Thursday, April 30, 2009

return of the rant

complaining gets you nowhere...guilt gets you everywhere



now my discontent with the concept of the airport is nothing new, but recently, what happens after you step from the gate onto the aircraft has pressed a certain button. i don't think anything in this world is as audacious as the class system set forth and maintained in an airplane. it's a completely universal proliferation of the indian caste system, and though every living, breathing being is aware of my deep love for the indians, to subject any society to such an oppressive social structure just ain't right.
anywho--those with means, aka money, are naturally afforded more privilege simply because they can pay for it, but right in the faces of those who find themselves not so fortunate, though both ends of the spectrum are on that vehicle for the same reason, to get from point A to point B with beverage service in between, though the latter are reminded of their lowly place in that moving microsociety every time the cart delivering complimentary wine and newspapers stops just short of a certain section of seats. the flight attendants overseeing the first and business classes look onto the rest of the plane, a gaze both pitiful and intriguing, as if to say, "sorry, but not really," or, "i know, it's sad that you don't matter as much as these people up here, isn't it?"
i mean, from the get go, who ever thought to introduce a class system, a social structure so stratified, that goes against every democratic value of america, on something so ephemeral as an airplane, a mere transient mode of transportation no more important than the morning subway commute to work? and worse, what made it right to actually refer to the different constituents of the system as "classes," as if to hearken to our feudal past?
think about the dynamic of the whole situation--when you're on a plane you, along with every other passenger in the cabin, are headed for the same destination. you've all chosen flight as the most expedient route to your destination, and you all made the same effort to board that plane (though exactly what queue you used to get there is a far different story) there's no argument there. so what force of nature justifies the guy two rows in front of you devouring filet mignon washed down with a fine cabernet while reclining on a full bed and watching adult entertainment on-demand, while you unwrap your glorified tv dinner and chisel away at defrosted mystery meat? money should not be the answer here, kids. why in the very tradition of the human spirit aren't all passengers provided with beds and on-demand entertainment and filet mignon and cabernet sauvignon? MONEY! why should money determine how well one travels? isn't the destination the point at which financially-acquired indulgence takes place?

but here's the bryanambition twist


i'm not completely blind to the fact that weathering the eight hours of a transatlantic flight is much more enjoyable in a fully-horizontal position and under the influence of a wine-enhanced sedative haze. and having flown business class myself, i can definitely say any subsequent flights in coach are bleak and tedious (see aforementioned subway commute). but think of how the quality of life on earth as we know it would drastically change if we all flew in luxury; if the very bain of long-term movement we know as travel were suddenly transformed into a positive and enlightening experience. if basic human consideration were extended to all, equally. first class amenities for the price of coach. nobody likes flying--it's cramped and germy and the mere anticipation of reaching one's destination clouds everything, so if comfort were there to cushion in the form of beds, libations, delectable food and exclusive attention, that positivity would, no doubt, continue to flourish once the plane landed, exponentially spreading all sorts of love and happiness throughout the world, transcending cultures and making airports the places of excitement and innovation they once were, not to mention lessening the dark circles and epidermal dryness so common after long flights.
and economically speaking, what would this really cost airlines? i've concocted an equation that basically balances profit--better seats are larger than the conventional sardine can seats of coach, so to outfit the whole plane with them would mean less seats per flight. less passengers per flight requires less flight assistance per flight, so staffing could be economized. however to accommodate the same volume of passengers, airlines would have to increase the frequency of flight schedules, giving travelers more options, and therefore cultivating incentive to remain loyal to one airline. airline loyalty means happy customers. happy customers mean more money, and isn't that why airlines charge more for first and business class anyway?
i could be the wizard of oz.

now the only problem that isn't solved is what i like to call the cocktail hour syndrome. there are those people on EVERY flight who treat the plane ride, whether 10 minutes or 12 hours, like cocktail hour, constantly hopping from seat to seat to socialize with whomever they know on the flight.
first of all, you can, you know, request seats together when booking them. and for real, just because we, the fellow passengers that happen to find ourselves beneath you, or the victims of one of your hapless elbows, for which we receive no apology (not even that all-american perfunctory kind), don't say anything in objection, it doesn't mean you're not totally pissing us off. now go sit the fuck down and OD on sleeping pills until we get there!

and with that, i'm out. watch out for more rants on a bryanambition near you.
xo
b.a.

1 comment:

Victor said...

It's a nice thought that we can all enjoy first class service and your ingenious argument that it is economical for the airlines to provide it rolls of the tongue so easily. Maybe your tongue was in cheek when you wrote it.

Haven't banks and home loan organisations sent the world on it's current depression course by offering people the luxuries they couldn't afford?

Never mind, next time I board that tube in the sky I'm following your thought process and turning left.