over 50,000 pounds of thrust at about 180 miles per hour it breaks free from gravity.






Kodak 022

Suspended 35,000 feet above the earth you are on your way enjoying a pleasant airline experience.

Archie, I promise not to talk your ears off for next 4 hours and 20 minutes. However, you may find it interesting what I have to say next about air travel.

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