Flying United

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Leaving an Airplane, May 10, 2019

I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO). I’ve always found boardings and deboardings of the planes the most fascinating times to observe human behavior.

Boarding the plane folks are dragging their heavy bags with rollers onto the plane and packs on their backs. They are all looking for bin space.

The air stewards are shouting at them, “Take any open bin space you see for your bags! The bins in the back are full!”

I’m sitting in my seat on the aisle and I see the pageantry go by with all their gear, their buds in their ears, their Starbucks coffee cups, the Asians wearing their gauze face masks (lots of Chinese from both San Francisco and China fly to Las Vegas to gamble.) I see the kids with their toys.

But it all goes very quickly to me as folks know that they have to be seated to leave and get onto where they want to go.

The white folks tend to dress very poorly for economy class, but the white folks in first class dress well, but also bring lots of carry on baggage that they lift into the overhead bins. They are also slow to leave the plane on deboarding, as they act like privileged white folks who don’t notice the peons behind them in economy.

Deboarding is a more leisurely affair. Some folks just sit in their seats and wait for the madness of leaving the plane to be over.

Others clamber to the front of the line worrying about their connecting flights.
Americans are pretty friendly. If an elderly woman is having a hard time putting her huge carry on bag into an overhead bin, a young man will always assist her.

My question always is, “Why did this old woman bring on a wheeled carry on bag (or two) that Tarzan would have a tough time lifting?”

My last trip home from Las Vegas I flew economy plus class on United. I had to take a pee when I got onboard so I slogged my way to the back of the plane as it was being boarded. When I got out of the lavatory, I was next to an ancient white United stewardess. She could barely close the overhead bins.

I said to her, “I haven’t flown economy in a long time. It’s a trip.”

She replied, “Oh, it’s a trip all right.”

Tim McGraw

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One thought on “Flying United

  1. The only two airlines I’ve flown, make that three, we’re Midwest Express, created by the Kleanx people Kimberly Clark. The have long since sold off or whatever but while serving folks here in Wisconsin, provided “The Best Care In The Air” and they did have a great service, cheapest air fare. Two across seating even in economy, fresh baked cocolate chip cookies every flight. Also I flew TWA, the first time in 1964 and a number of times (always to Florida) and then there is Delta. I knew a guy that was an A&P tech for Delta but that is a other story. With Midwest gone, the best or cheapest flight to Atlanta is of course Delta, with their duct taped MD80 variants. I always felt just a tad uneasy about them MD twin engined on fuselage birds ever since Midwest had lost one of theirs on takeoff, blowing a compressor spacer and the cabin crew up front making the big bucks throttled back the wrong engine, that did not end well when your only a couple of hundred feet up and just over the fence of the airport.
    To this day, I run that seanario thinking if I had an engine failure on take off and I was at the controls… I’d just jam both throttles to 120% and climb out and think about what can be done about an engine in pieces or in flames once I could get the plane safely back on the tarmac.
    Buses that fly, can I get first class on the bus?


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