silent flights

March 16th, 2007

Air travel was once a luxury for the wealthy. Flying as a business was so expensive anyway that they could increase their profit margins by giving you selling you food, drink and entertainment, which only raised the price cost marginally. Then came the age of ever cheaper flights, and gradually they began phasing out everything but the bare essentials: the flight itself.

So an activity that was once about giving you an enjoyable experience, albeit in the confines of an airplane seat, is now nothing more than just transportation. Like taking the bus. Sure, they keep trying to sell you food, but very few people bother overpaying for a sandwich unless the company pays for it. And there's nothing else for you to do, between This is your captain speaking blahblah would you can it already, Sir, would you care for a sandwich *waves them away* and We'll be landing in 45 minutes, the weather is blahblah.

And that's the problem, they keep trying to pretend like flying gives you something to do, but it absolutely doesn't. And people don't believe it for a second, they're trying to just get through it. Is trying to get some rest too much to ask for? Do I really need the pilot talking his standard nonsense right above my head when I'm trying to doze off? Shut up already, I'm tired enough as it is having to get up early to get to the airport and oblige you with the ridiculous "safety" precautions, wait around doing nothing, take the flight, wait 40 minutes to get my luggage, re-check-in to my connecting flight, waste another hour at the damn airport and then listen to you all over again.

I always look to my mp3 player for salvation. Without it flying would be much worse. And recently I listen to audio books a lot. So when I get on the plane, I want peace and quiet, cause either I'll be listening or I'll try to go to sleep. Everything you could possibly say I've heard a dozen times over, please just shut up. I think we should have the stewardess hold up those big signs with everything they want to say written on it, like a teleprompter. That way they can talk as much as they want, the rest of us can get some peace.

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6 Responses to "silent flights"

  1. erik says:

    Yes yes. That's always been what annoys me the most about flying: all the talking. The safety regulations, the pilot bragging about his lame job (bus drivers in The Hague do not nearly have that much space and time to manoeuvre, get over yourself) etc etc.

    I once flew from London to Rotterdam, which is just a 40 minute flight. I don't think it was quiet at any point during the trip. Horrendous.

  2. numerodix says:

    See that's another thing that pisses me off. A "10 minute bus ride" is a 10 minute bus ride. A 40 minute flight is actually a 4 hour flight. And they pretend like you can neglect all the extra time, all the time of yours they so happily waste. The bus driver doesn't tell you to "be an hour early".

    That's what I most hate about flying, the transportation itself is quick, but all the extra crap makes the day a complete waste, and usually wears me out.

  3. Nawaf says:

    Well, aside from the pesky protocols and seemingly red tape, the only piece of advice I can give you is noise-reducing earphones :D

  4. Graham says:

    So tell me Martin, can you tell me where the exits to the plane are, and how to correctly deploy your life vest in the event of the plane crashing into the sea? That's not a stab at you, but it just goes to show how ineffective those safety demonstrations are. Anyone who doesn't know how to fasten their seatbelt shouldn't even be allowed to cross international borders.

  5. numerodix says:

    Actually, I do know how. From time to time I try to make a point of paying attention to it, I did this morning. So I think I'm pretty clear on those.

  6. Boyo says:

    In the planes that I've been on, the exit tends to be located where it says 'exit'. ;)

    I can recite the safety instructions from memory, having heard them so often.

    The problem is that during a real emergency people will panic and will forget all about the instructions, trying to make their way out of the plane as fast as possile.

    That is, if the plane is still intact.

    At the speed that an airplane is travelling, the surface of the water is like solid rock. So the plane will likely get ripped apart, fill up with water and sink within a few minutes of crashing.

    The passengers will be injured from the force of the impact, broken bones, dislocated joints, bleeding, disoriented, etc. So the safety instructions will be the last thing on their minds.

    So I think that surviving a plane crash has more to do with luck than anything else.

    I would rather have some quiet during the flight than be forced to listen to emergency instructions that probably won't be of consequence during an actual emercency.