Tuesday, February 28, 2012

All the Single Ladies...

To the other female priority passengers out there:

You're not alone. But it might seem like it.

Next time you're in business class, waiting to board with the other priority customers, or hanging out in the lounge, take note of how many women there are in the vicinity. Don't count the ladies who are obviously there with their 1k husbands/lovers and are reaping the benefits of being on the same itinerary. I'm talking about the lone female road warriors. Not very many, are there?

I'm in the club right now, and I count four women (including me) out of 40+.

I have many theories about this (glass ceiling, family priorities, etc). Your thoughts?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Is Your Child on This Airplane?

I recently read a column that purported to advise parents how to deal with "child haters" who mistreat them just for bringing their kids on an airplane trip.

Excuse me? In a conversation a few years ago, my co-blogger Crosscheck said something that was like a revelation to me:

There is no reason for young children to travel on an airplane.

I have thought about this almost every time I've flown for the last several years. And after all that thinking about it, I have come to the following conclusion:
In the vast majority of cases, there is actually no reason for young children to travel on an aircraft (i.e., kids too young to understand the expectation of civil behavior). The exceptions would be the following:
  • an ill child traveling to see a specialist for a severe disease; 
  • a family paying its respects to a dying grandparent; or 
  • a family relocating permanently across the country.
Otherwise? Why subject yourself to the agony of lugging all that crap around with you (strollers, diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers, toys, books, video games)? 
Why subject other passengers to the avoidable interference in what is already a stressful pursuit (being cooped up in the tube in the sky)?
Why make the kids go through often-painful sinus compression and decompression (that they don't understand how to remedy), dehydration, and other deleterious effects of air travel? 
Just stay home, or take a driving trip, a train trip, or a boat trip.

Photo via Creative Commons 

The Territorialist

...that's what I'm calling the breed of jerk I encountered in the an international business seat next to me on a recent trip. This particular animal likes to mark his territory; don't be surprised if you catch him peeing in on the floor near his seat. Observed Territorialist behavior:

  • Strategic overhead bin hogging
  • Crowding the shared armrest/console area with drinks, menus, warm nuts etc
  • Flailing limbs while "sleeping"
  • Constant annoying requests from the FAs for special treatment

Ok dude, we get it. You're Global Services and you think you're the shiz. But if you're really so great, why weren't you in First?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Roll Aboard. Not Roller Board. Roll Aboard.

I just need to rant for a moment. 

FAs, GAs, pilots, first officers, and even million miler FFs all say something that really bothers me.

They say "rollerboard."

But think about it. You roll the bag aboard. You don't roller it. So use your brain power, exercise common sense, and say it right.


Roll. Aboard.


Thank you.

Now read this:

Reinventing the suitcase by adding the wheel (NY Times)

And this: Rollerboard or Rollaboard?

Rollerboard or rollaboard

Photo of people in Rome sporting rollaboard (and awkwardly-dangling fanny pack of all things) by Ed Yourdon via Creative Commons.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Now Boarding.....

Two forces have combined to overwhelm the boarding process on UA/CO for the last few weeks:
  1. The pending merger has the GAs announcing every known combination of frequent flier achievement level possible across CO, UA, and the rest of Star Alliance; and
  2. The ability to earn boarding priority by serving in the military (or by having the United Explorer Visa card) means a couple more groups at the gate.
So to save you the trouble of listening for your own group, just remember that this is the current order in which people may board:
  • Uniformed military personnel and Global Services customers as well as Presidential Platinum Elite
  • People traveling with squalling children, or people who need extra time to board, because they have four carry-ons
  • 1K and Star Alliance Gold
  • Premier Executive, Premier, Star Silver, Silver Platinum (Elite), 2K, Star Bronze, Copa Me Mucho, Star Platinum, Silver Elite Gold, and Premier Associates. Oh, and uninformed military personnel
  • United Explorer Visa Card holders with checked bags or outstanding monthly balances
  • Then, seating area 5

Image via Creative Commons

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Something to Drink, Sir? Also, You're a Pig.

Yeah, OK. We've been over this whole feet-on-the-bulkhead thing already. But we're going to keep beating this drum until airline flight attendants get up the nerve to tell passengers who do this that it's not OK, and make them stop.

I took this photo in the first row of a United A320 today on a four hour jaunt out of ORD. The guy with his nasty feet on the wall wasn't some wayward slob on his way back to campus after a snowboarding weekend. He was a 40-something business man in a nice suit and tie.

And he was a disgusting pig for doing this.

There's your rant for this week.