Because of all this, some in Washington are trying to pass an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights that would include the following proposals:
"I don't care if the wing is on fire! I want that plane to take off now, or else the fine will be coming out of your salary!"
Meanwhile, letting passengers know why there's a delay also sounds like a nice idea, but all the airline has to do is make up something like, "Sorry for the delay, but we just need to recalibrate the jibnut on the axle side of the decompressor before taking off." and they'll be off the hook. And let's face it: will we really feel better knowing why our flight is delayed? Much like religion, flying requires a certain suspension of disbelief. We depend on the airline and the pilot, and the last thing we need to hear are more reasons why they might be fallible. Frankly, I can imagine enough problems on my own without being told any new ones. I just hope this law doesn't require the pilot to tell us about the problems while in the air.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. I'm sorry for the turbulence back there. Unfortunately, we lost control of the engine for a few minutes. Actually, everyone here in the c---pit thought we were going to die, and the crew and I were busy trying to figure out how to hoard all the flotation devices from you so that we would have a better chance of surviving after we crashed into the cold icy ocean. But luckily the engine seems to be working again, knock on wood, so we'll be landing in just under two hours, unless of course we run out of gas before making it to the coast. Meanwhile, please sit back and enjoy the movie."
Even if the bill is only about delays, this new honesty policy should at least make for some interesting flying.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Flight 106 to Chicago will be delayed, as the pilot is still legally drunk from the four highballs he drank during his last flight, and the co-pilot seems to be locked in the lavatory with that very attractive flight attendant we just hired."
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. I just want to apologize for taxiing on the runway for the last hour and a half. You see, it's the darnedest thing. I just forgot where gate 73B is. I was going to ask for directions, but then I figured I might be able to find it if I taxied around in circles for a very long time."
"Ladies and gentlemen, we're terribly sorry for the delay, but unfortunately the entire crew made the mistake of attempting to eat the airline food. They've all come down with food poisoning, but as soon as they stop throwing up, we'll be ready to take off. Thank you for your patience, and thank you again for choosing Overpriced Uncomfortable Airlines. Remember we're 50% more overpriced and uncomfortable than our competitors, or you're money back!"
Passenger Bill of Rights or not, something tells me we'll still be complaining about the airlines for years to come.
* This poll contains a margin of error of +/- 100% since I happened to make it up.
|Copyright 1999 by Joe Lavin
Joe Lavin's Humor Column is published every Tuesday at: http://joelavin.com
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Submitted By: Joe Lavin
Mar 17, 1999 10:56