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September 14, 2006 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Veritas Airways, the airline that tells it like it is.
The Economist asks, "In-flight announcements are not entirely truthful. What might an honest one sound like?"
posted by thatwhichfalls (51 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Provisions rejected by several prisons and hospitals will now be served."
posted by jonmc at 9:57 AM on September 14, 2006


Even Veritas Airways says "enjoy the flight." Does anyone ever actually enjoy their flight? Some flights are more tolerable than others, but flying is a pretty crappy experience even at its best. I would go with "We hope your flight is not too unpleasant."

Great post, by the way.
posted by brain_drain at 10:03 AM on September 14, 2006


Too bad those Economist articles are unsigned.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:04 AM on September 14, 2006


As a former flight attendant I can tell you everything in that article is true.

However, you still shouldn't be using you cell on the airplane unless you absolutely have to because it's rude to talk on a cell phone in enclosed spaces.

Also, always listen to your flight attendant and don't give her a hard time or make wisecracks. She's heard it all before and is just trying to do her (grossly underpaid and often difficult) job and meanwhile keep you from cracking your head open on the ceiling of the fuselage because you think you are the exception the seatbelt sign.

Thank you for your attention and have a nice flight.
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:06 AM on September 14, 2006


She's heard it all before and is just trying to do her (grossly underpaid and often difficult) job

Ha! You can't fool me. The life of a flight attendant is filled with glamor, fashion, and gracefully resolved romantic misunderstandings. I saw it all in a documentary called View From the Top.
posted by Iridic at 10:13 AM on September 14, 2006


I love flying! Then again, I don't do it often. Funny post.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:14 AM on September 14, 2006


Jess - given your background, can you also confirm if the oxygen masks that are supposed to "drop down in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure" have ever been successfully used? I've always wondered about that, too.
posted by yhbc at 10:20 AM on September 14, 2006


I made the mistake of reading this on the subway. My fellow passengers were rather put off by my snort of involuntary laughter. I love the Economist.
posted by Skorgu at 10:24 AM on September 14, 2006


Every time I fly in a plane, during take-off and landing, I imagine something going horribly wrong and the plane crashing. It always puts a little smile on my face. Flying is magical. I would not be sad to die in an airplane crash.
posted by ddf at 10:27 AM on September 14, 2006


"We'd also like to take a moment to point out that to the best of our abilities we've ensured that no two people on this entire flight have paid the same fare. This feat is almost completely unique in the realm of modern retail. We're pretty proud of it."


Too bad those Economist articles are unsigned.

I hear ya, funky. One of the most entertaining myopic debates I ever heard was between an Economist staff writer defending the lack of bylines and a Time editor convinced it was criminally disingenuous. Them Economist folks really like staying safely behind the curtain, it would seem. All the better to permit one to assume the Voice of An Omniscient Diety.

posted by gompa at 10:31 AM on September 14, 2006


Actually, oxygen masks are deployed and used successfully relatively frequently when there is a loss of air pressure for whatever reason (although I was lucky enough never to have to use one). They are definitely a good thing to have on board.
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:40 AM on September 14, 2006


Does anyone ever actually enjoy their flight?

Give me a window seat not above the wing, and a clear view to the earth below and I sure do!
posted by Flashman at 10:42 AM on September 14, 2006


A plane full of people sitting back to front would be strange. Take off's would be rough. Regardless of the forced cheeriness and nonchalance of the crew, I'm always deeply aware that take off's and landings are the riskiest part of the flight. I find some solace in the knowledge that commercial aircraft are built to meet intense performance levels that exceed anything they should ever need to use, unless there's an emergency. One time I took am international flight from LaGuardia on a night that it was raining buckets. It was a steady powerful waterfall of water that must have added tons to the 747 I was on, yet the plane seemd to literally swim as it threw itself off the runway and into the air with some serious power and conviction. It was scary but awesome and we got above the clouds in no time flat. Anyhow, good post.
posted by Skygazer at 10:44 AM on September 14, 2006


One thing that also amuses me about the slide is that on the diagram, along with telling you to remove your stilleto heels, they show how you must cross your arms and grasp each knee with the opposite hand. What's the deal with that.

Also, as somebody here might have pointed out, and for me was a moment of forehead-knocking duh!: the pointlessness of stripping passengers of tweezers, knitting needles, metal cutlery and just about anything pointy, but having no problem with people taking on board duty free bottles that can so easily be cracked into razor sharp weapons.
posted by Flashman at 10:49 AM on September 14, 2006


And yeah I too have had flights like dreams gazing at gorgeous abstract cloud patterns in the sky and never tiring of it.

Than again, first time I flew when I was five years old, I think I threw up for 7 hours straight and thought it was the most torturous fucked up thing I'd ever encountered. It was brutal.
posted by Skygazer at 10:51 AM on September 14, 2006


can you also confirm if the oxygen masks that are supposed to "drop down in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure" have ever been successfully used?

Well, Richard Gephardt can, and these Alaska Airlines passengers took video.
posted by dhartung at 11:05 AM on September 14, 2006


"Place mask over nose and mouth and breathe normally"

I love that line. Breathe normally? We'd all be gulping and gasping like a net full of mackerel.
posted by Flashman at 11:20 AM on September 14, 2006


Flying is completely insane. But so useful. And I really like the Economist.
posted by blacklite at 11:21 AM on September 14, 2006


Why are we not all hooked up to IV's and sedated for the duration of the flight in these security aware times? Knock me out, and let me bring my machine gun and grenade launcher aboard if I like. I'd love to dream all the way to Hong Kong. Fifteen minutes out, wake me up. Scratch that, once we're at the gate with the doors open wake me.
posted by Keith Talent at 11:27 AM on September 14, 2006


So is driving - more so even. It depends way too much on the good sense of your fellow drivers; it's like a personal 'Mutually Assured Destruction'.
posted by Flashman at 11:28 AM on September 14, 2006


I've also worked as a flight attendant! And I concur that everything in this article is true except for this bit:

"That said, we can always turn the cabin air-quality down a notch or two to help ensure that you are sufficiently drowsy."

I'm pretty sure that doesn't happen.

One nice thing you can do when you fly is tip your flight attendants. They really are grossly underpaid, especially these days. If you can tip them it would brighten their day immensely.
posted by spacewaitress at 11:29 AM on September 14, 2006


Amen, sister.

"That said, we can always turn the cabin air-quality down a notch or two to help ensure that you are sufficiently drowsy."

If only.
posted by Jess the Mess at 11:33 AM on September 14, 2006



Keith Talent: Why are we not all hooked up to IV's and sedated for the duration of the flight

I've been proposing this as a legitimate business endeavour for years and I've received nothing but scorn in return. Of course, my motivation was a sheer terror of flying, but the security aspect is a bonus.
posted by Adam_S at 11:38 AM on September 14, 2006


Tip the flight attendants?!?
I'd never even considered that possibility.
Next flight I KNOW I'll get a pillow!!!
posted by Floydd at 11:39 AM on September 14, 2006


I had not considered tipping the attendant either! That might explain why he looked so bitterly angry as he served lunch, then returned to his cubbyhole to read a book.
posted by Cranberry at 11:42 AM on September 14, 2006


I beleive the air quality conspiracy. After my third double Johnny Walker I'm as drowsy as fuck. They turn down the oxygen just so they don't have to bring me a fourth. And they want a tip too?
posted by Keith Talent at 11:43 AM on September 14, 2006


...I too have had flights like dreams gazing at gorgeous abstract cloud patterns...
....posted by Skygazer at 10:51 AM PST on September 14


Now that's eponysterical.
posted by dersins at 11:43 AM on September 14, 2006


is the rumour in Fight Club about oxygen masks getting you high so you seem docile, euphoric and passive in a state of emergency true?
posted by muthecow at 12:02 PM on September 14, 2006


dersins, love the eponymosity! one day I'll be in charge, and it'll be the law..
posted by imperium at 12:08 PM on September 14, 2006


When do you tip the flight attendant? I mean, I can see if you order liquor or some other pay-for thing off the menu, but what if you don't? Are you still supposed to slip the flight attendant a buck or two upon exiting the aircraft? And which one do you tip? There's always more than one working the coach section.

The bit about the life preservers reminds me of an old piece written by the late Jean Kerr. A nervous flyer, she tried to distract herself on an overseas flight by reading the safety instruction card. She noted that the author had a jaunty sense of humor; the black Atlantic Ocean that loomed below them was referred to as "the drink." The text continued: "Should we be unfortunate enough to land in the drink, you should be none the worse for the dunking." She also found fault with the subtitle of that section, "Your Role in a Water Landing." "I know what my role is," she wrote. "I'm going to splash around and sob."
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:15 PM on September 14, 2006


“Please consume alcohol in moderate quantities so that you become mildly sedated but not rowdy.”

Wilco.

“When do you tip the flight attendant?”

After she introduces you into to the mile high club.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:32 PM on September 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Now that's eponysterical.
posted by dersins at 2:43 PM EST on September 14 [+] [!]


Thanks for eyeballing the celestial wordplay.
posted by Skygazer at 1:14 PM on September 14, 2006


Why are we not all hooked up to IV's

Why bother with needles when we could just replace the oxygen bottles with nitrous oxide cylinders and re-use the existing air mask system?
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:18 PM on September 14, 2006


This Salon article disputes The Economist's assertion that life preservers are useless on large commercial aircraft.

But still an interesting post.
posted by justkevin at 1:27 PM on September 14, 2006


I've seen a couple of flight attendants I'd like to tip. About twenty degrees backward w/r/t the vertical should do it.

Seriously, just got the print version from the mailbox & am looking fwd to reading this....
posted by pax digita at 1:37 PM on September 14, 2006


Here's a tip for a flight attendant:

Don't ask me if I want to pay five bucks for the priviledge of watching an Uma Thurman romantic comedy.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:22 PM on September 14, 2006


The life preservers can be very useful if the incident your aircraft winds up in is of the "Whoops, the runway ended ---> back there!" variety. If you cruise off the end of the runway and wind up in the water, the life vests & stuff will most certainly come in handy.

C'mon, how do you think Ana Lucia & Libby got themselves to safety? :D
posted by drstein at 2:38 PM on September 14, 2006


Incidentally, repairs are almost always done after major holidays, not before. So I don't think I want to fly on major holidays.
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:00 PM on September 14, 2006


Incidentally, repairs are almost always done after major holidays, not before. So I don't think I want to fly on major holidays.
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:00 PM on September 14, 2006


That was so important I said it twice.
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:00 PM on September 14, 2006


Every time I fly in a plane, during take-off and landing, I imagine something going horribly wrong and the plane crashing. It always puts a little smile on my face. Flying is magical. I would not be sad to die in an airplane crash.
posted by ddf at 6:27 PM GMT on September 14 [+] [!]


I thought I was the only one who thought this. I'm grinning like an idiot every time a plane takes off or lands. Glad to know I'm not alone. I've never been afraid to fly. Statistically you're not very likely to die and if something does go wrong, at least it'll be a hell of a ride.

Also, I was once told that the primary reason for the 'brace position' (head between knees, fingers interlinked behind head) was not to prevent injury per se, but to make identifying bodies easier as the hands/body will keep the face protected and more or less intact/unburned. Or it's to prevent whiplash when the plane hits tarmack. I prefer the former theory.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:25 PM on September 14, 2006


Takeoff is always fun. I especially like listening to Pizzicato Five's "Twiggy Twiggy" at takeoff. Doesn't get much cooler than that.
posted by jiawen at 4:05 PM on September 14, 2006


When taking off or landing, I always fantasize about a catastrophic accident occurring, but not really in a panicky way. More like, "Well, not too many people get to see what a crashing plane looks like from the inside. That would be really interesting."
posted by Durhey at 4:47 PM on September 14, 2006


A friend who's a purser used to preface seatbelt operating instructions with "For those of you who have never been in an automobile..."
posted by rob511 at 5:15 PM on September 14, 2006


jiawen: For some reason "Soon" by My Bloody Valentine is my fave for that moment during takeoff when you are firmly pressed against the back of your seat. For fifteen years that's run through my mind every time I fly. fifteen freaking years. note to self: get a new takeoff song.
posted by harkin banks at 5:18 PM on September 14, 2006


"Soon" is an excellent take-off song. It's also an all around great travelling song.
posted by Skygazer at 5:41 PM on September 14, 2006


Every time I fly in a plane, during take-off and landing, I imagine something going horribly wrong and the plane crashing.
Insurance pays off triple if you die on a business trip
posted by Rubbstone at 7:21 PM on September 14, 2006


Underpaid flight attendants must be with the wrong airline. My step-brother works for Emirates and is on a higher wage than I'll be when I finish my nursing degree.


“When do you tip the flight attendant?”

After she introduces you into to the mile high club.


That's about when I'd start thinking about tipping them.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 8:52 PM on September 14, 2006


Calm as Hindu cows.
posted by A dead Quaker at 9:11 PM on September 14, 2006


"...In the unlikey event of a landing on water..."

That line always does amuse me so.
posted by 6am at 3:22 PM on September 15, 2006


Well, I'm going to be travelling from Tokyo to Houston for Christmas. Looking at Expedia, that's about $1400 round trip per person. That means each leg is $700. So, at 15% tip, that would be $105 per passenger. It's a Boeing 777, so there are 202 seats in the economy section. Assuming 70% capacity, that means 140 seats occupied (roughly). Apparently, there are 10 flight attendants for a Boeing 777, so that means each flight attendant handles 14 passengers. That would mean that, if everyone tipped like proper members of society, each flight attendant would make $1,470 in tips per flight.

So, yes, if flight attendants are underpaid, tipping would indeed solve that problem.
posted by Bugbread at 7:46 PM on September 15, 2006


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