Archives for posts with tag: airlines

Now that you’ve finally jammed your 75-pound carry-on into the overhead bin and kept this flight’s other 132 passengers waiting in the aisle for 17 minutes while you were whacking that elderly lady in 14C in the face, please turn your attention to the front of the airplane for this safety briefing.

When the seat belt sign is on, you must fasten your seat belt. Otherwise we will use rope and glue to attach you directly to the seat and will not be able to guarantee that you will come unstuck after landing.

To fasten your seat belt, just in case you’ve never been in an automobile before and don’t know how to do it, take this piece here and stick it into this piece there. Wait for the click. Then pull the strap to tighten until you can barely breathe and you’ve left stretch marks on your hips.

We suggest you keep your seat belt fastened throughout the flight, as we might encounter rough air, which is the term we now use instead of turbulence, which is the term we used to use to indicate we’re about to plunge into the ocean.

There are several emergency exits on this aircraft. Please take a few moments now to locate them. If you find them all, you will receive 20 percent off your drink order on your next flight.

In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, a book of appropriate prayers will automatically drop down and appear in front of you. To begin rhythmically chanting, pull the prayers toward you, place them firmly over your nose and mouth and scream as loud as you can. The screams will be muffled and thus not alarm your seatmates.

If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, say your prayers first, and then apologize directly to the child for your refusal to ever get her a pet.

A life vest is located under your seat or between the armrests. Or maybe it’s in the bins, squashed by your 75-pound carry-on. When instructed to do so, open the plastic pouch and remove the vest. Slip it over your head. No, not the plastic pouch, you ninny. Pass the straps around your waist and adjust at the front.

If it still doesn’t fit, perhaps you’re not a size medium after all.

To inflate the vest, pull firmly on the red cord. If there is no red cord, pull firmly on anything you can find until something works. This would include your seatmate’s ears or the flight attendant’s bow tie.

Your seat bottom cushion also can be used as a flotation device, particularly since it’s not very good as a seat cushion, especially if you are seated in regular economy.

At this time, all your portable electronic devices — including your mobile phone, your laptop, your iPad, your Kindle, your Apple watch and your Tickle Me Elmo must be set to airplane mode until further notice.

Please remember that this is a non-smoking flight. If you smell smoke, therefore, it’s probably one of our engines.

You will find all other safety information in the card located in the seat pocket in front of you. It’s the one with the chewing gum stuck to it.

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Booking made easy.

Please key in the airport from which you want to depart. If you don’t know or can’t figure out the code letters for the airport, we will assign you three letters at random and you may have to leave from Bogota, Columbia.

Now key in your destination airport, which also could be Bogota, meaning you will go nowhere but we will still charge you $25 for your first checked bag.

Next, choose your departure date. This is generally the date you will depart unless we cancel your flight just after you have spent three hours going through security.

Choose your arrival date. It can’t be a Tuesday.

Are these your exact dates or are they flexible? Instead of returning on April 15, how would you feel about coming back on Sept. 9?

Are you a child, adult, senior or an insurance salesman? Do you prefer morning, afternoon, evening or spending the entire day at the airport trying to get your smartphone to work?

Coach class, business class, first class or do you have no class at all? Will you be traveling with a monkey? What’s your body mass index? Will you be able to fit in one of our seats?

We are now searching for your flights. We are trying to find the flights with the most difficult departure times and most inappropriate schedules. This may take some time. It’s not easy.

Here are your possible flights. First select your outbound trip.

5:15 a.m. This flight makes two stops, one in Atlanta and the other in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Arrival time is next Thursday.

11:53 p.m. This is a direct, non-stop flight but you have to take the middle seat between a crying infant and someone else’s monkey.

Now select your return trip.

3:33 a.m.

3:34 a.m.

The earlier flight will arrive at your destination 23 minutes later than the later flight but will provide slightly larger bags of pretzels with appreciably lower sodium content.

Total cost of the flights you have selected: $1,287, plus tax, fees and tips minus your co-pay if you have met your deductible.

If you want a seat where the person in front of you doesn’t recline all the way back: $1,316.

If you want a seat where the armrests work: $1,392.

If you want a seat near the toilet: $1,401.

If you don’t want to be the passenger whose checked bag is the last one off the baggage carousel: $1,415.

If you want your checked bag not to go to Lisbon when you are going to Newark: $1,600.

If you don’t understand why airline fares continue to go up even though fuel prices continue to go down: $1,616.

Please arrive at the airport three hours in advance of departure so we can delay departure at the very last minute.

 

I recently wrote a letter of complaint to an airline whose name I won’t mention although it rhymes with helta. Below is the transcript of my correspondence.

Dear Airline:

I am writing, of course, to complain about my recent flight.

I am not writing to complain about the size of my seat. It was fine as long as I sat sideways and maintained the fetal position.

Nor am I complaining about the food you never served me or the bag of peanuts you did give me which included only two peanuts, one of them past its expiration date.

No, I am not complaining about the fact that I had to get to the airport three hours early and your flight was three hours late.

And really, I am not complaining about how you tried to find out if my suitcase would bounce all the way to Europe. Particularly since I was going to Phoenix.

I am, however, complaining that my flight arrived at its destination at 6 p.m. on Oct. 6. As you may know from checking your schedules, the flight was supposed to arrive at 3 p.m. On Sept. 19.

Because you have not fulfilled your part of the agreement we entered into, I believe it is incumbent on you to make it up to me somehow. A Hawaii vacation would be good.

Dear Complainer:

Thank you for sharing your concerns although they are really your concerns and we really wouldn’t want to take them away from you.

We can only imagine the frustration you experienced when your flight was diverted from Phoenix to Botswana due to mechanical-related reasons. And since we can only imagine it, we can’t be sure it really happened or that it was our fault. It would have been much easier to do something if it had happened to us rather than to you.

We want to assure you that we take your concerns very seriously and while we do acknowledge that your flight was late and also went to the wrong airport in a country without cable television and that your suitcase is in China, please understand that doesn’t mean we are actually responsible for anything.

According to the law, if your flight is delayed because of bad weather, we are not responsible. If there’s a strike by the air controllers or New York sanitation workers, we are not responsible. If your flight is delayed because of an act of God, we are not responsible. If your flight is delayed because of the third act of Henry IV, Part II, we are not responsible.

What happened to your flight is considered under the law to be “extraordinary circumstances.” We consider the fact that we forgot to put fuel in the tank extraordinarily extraordinary. 

However, as a goodwill gesture, the next time you fly with us, we will give you an extra bag of peanuts. But remember, if the peanuts have passed their expiration date, we are not responsible.

I’d like to fly from here to there.

Would you accept other airports within 50 miles of your preferred airport or would you just prefer to stick with airports where you actually will be able to find your car when you return?

Are these dates the actual dates you want to travel or are you flexible and willing to go in February of 2015 instead?

Will this be round-trip or one-way? Will it be non-stop or one-stop? Will it be stuck at Chicago’s O’Hare for most of your vacation even though you were heading to Philadelphia?

Do you want us to search by city, point of interest, region, airport or nutritional value?

Oops, the price of your flight has just gone up by $57.

Do you have a preferred airline? Or do you assume that all of them will most likely lose your luggage?

Do you have a frequent flyer card? Cards that you still have from Eastern Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, Pan American and Circuit City are not acceptable.

If you do have a current frequent flyer card, do you know the number or is that just the combination for your locker at the YMCA?

Do you want to add a hotel to your ticket? Do you want to add a rental car? Do you want to add a seat that’s not next to somebody who has a cold and no handkerchief?

Do you want an aisle or a window seat or, as usual, would you prefer to be wedged between two enormous sleeping people with crying babies?

Yikes, the price of your flight price just rose by $38.

Do you understand that the price of this flight does not include fees for security, food, luggage, the airline magazine or a pilot?

Do you know we no longer have airline magazines?

Please select the flight for your departure.

Are you surprised that the fare seems remarkably affordable? Have you noticed that this is the flight that leaves at 4:25 in the morning and goes by way of Manitoba?

Please note, as well, that the flight that is actually convenient and works with your schedule and goes to the right airport does not have any more seats left. We left that listing there on the screen just to show you how close you were and what you could have had if you had just booked three minutes earlier.

Do you have a small black rolling suitcase that looks identical to everyone else’s? If you do, that makes it harder for us to find after we send it to San Diego by mistake and the cost of your flight goes up another $41.

Please select a flight for your return. This is assuming you want to return or would just prefer to sit on the tarmac in your tiny seat with the air conditioning off until the price goes up again or you are able to unbend your knees.