The Ubiquitous Rules of Flying

We don’t like to be told what to do. Sometimes it’s as simple as driving five miles over the speed limit, but there’s a sense of pride that welters up when the nameless lady says: “The cabin door has been shut, please turn off all electronics at this time.”

I came across this article, aptly called ‘5 Thing Safety Presentations Should Mention‘ published on Cracked.com. Granted, it’s an article for entertainment purposes only, but given that over a thousand people gave it a Facebook thumbs up, maybe a couple things should be addressed.

#1 The Ubiquitous Electronic Rule

Please don’t misunderstand me, I love villainizing the airline industry, I do. What with checked bag fees etc. (all of which, if you consider for just a moment, kind of make sense but that’s a different story) I like to argue with the monster as much as any Giant Killer out there. Here’s the deal though, back in the day when cell phones gave out gamma radiation to Wall Street brokers in high doses, cell phones DID affect the plane’s navigational tools. Now, this issue has long been resolved but the lingering phobia still exist.

The question remains, then, why do we need to turn off our Nooks, Kindles, iPods and other miscellanea? Often the simplest explanation is the correct one: there’s no conspiracy in making you read the SkyMall magazine in the seat-back pocket. The reason is because people don’t pay attention when playing with their electronics. Take any Private Pilot course and you’ll learn that the most dangerous parts of flying are take-offs and landings. Meaning that,  if something were to go ‘horribly wrong,’ because we love Armageddon-ish catastrophes to, you know, fantasize about our true colors, it will happen while the plane is going up or coming down. If you find yourself  Tweeting about how you’re putting on your flotation device which you pulled from under your seat guess what: you’re doing it wrong.

Now the airlines don’t want to come out and say “hey, turn off your shit because we’re treating you like a class of third-graders” but that’s what they want to say. So they moved more respectively into the “Something may possibly, potentially go wrong so save your battery just for, like, fifteen minutes.” Deal Delta girl, I will look at the zombie garden ornament in this sticky catalog which feels like it’s been used in a NYC Subway toilet.

#2 I didn’t really have a two.

The rest of the article is funny in a nonchalant, like waiting for the DFW to ORD connection, way. Don’t crush the people behind you. Pay attention to your children if you’re flying with them. There’s a little jab in there, Tyler Durden-esq. about how calm the people are in the panic videos. Turns out if you suddenly loose pressure in the main cabin the crying yelling screaming child next to you would, surprisingly, shut down rather quickly. In fact, they’d probably be asleep. Lack of oxygen is a great pacifier. But it kind of goes to show, the rhyme and reason of the airlines isn’t always to make them money or to be bigots: it’s because they’re trying so hard to retain a somewhat respectable public face. Think of any other conglomeration of people who take your money and tell you what to do, I bet you don’t like them either. But I still like speeding a little.

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