Tuesday, 2 August 2022

I don’t get it. Rules are rules for some people.

The above photo shows what some people leave behind after a flight, especially during a long flight, particularly in coach class, where passengers usually board with their water, food, and entertainment devices. If you haven’t seen anything like this, I am sure you have seen something similar.

In recent years, a couple of routines have developed to avoid such trash not only for the sake of the passengers but also for the cleaning staff, which is under enormous pressure to quickly tidy up and sanitize the plane for the next flight. First, cabin attendants usually pass through the cabin several times before landing calling out “Trash” while carrying a plastic bag with latex-gloved hands. Second, announcements are made about picking up around you (along with trays up, seats forward in upright positions with seat belts fastened). Some people heed the announcement while others do not. Hence my topic for the day: People who don’t follow instructions on a flight.

One: Pick up trash. I do not see what is so difficult about heeding this call. It seems only natural that people would want to throw away an accumulation of trash before landing. A turbulent landing, a hot landing (landing at higher than usual speed), and even a sudden abort (a go-around) could place that trash in your lap! Even after several announcements and the resounding “Trash, trash,” one still sees plastic cups, napkins, etc., stuffed into seat pockets and on the floor. I don’t get it.

Two: Raise window shades. The reason behind this is an FAA rule. Cabin attendants have 90 seconds to try to move passengers to emergency exits. Having the shades up, even at night, helps them to identify outdoor conditions. On a recent flight from Tampa, Florida, to Panama, I estimated that 80% of window shades were left down after multiple ‘requests’ in two different languages. People are too jaded, thinking one landing is just like another. As for me, I like to look out the window while landing and taking off. Newer airliners have resolved this issue by installing sensitive windows which can be controlled universally by the lead flight attendant, much like cabin lighting, which, incidentally, is turned off during night landings to reduce window glare that impedes the attendants’ view. Why can’t some passengers do as they are politely requested? I don’t get it.

Finally: Make sure your handbags, computers, purses, etc., are stored safely under the seat ahead of you. This, of course, is another safety-related requirement. If something is not secure under a seat, it can easily become a dangerous projectile upon landing. Also, it could hinder exiting the row in an emergency. I understand we are anxious to get off the plane but come on. I don’t get it.

I could go on and on, but I won’t because that’s another annoyance on a flight, the constant complainer! We all want a ‘happy’ landing.

https://www.bing.com/images/search 1930’s Happy Landing board game by Bell, London.

Published by Thomas

Retired from active priestly ministry in the Catholic Church; former Benedictine monk; francophile; Holocaust researcher; Delta One Million Miler; Ex-Patriated American to the Republic of Panama

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