After being on a few flights in the last couple of months (to Dublin and Turkey) a few things struck me about the whole air travel charade.
Firstly, the pre–flight safety briefing is a mostly pointless affair, beyond the bit where they tell you to be aware of your exits. I speak mostly with regard to “In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion may be used as a floatation device.”
When was the last time, outside of the Thunderbirds, that a commercial aircraft not designed to do so, gently skimmed to a stationary position upon a body of water?
Rather than trying to delude us all with the notion that we’ll all survive and suffer only the relatively minor inconvenience of bobbing around in cold water awaiting rescue, why don’t they just lay out the facts?
The chances are, you are well and truly fucked if your plane goes down over water. If you’re lucky you’ll get a park bench named after you. Or maybe a hospital wing if you’re particlarly rich and have previously expressed that your fortune should go towards the creation of said wing in the event of your untimely demise.
Secondly, I’ve endured a few hard landings in some of the flights I’ve been on in the past. From a roller coaster descent before a hard thump arriving at Malta, to an absolute tank slapper at Luton airport, after which the pilot apologised for “the first officer’s landing” over the intercom.
That last one really irked me – the pilot apologising for the first officer’s ham fisted landing. Excuse me, Easyjet, but if there’s a better man for the job sitting in the cockpit then they should be the one landing the plane, not the trainee. Let the first officer practice in an empty plane, not while my life is in the hands of your cabin crew.
Lastly, I feel that the level of customer service provided by check-in staff and the cabin crew varies wildly. From insincere gushing to stone faced bluntness, you never quite know which you’re going to get.
Take-off’s are cool, I’ll give them that, but the rest of it – the queues at the airports, the security procedures, the in-flight movies, the turbulence, and the landings all combine to leave me with the impression that flying sucks.
As soon as they get matter transfer perfected and we don’t need to endure all the crap that comes with flying, the better.