Sunday, January 09, 2011

A short note on airline travel morality 

Of all the legal and non-accidental things one might do on a passenger airliner, is there anything less moral than putting your bag in a bin toward the front of the plane when your assigned seat is in the rear? I see this fairly often -- some guy who has a coach seat in the back but early-boarding privileges does not want to schlep his wheeled bag to the rear, so he puts it over another row toward the front and then waltzes to the back unencumbered. On a full flight, this is terribly anti-social, because it forces a late-boarder with a seat near the front to put his or her bag in the back. That (obviously) imposes a long delay in disembarkation on that passenger, all because the inconsiderate early boarder lacked the energy -- physical and moral -- to hump his bag to the back.

I would call for the death penalty for such people, but if one of them is killed I would not want to be attacked on CNN for my eliminationist rhetoric. I therefore ask only that they be flayed.


By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Jan 09, 11:07:00 PM:

If you are sitting up front...just deposit the remnants of your meal in the said bag.

Same effect as the old "dead fish on the engine manifold" trick.

...so I had a troubled youth...what of it!?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jan 10, 02:41:00 AM:

"is there anything less moral than...the piddly selfish crap that airline passengers do"?

oh, HELL yes. just look at the airlines themselves. (except southwest, and [maybe] virgin, the only well-managed airlines [evidently] in the world.) see: "customer service" that routinely ranks as the worst imaginable. eagerly passing off the preflight security *that's their responsibility* to the TSA, and if the passengers don't like it, too bad. canceling flights at the last minute because they're not full enough to suit mgt. letting fully-loaded planes sit on the tarmac, in dallas, in august, for 3 hours because "we need a part for the bathroom sink", or any other obvious lie that comes to mind. letting full planes sit on the tarmac, 30 feet from the gate, in winter, for...6...8...10 hours, because canceling that flight and putting the passengers into a hotel overnight would cost *money*, you see. pillows and blanket? that'll be 8 bucks, please. no, we don't accept cash. and my personal fave, cramming ever-more seats into ever less space. i'm large, but no giant: 6'4", 230, and sitting in one of those kiddie-size seats screws me up for days afterward. legroom? surely you jest. REALLY large people? tough luck, i guess.

the airlines have been crapping on their customers for 3 decades now. every year, the complaints go up; every year, the service continues to degrade. (now we're beginning to hear stories of faked maintenance, or maintenance farmed out to illiterate 3rd-world "mechanics".)

i think it's a miracle that any flight anywhere makes it down safely without multiple dead passengers and butchered stews. but it's coming, i reckon. treat people like animals long enough, and eventually they'll behave like animals. who knows? maybe the first inflight deadly riot will be over some jerk dumping his bag into a forward overhead.  

By Anonymous E Hines, at Mon Jan 10, 07:30:00 AM:

I would call for the death penalty for such people, but...I would not want to be attacked on CNN for my eliminationist rhetoric.

Make the call. Wear CNN's response as a badge of honor. Except their drool is kind of messy....

Eric Hines  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jan 10, 08:05:00 AM:

Flying too much is bad for your karma, evidently.

But then, so is the grocery store parking lot where patrons done unloading their purchases from cart to car leave their now empty cart in an empty parking space rather than return it to a cart collection point. This forces some poor schmuck to get out of his car and do the job if he wants to park in that spot a few minutes later. Anger? You betcha, as Sarah might say.

My conclusion is that hanging around places crowded with people who are transiting through is bad for karma. Airports, airplanes, stores, malls ... Places like those are no fun.  

By Anonymous 996GT3Cup, at Mon Jan 10, 08:28:00 AM:

Ah, the desire to punish inconsiderate behavior. What percent of NJ drivers would need to be flayed each day?  

By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Mon Jan 10, 08:34:00 AM:

TH, perhaps it would be easier on you if you realized that he is merely enlisting you in his therapeutic process.  

By Anonymous John, at Mon Jan 10, 08:39:00 AM:

When I was platinum on CO, I would do this very thing when I knew it was highly probable I'd be upgraded and then 'stuck' waiting to swim upstream for my bag upon landing, but it was rare.

I think it's far more annoying that the airline doesn't enforce the bag size requirement, or the quantity requirement, which lengthens boarding, AND the super large (aka fat or just oversized) person that needs to buy more than one seat but hasn't.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jan 10, 12:22:00 PM:

Anon Attorney here.

Man up, TH. My consistent poke at you is that you're soft in a New England Republican sort of way. For God's sake man, food riots are breaking out in developing countries and you're complaining because some guy is scamming luggage space on your flight to Austin, Sedona, San Francisco, or one of the other damn nice destinations you jet off to almost every week.

Why is it you never have to travel to places like Detroit, Cleveland, or North Dakota, anyway? What's up with that?  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Jan 10, 12:27:00 PM:

It is not all that fun to report on Detroit or Cleveland. I have been to both on business more than once. I admit, North Dakota is one of the four states I have never been to. In any case, my point is that the first guy is shifting the small costs (schlepping his bag) on to another random person who will bear a big cost (waiting until the plane empties before he can get back to his bag). That is a classic negative sum game and rude and antisocial besides.  

By Blogger cubanbob, at Mon Jan 10, 12:34:00 PM:

I had that happen to me when in first class. Just took his bag and gave it to the stewardess and said it belonged to some jerk in the back of the buss. Don't know what she did with it, probably had it checked in as baggage.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Mon Jan 10, 01:09:00 PM:

Man up, seems like a good beginning.

These are the kinds of problems that offer opportunities for new regulations and rules. So, the solutions are more dehumanizing than the problem.

I once tried to correct the behavior of another ne'er do well in my second grade dormitory after lights out. I may have gotten the better of him, but Mrs. McKim definitely got the better of me.

Lead by example, don't follow assholes, and ignore the little stuff.


By Anonymous feeblemind, at Mon Jan 10, 02:14:00 PM:

Well, I suppose you could check your baggage and then you wouldn't have to fight it TH. What could possibly go wrong?

I don't have to fight crowds, lines or traffic. Life in an empty state does have it's compensations.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Jan 10, 02:55:00 PM:

I do usually check my bag, actually. More peaceful. Unless I am in a huge rush at the arrival point.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jan 10, 05:05:00 PM:

"never been to north dakota"?? i can help ya with that. (had to go to fargo on bidniss in my youth. drew the short straw. could have been worse, i guess: at least it wasn't detroit or newark.) just exactly like kansas or nebraska, only emptier and colder. much, MUCH colder. nice folks, though.  

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