Re: Fight! Airplane fight!

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a flight attendant asked him to stop, he wouldn't, and the woman whose seat was being kept rigid turned around and threw a cup of water in the guy's face. So they landed in Chicago, ejected both passengers, and continued on to Denver.

I suppose we should be grateful they weren't both shot by twitchy Homeland Security agents.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:53 AM
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Last time I flew back from the US it was economy, and the person in front of me reclined right the way back as soon as he could and refused to budge, even a little. There's got to be some give and take on these things. I would say if you're on a daytime flight, then you ask permission first; if you're on a night flight, the assumption is that everyone wants to sleep and thus gets to recline. If you want to sleep during the day or work at night you're a weirdo and are just going to have to deal with the consequences.
I have just discovered that my next longhaul flight will be in business class. It's good to be 1%. Or the 10%, I suppose.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:57 AM
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This issue of airplane seat reclining is one that inspires near-religious arguments. I've seen multiple multi-hundred-post arguments online, and the world seems to be divided 50/50 between
- people who claim that they have never reclined their seat and would be horrified to the point of shouting incoherently if anyone reclined a seat in front of them, which has maybe happened once that they can recall
- people who claim that they always recline their seat as soon as they get on the plane, and the people in front and behind always recline their seats, and everyone has a reclined seat and everything is fine


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:59 AM
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I have never been on a flight with a cupholder for use while the tray able is up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:03 AM
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My strategy is to move my underseat carryon to under my knees (they don't seem to care except during takeoff and landing), so I can stretch out my legs diagonally to the front. It's more comfortable for me and also keeps a reclining seat from hitting my knees.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:04 AM
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It seems like airlines have solved this problem, at least for economy class, by making seats that don't recline enough to bother with.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:05 AM
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2. I would go further and say that there should be enabling/disabling switches in the hands of the cabin crew and that reclining should be disabled on all short haul flights and on long haul flights before 21:30 in departure time one. Because there are always going to be people who abuse this, and there will always be people on the flight who have drunk too much, and basically the whole issue is an accident waiting to happen.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:05 AM
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5: my, far superior, strategy is to read every use of "carryon" as "carrion", and picture Minivet relaxing in a smart suit, jacket folded across the lap, FT in hand, earphones on, and decomposing wildebeeste carcase tucked neatly behind the knees.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:06 AM
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When someone leans their seat back into my knees, I am pretty shameless about passive-aggressively jamming my knees into their seat back and/or rattling their seat by grabbing on to it as I stand up (I generally wait until they are visibly asleep to do the latter). If it's on an aircraft with a reasonable seat pitch, I'm fine with the person in front of me leaning back. But when it's crunching my knees (I'm tall), I have to establish that there will be unwelcome consequences.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:06 AM
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Perhaps photographed in stylish black and white, with small, equally smartly dressed offspring in the seat next to him. "You never actually own a putrefying ungulate corpse. You just look after it for the next generation."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:08 AM
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Some sense of personal space can be regained reclining the seat, but this can impact the leg-room of the person sitting behind you.

This isn't my problem with the recline. It's that it removes space from in front of your face and torso, which feels much more restrictive. But I'm quite short-limbed so I am probably just not understanding the leg-space-removing problem of the reclining seat.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:09 AM
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10: Those guys don't fly economy.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:09 AM
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I'm lucky to be a member of the 90%, so I don't fly enough to care much about this.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:12 AM
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My dad asked a great question the other day when we were flying: why don't they just load the plane back-to-front, so the passengers fill the plane from the rear. That way you wouldn't have to make your way past all the people trying to find their seats, stow their luggage, and so on.

Sure, if there's first-class passengers, I guess they can still load first, and the elderly, those with kids, etc. But after that, why not go back-to-front?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:15 AM
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The 10% do not fly business class. The 1% fly business class and the 0.01% fly first class.
I'm counting first as fancy cabins, not just the wider seats on domestic flights, that's business when there are only two sections.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:18 AM
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My dad asked a great question the other day when we were flying: why don't they just load the plane back-to-front, so the passengers fill the plane from the rear. That way you wouldn't have to make your way past all the people trying to find their seats, stow their luggage, and so on.

That is what they do on most non-economy flights I've been on. Priority boarding, first class, then back to front.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:18 AM
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My dad asked a great question the other day when we were flying: why don't they just load the plane back-to-front, so the passengers fill the plane from the rear.

...they do?

I mean, they normally call you to board in blocks of ten rows at a time (once they've loaded J-class and people with wheelchairs, children etc), and they call the rows at the back of the plane first. Don't they?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:18 AM
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why don't they just load the plane back-to-front

Didn't the used to do it this way? I have vague recollections that they did.

I think they should bring back ashtrays. It would make the passengers freak out over how old the plane must be.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:19 AM
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That is how they load it. Rows 20-25, then 15-19, then 19-14, etc. Someone has proposed a better method for doing it back to front and also window to aisle.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:19 AM
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I honestly don't understand why they haven't gotten rid of the reclining coach seat (well, I do, airlines are cheap and reusing the seats, but). It seems a new seat design could have way more comfort, similar space packing, and not present the "do I possibly fuck over the person behind me for my own comfort, or not" constant ethical and behavioral dilemma that the option-to-recline seat presents.

By the way, the rules are simple but difficult to follow. Unless you have special needs you shouldn't recline, unless it's a night flight/redeye and everyone reclines. But if someone does recline you shouldn't be a jerk about it, unless they're actually crushing your knees or laptop or whatever and there's no obvious reason for them to be reclining.

Also, we've discussed all this, and the knee defender, before.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:20 AM
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Triply owned but I had the value add of looking up the other method.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:20 AM
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14: Why would loading back to front change anything? Instead of waiting for someone in aisle 10 to stow luggage, you wait for someone in aisle 30.

Loading from front and back at once might help.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:21 AM
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The 10% do not fly business class. The 1% fly business class and the 0.01% fly first class.

Cool. I'm (temporarily) going to be in the 1%. And to make it even sweeter I'm not even paying. The government of an impoverished developing nation is picking up the bill. Jeeves, bring me some sturdy boots - there are some poor people out there with faces out there that need grinding, and by Jove I think I'm the man to do it.

(I was thinking in terms of 10% of passengers, rather than the whole population.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:21 AM
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The throwing water/not following flight attendant instructions is what makes this story great. Especially the throwing water.

I've only seen one person taken off a plane. She was refusing to let the airline seat a person in the seat next to her as it was originally purchased by her for her companion who had to cancel at the last minute. She insisted on either a full refund for one seat or the right to use two seats for that flight. I felt sorry for the policeman who was trying to get her to leave the plane peacefully while some of the other passengers were basically urging him to beat her because they were going to miss their connection thanks to her delay.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:21 AM
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I guess the fact that I thought of boarding back-to-front as old fashioned is a sign of how long it's been since I flew anything but Southwest.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:21 AM
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http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/01/travel/efficient-boarding-cnngo/


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:21 AM
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Oh, I thought I had something off there. You didn't mean board from the back door.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:22 AM
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Not that beating her would have sped things up to make connections, but it would have felt more gratifying?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:22 AM
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Problem is that the back to front gets screwed up by all the special early boarding they give people, which is a valuable perk for customers (especially with pay to check bags) and this a useful thing for airlines to sell, more so than efficiency in loading the plane.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:23 AM
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TFA


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:23 AM
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I remember some airlines used to first board people sitting in the back, but that seems to have gone by the wayside. Considering how much variation there's been over the past 20 years in boarding systems, and how directly boarding time affects the bottom line, I suspect they found other methods work better.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:23 AM
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26- Oh sure now you've gone and found the link too.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:24 AM
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And peep, that actually puts you in the 60%, not the 90% (DOT says 2 of 5 adults fly at least once a year).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:24 AM
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This isn't my problem with the recline. It's that it removes space from in front of your face and torso, which feels much more restrictive.

Same here. I've got short legs so it's not a legroom issue for me. It's a faceroom/laptop room issue.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:24 AM
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Isn't boarding first something you would pay to avoid? Who wants to sit in an airplane one second longer than necessary? What you really want to pay for is reserved storage bins, that's the only reason to board early.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:26 AM
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Beating her would actually have slowed things down, as the cop would have had to get out his nightstick, belabour the passenger for a few seconds, put it away again, and then escort her off the plane.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:27 AM
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Because boarding from the back is slower.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:29 AM
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34: I think this is a tall-short issue. At 5'7", I agree with you that the issue is the claustrophobia induced by having a reclined seatback four inches from my face. But the people who are complaining about leg room are, I think, unbothered by that bit, because they're tall enough to see over the seat in front of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:29 AM
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My back pain won't handle a long flight with the seat in the full upright position. I either get to recline it or there will indeed be unpleasant consequences for the asshole sitting behind me playing silly games with his knees or fucking plastic gadget.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:29 AM
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28, 36: I suppose it was that they wanted him to physically drag her off the plane to speed things up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:30 AM
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38: They could put a little mirror on the ceiling so you could see around.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:31 AM
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Isn't boarding first something you would pay to avoid? Who wants to sit in an airplane one second longer than necessary? What you really want to pay for is reserved storage bins, that's the only reason to board early.

Indeed - I tend to board last deliberately. I hardly ever use the storage bins, so I wouldn't pay for that. I would pay for priority disembarking though. The worst part of a flight is the 20+ minutes between landing and getting to the jetty.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:33 AM
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33: I do fly at least once a year.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:33 AM
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I suspect they found other methods work better.

My recent flight on Delta says otherwise! I hadn't flown on anything but Southwest for a few years, and man was the boarding shockingly slow. It seems like it would benefit the airline to have someone policing carryon size before people get on, but they seemed to be pretty "fuck it" about that, too.



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:34 AM
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41: Works for an MRI machine. IMX it would work even better if they would clean the snot off it on occasion.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:34 AM
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They could probably fit more people more comfortably if they did away with the seats and every passenger got to lie on a shelf.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:35 AM
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The worst part of a flight is the 20+ minutes between landing and getting to the jetty.

Flying into airports in Nebraska really does spoil one for that. When the airport has fewer gates than a hand has fingers, you get out pretty quickly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:35 AM
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MRI machines compare pretty favorably to economy class on comfort.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:37 AM
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The big MRI machine here can make keys jump in your pocket from across the room.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:38 AM
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Depending on the airline, "economy plus" or a similar option can solve the reclining problem (and general cramped space problem) reasonably well at a non-insane price. (Although sometimes the prices are insane -- that's why I say it depends on the airline.) I often pay for it on a cross-country flight if I'm planning to work so I can be assured of being able to keep my laptop open.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:38 AM
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46. The egregious Ryanair tried to introduce standing up flights, but the safety people wouldn't let them. I got all libertarian about this, if the market had been allowed to sort it out Ryanair might have gone tits up and we'd all be better off.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:39 AM
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The worst part of a flight is the 20+ minutes between landing and getting to the jetty.

But you can check your email and FB then! And Unfogged!



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:39 AM
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It's really a property rights fuck up of the airlines' design. Do I have a right to operate this button in "my" seat, making it work the way the designers intended? Or do I have a right to "my" allocated space in front/legroom/ability to work on the tray table? Totally unclear, and the airlines themselves give no guidance. Any clear norm would be better than the current chaos, probably -- even airlines saying "this is a night flight so most people will be reclining" or "this is a day flight so I you can do so without being significantly discomfited, the person behind you would appreciate it if you don't recline." But, really, they just shouldn't have option to recline seats in coach at current levels of coach packing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:41 AM
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48: Yes. I've been hoping for years that a safe and effective electro-anesthesia machine would be perfected for airline travel.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:41 AM
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51: For flights of about an hour or less I think I would prefer standing up to those cramped, slouch-inducing chairs.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:42 AM
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49- Or other unfortunate things. That happened where my mom works.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:43 AM
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53: Coase's theorem is the obvious solution. If we just establish the norm that people should bargain over the rights to recline/have space everything will work out nicely.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:44 AM
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Last flew in June 2001, remember it as an ordeal, don't miss it.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:44 AM
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I sit with my car seat fairly upright and notice that anyone else who gets in immediately reclines it some. My theory is that most people don't have the lat and ab strength to sit upright for long periods.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:47 AM
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They could probably fit more people more comfortably if they did away with the seats and every passenger got to lie on a shelf.

That's debatable. Prior art in the transporting people across the Atlantic lying on a shelf business indicates an industry standard of 24 inches width per adult male, which is actually two inches more than you get in an economy class seat.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:47 AM
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They may take our lives, they may take our freedom, but they will never take from me my decomposing hairy-fronted muntjac.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:47 AM
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54: "Alien" is the best example here. You get frozen in a pod! They could come round to your hotel, freeze you, stick you in the back of a van, load you on to your flight, and you pass the whole thing in blissful unconsciousness until you're defrosted back at home.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:50 AM
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But you can check your email and FB then! And Unfogged!

Not officially - they (most European airlines still) say you can't use your phones until you get to the terminal. Also, most places I fly to I'd have to pay roaming charges.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:51 AM
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60: Those lucky bastards. Such luxury.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:52 AM
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62: The problem with that is, the airlines screw up luggage all the time. So all of a sudden you're defrosted, only to discover you're in Wyoming, and you're like, "I didn't even know Wyoming had an airport. And I'm supposed to be in DC"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:53 AM
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an industry standard of 24 inches width per adult male, which is actually two inches more than you get in an economy class seat.

More than two inches, actually. Depending on the aircraft and configuration, a coach seat is 17-19 inches wide. That's enough to accommodate most people's hips, but not their shoulders and arms, which is why we have to battle over position on the armrest.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:53 AM
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54: "Alien" is the best example here. You get frozen in a pod! They could come round to your hotel, freeze you, stick you in the back of a van, load you on to your flight, and you pass the whole thing in blissful unconsciousness until you're defrosted back at home. at a prison planet.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:54 AM
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you pass the whole thing in blissful unconsciousness until you're defrosted back at home some asshole goes fucking around with your pod and you're forced to jump on his face and reproduce.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:54 AM
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you pass the whole thing in blissful unconsciousness until you're defrosted back at home.

And then an alien bursts from your chest.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:56 AM
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That's enough to accommodate most people's hips, but not their shoulders and arms, which is why we have to battle over position on the armrest.
This could be ameliorated in my scheme by arranging people head to foot.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:59 AM
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That's enough to accommodate most people's hips, but not their shoulders and arms

Or their splayed legs.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:59 AM
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The worst part of a flight is the 20+ minutes between landing and getting to the jetty.

I've been on several flights lately that landed 45 minutes to an hour earlier than scheduled. Then, of course, there's no gate available so you wait on the plane until the scheduled arrival time when the gate opens. Some of the passengers on these flights were getting really intensely angry about having to sit and wait for a gate, calling people on their phones and complaining they were going to be late, badgering the flight attendants-- it was pretty weird. From my point of view you're arriving at the same time anyway but at least this way you get to spend the last forty-five minutes with phone and internet access.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:01 AM
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Last sentence pwned by Blume.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:01 AM
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71: I'd like to see you try an accomodate a wildebeest carcass down there and not have your legs separate a little.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:03 AM
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I'd like to see you try an accomodate a wildebeest carcass down there and not have your legs separate a little... laydeez


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:05 AM
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I would like to go on record as someone who changed their mind about the seat reclining as a result of this very blog. Probably the thread that L. linked above. And it must have been 5+ years ago.

It's possible things have gotten even more cramped since the discussion that changed my mind, because I remember it being only about knees and not about laptops. But like others above, the laptop argument is the one that personally affects me more.

I will recline my seat if there's a kid behind me. I figure that they're little.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:07 AM
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I always ask if it's okay to recline and usually don't do it if there's someone behind me anyway. I don't recline much, but an inch or so back is more comfortable for me.

There was someone in front of my BF on a flight to Colorado (4 hours during the day) who reclined all the way back and said it was incredibly rude of my BF to ask him to move forward part way.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:09 AM
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For me it's always been more about having something right in front of my face than about legroom. It's almost impossible to open a laptop in standard economy seats if the person in front reclines, and in some cases it makes the screen on the back of the seat pretty much unwatchable. I've even been hit in the head by a reclining seat, when I leaned forward to reach for my bag at the same instant the person in front of me decided to recline.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:10 AM
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67 to 65. Would it be better to wake up on Fiorina 161 (named after Carly? Probably!) or in Wyoming? (One has Dick Cheney, one has Brian Glover. Not really much to choose I suppose.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:10 AM
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I hate sitting in airplane chairs so much. I usually stick a book or water bottle behind my lower back to prevent slouching, but it doesn't work that well. I'd be down to stand for two hour flights, especially if periodically sitting on the floor was an option. I guess most people wouldn't, but maybe there could be a standing option and a sitting option?


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:11 AM
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Any hate left for those flat panel screens they put in the back of the seats in economy? On my last flight, domestic on Delta*, I was seated in front of a kid who was tapping madly away on my seat playing some stupid game on one. I had to turn around and give him the glare and while asking him calmly and politely to desist from tapping so hard. I almost felt bad about it when he sheepishly said he was sorry.

*Blume is right in 44 about boarding.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:11 AM
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72: The late thing is stupid but surely you can understand the frustration of being at your destination but unable to go anywhere, especially if you're stuck in an uncomfortable seat (and have been for many hours).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:11 AM
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77, see 9 for practical advice. It doesn't actually help anything, but it makes you feel a lot better, and there's not much the other person can do about it provided you maintain a veneer of plausible deniability.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:13 AM
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58: Pre 9/11! Wow. So much worse now.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:13 AM
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On loading back to front, this is right:

Problem is that the back to front gets screwed up by all the special early boarding they give people, which is a valuable perk for customers (especially with pay to check bags) and this a useful thing for airlines to sell, more so than efficiency in loading the plane.

There are what, fourteen different layers of how special you are before you get to regular old boarding back to front?

Plus, as others noted, the carry-on thing trumps everything. (It drives me so fucking bonkers that there is a gigantic infrastructure designed for passengers to check their luggage, and security and boarding and everything would be so efficient if we just used that infrastructure, and instead we've got an Econ 101 style disincentive making everyone overstuff the overhead bins.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:17 AM
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Also, from 37:

Because boarding from the back is slower.

WILMA boarding may be fastest, but it's not really on the table as a realistic scheme at this point. Aside from WILMA, back-to-front is best.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:27 AM
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WILMA boarding may be best but we're stuck with FRED.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:31 AM
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87: More often PEBBLES and BAM-BAM.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:34 AM
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With boarding from the back, you've also got the problem that people can just stash their carry-on luggage in any old open bin in the front or middle on their way to the back.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:36 AM
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I don't really understand why there's separate boarding times for the high level elites and the ordinary elites. It doesn't seem like the 30 seconds is that much of a perk, or that it's ever crowded enough to matter.

Like heebie I'm confused about the disincentive to check bags. Why don't they charge for carry-ons?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:37 AM
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At least we're not riding pterodactyls.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:37 AM
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89 is true, but yet another reason for them to stop sabotaging the checked luggage system.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:38 AM
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90.1: Mindless status?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:41 AM
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"To summarize the summary of the summary: People are a problem."


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:41 AM
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95

But seriously: the cup-holder thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:42 AM
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96

The 1% board like this, but the 99% board like this.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:43 AM
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The role of performativity in plane boarding has received insufficient attention.


Posted by: Opinionated Judith Butler | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:47 AM
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Some European airlines board from the front and back of the plane at the same time, which seems clever until you get someone in row 17 who thought they should board from the back colliding head-on with someone in row 21 who thought they should board from the front.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:54 AM
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98: Because Europeans are all blind, apparently.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:57 AM
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It's a fallacy that Europeans are blind. It's just that they have developed their echolocation to such an extent that they don't think to rely on vision.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:58 AM
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97 is probably kind of true, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 10:59 AM
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Did I say 97? I meant 100.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:00 AM
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How crazy would it be to ask passengers to line up before boarding in the most time-saving configuration?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:03 AM
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They could just pre-seat everyone in little roller coasters, and then roll 'em on from the back. Upgrade to a loop coaster ride for $35.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:05 AM
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89 is a very useful, admittedly somewhat assholish trick. My current move, especially flying not for business and with kids, in my no longer having status world, is to fly one one of two airlines where I have credit cards that let me board in "Group 1" (aka first boarding for coach no status chumps) and then stash the bags in a big bin up front before slinking off to our cheap seats in the back that are filling up early. Also works if you're in a later group and you see space up front.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:10 AM
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It's funny, I genuinely hated my old job where I flew 100k miles/year or more domestic, but now whenever I go to the airport without status I feel like a deposed monarch staring at his former kingdom. I used to be someone!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:13 AM
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Aside from WILMA, back-to-front is best.

Nuh uh. It's the worst of all the ones they tried. Totally random was much faster, even with assigned seats.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:14 AM
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But seriously: the cup-holder thing.

Standard on both KLM and Air France long haul aircraft, IIRC. Sometimes you also get a little mesh pocket to stow your glasses or mobile phone in as well.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:14 AM
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105: I will punch you next time I see you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:15 AM
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109: Finally, the thread is living up to its title!
Can we arrange a meet-up?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:19 AM
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Inexplicable asshole move I encountered a few years ago, at the earliest opportunity in a long haul flight and well before any possible fake-night lights out, a small child (appx 5-6 years old) in the seat in front of me reclined all the way. After waiting a bit, I nicely asked for son space, figuring the kid was playing with new! toy! and parents just hadn't noticed. Result, mother exchanged seat with child and aggressively kept seat in full recline for the entire flight. Who parents like that?!?? I guess someone has to raise tomorrow's assholes today.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:22 AM
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You didn't have that job long enough to get to a million?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:22 AM
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No! It sucks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:23 AM
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114

Being punched or flying a million miles?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:37 AM
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What would really be great on coach is some kind of side wall/headrest/something on the seats, so that you could rest your head on the side and sleep or have an increased sense of privacy from your neighbor, like travel pillows for everyone. I am not the person to do it but it seems to me it should be possible to come up with some kind of seat design that would accomplish this, not provide the sociability-destroying recline option, and still pack the same number of people like sardines into the seats.

As I said above, I guess airlines don't do any of this b/c they're cheap and recycle things and coach is a lossmaker, but they do improve some things so it still seems weird that basic coach seat design hasn't changed at all in 40 years even as they pack in more rows of the seats.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:37 AM
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It's remarkable the way there are just two totally separate airport experiences that barely interact with each other. I haven't yet started in with lounges and I'll never be 100K, so I'm not experiencing the full separate experience, but enough of a glimpse to see how bizarre it is.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:37 AM
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Some of the lounges are pretty great, some are just marginally more pleasant than waiting by the gate. I used to use the showers in the AA one in JFK all the time (oblig.:laydeez) and they were pretty nice.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:40 AM
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Nuh uh. It's the worst of all the ones they tried. Totally random was much faster, even with assigned seats.

You're not prioritizing time over satisfaction, now are you?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:41 AM
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When we were in Berlin for our honeymoon we ran into a friend of mine from New York who was doing a quick mileage run to keep his status (his friends were DJing at the club we were at, so he came out for the day, essentially). Such a weird way to live life.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:41 AM
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But really everyone's a chump unless you're flying private.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:42 AM
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121

Enough with the richkidsofinstagram, sheesh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:45 AM
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some kind of side wall

Seriously. That would be, like, life-changing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:46 AM
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I bet side-walls are a non-starter because they'd draw extra attention to people who are too broad to fit between them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:47 AM
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OT: There are fucking rats in the fucking basement of my fucking building, where the fucking washing machine and fucking dryer are fucking located.

In unrelated news, rats are apparently neither taken aback nor impressed by a sharp "What the fuck?"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:48 AM
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Can we just get a really great railroad system in place instead, with bullet trains all over the place and nice cushy seats, and nice scenery, and you can walk around and have plenty of plugs, and there's a dining cart and a snackbar? And the trains don't defer to the oil biz? And all the transit length times end up being agreeable? And it includes a SE route so that one need not stop in Chicago in order to go from Texas to Florida?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:49 AM
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125 -- I think my side headrest in coach plan is probably cheaper.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:50 AM
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There are fucking rats in the fucking basement of my fucking building, where the fucking washing machine and fucking dryer are fucking located.

Why must I read every "fucking" as a verb?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:51 AM
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125: I can vouch for the fact that taking the Acela Express from Baltimore to New York is approximately 1,000,000 times more pleasant than flying.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:52 AM
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125: No, no, no and it depends on whether you can convince Southern congressmen that Bombardier's or whoever's Quebec train-manufacturing facilities are actually located in Georgia, Alabama and Florida.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:52 AM
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125: See if you can get Elon Musk's attention on Twitter.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:53 AM
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Why must I read every "fucking" as a verb?

Our thwarted and futile public schools.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:53 AM
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123: The side wall could just be at headrest level. I wonder if you could make something that holds itself in place on the headrest.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:53 AM
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133

I've seen something like 132, a headrest with wings that you can manually flare out in semi-acceptable angles.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:54 AM
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I'm sure we've talked about this before, but at most pleasant rail travel is going to get rid of short hop flights between major cities in the same basic region. The dream of a San Antonio-Miami bullet train makes zero sense. I think we got into some fight here once over whether a NY-Chicago high speed train could work for business travelers or whatever and concluded (or at least I concluded) that even that probably didn't make sense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:55 AM
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133- 747 BA I've flown have those.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:56 AM
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I don't check bags not because of the cost- I mostly fly JetBlue and could check one for free. It's because when I used to check bags the lost bag rate was about 30% (n= about 10 one-way trips). This strategy has been vindicated several times on business trips with colleagues who had check bags lost at which point I can say with superiority, "I never check bags any more."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 11:59 AM
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It's not my fault that business travelers aren't willing to stop and smell the roses. Think of the good of the environment. As soon as corporations realize that this hustle-and-bustle is wearying, we'll all stop off the hamster wheel and hop on the sabbatical wheel. Jesus christ this paper I'm trying to read is boring me to tears, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:00 PM
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136: I recall a radio interview with some travel guru or other who recommended fedexing your luggage to your destination.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:02 PM
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I had to fly a lot last spring and so, in part for reasons of anxiety, in part for reasons of disability, and in part for reasons of needing to get some work done while aloft, I began upgrading myself (by using miles) to first class pretty regularly. It was like a completely different experience! Forget the food and alcohol and courteous flight attendants; having enough space to sit comfortably meant arriving feeling somewhat fatigued rather than like I had gone whatever part of three round with Mike Tyson it would take to kill me.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:02 PM
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137: Have you considered studying the close-packing of humanoids?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:03 PM
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Come to think of it, I'm going to see if I can upgrade a bunch of my flights this fall. Later, losers!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:03 PM
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139: when I've flown business class I have invariably been a little sad when the flight ended.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:04 PM
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it depends on whether you can convince Southern congressmen that Bombardier's or whoever's Quebec train-manufacturing facilities are actually located in Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

John Mica, the Republican chairman of the transportation and infrastructure committee, is surprisingly friendly to passenger rail*, and would likely have supported a national push into high speed rail if the GOP hadn't gone crazy in January 2009 or so and made it politically untenable for a Republican to cooperate with the Kenyan socialist in any form or fashion.

*He does favor privatizing Amtrak, but that issue is really orthogonal to the question of whether the public sector should be investing in passenger rail.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:04 PM
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140: rule 34


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:06 PM
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145

I recall a radio interview with some travel guru or other who recommended fedexing your luggage to your destination.

I priced that option once, when I was flush, and it was surprisingly expensive and needed an extra day or two for delivery even to Western Europe.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:22 PM
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76 about reclining if there are kids behind you.

Doesn't work, because it just makes the kid more likely to perform kick boxing or drum pedal moves on the back of your seat, since it's now closer to his itty bitty legs.

85 & 90 re carryons.

At least one of the US major airlines announced recently that they were going to charge for carryons, too. I haven't heard any more about it, so maybe it was a trial balloon.

Under DaveLMAismo, carryons will be banned and airlines will be liable for double the value of any lost baggage, plus a free make-up flight.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:24 PM
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Nah, the inch or two closer to his legs isn't going to make or break whether or not he drums on the seat in front of him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:27 PM
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It's time once again for my second least favorite* annual study to snooker innumerate reporters in the August news drought. Reporters, please: the numerator in this study is not the number of crashes with property damage, but the number of claims received by Allstate. Which means that states with loose regulation of premiums (unrestricted experience rating) are going to show up better, because drivers are less likely to file a claim when it will cause their car insurance premiums to go up, whereas states like Massachusetts will look worse, because your claims history barely affects your premium.


*The least favorite being the "Tax Freedom Day" scam.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:37 PM
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Aside from it being always free and never getting lost in transit, not checking your bags lets you get out of the airport quicker by skipping baggage claim, which I find anxiety-inducing because you're never sure if your bag will show up until it actually shows up. A lot of times I prefer bringing everything on the plane even if I checked in 23 hours in advance instead of 24 and therefore get assigned a boarding number of Z999 or whatever and have little chance of finding overhead space.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:42 PM
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Re: sitting near kids and the stuff they do, I took a redeye back from SF to DC where I was seated next to a little girl who was maybe 5. I normally sleep easily on planes, so I was leaning against the window, drifting off, when thunk! Her head hit my shoulder. Oh well, I can sleep with a kid leaning on me, I thought. Then, her father realized she was leaning on me, so he pulled her vertical, where she stayed long enough for me to drift off again, only to be awoken by her head hitting my shoulder again. Her dad kept picking her up, and she kept falling, and I couldn't figure out how to say it was fine without seeming a little creepy. I didn't understand why he didn't just lean her the other way, leaning onto him! Eventually, I guess he fell asleep. She slept most of the way leaning on me and hanging onto my arm. I didn't get as much sleep as I'd expected.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:43 PM
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Of course, if your claims history barely affects your premium, why not drive like shit. At least at low speeds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:43 PM
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150 probably sounds cuter in retrospect than it must have felt at 2 am.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:49 PM
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151: Deductibles? What are those?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:49 PM
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Even with the deductible, you've lowered the cost of crashing. It's not like they'd be crashing on purpose, but if crashing is cheaper, you can cut off other drivers with a high expected utility.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:53 PM
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Anyway, if I wasn't worried about rising insurance rates, I wouldn't bother to turn my head and look back when reversing. I'd just use the mirrors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 12:59 PM
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156

Most cyclists don't even have insurance so, you know, go for it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:01 PM
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I'm not flying enough for status any more either, which, yea, not flying that much. And the loss of status isn't so bad since post Great Recession, they've cut down flights so much I was only rarely getting auto-upgraded anyway.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:04 PM
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149: Sure, but wouldn't it be nice if fewer people were making the same decision as you?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:09 PM
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Clearly bikers should be required to register their vehicles and get inspections and buy insurance and also pay part of the gas tax because they use the roads too.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:09 PM
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155: I spent the weekend test-driving cars (favor to my parents), and wow, backup cameras are great. So are blind spot indicators. No need to turn your head ever!

152: It was cute even then. Dad was the problem.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:12 PM
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You know what rule? The backup camera trajectory indicators that curve when you turn the wheel. Whee!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:16 PM
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162

Constitutional monarchs don't rule. They reign.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:19 PM
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149: Forcing you to check your bags would force the airlines to compete on actually getting your bags to you quickly. Market forces ftw! And if they fail to compete then it's proof market forces are teh sux.

So, win-win.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:25 PM
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These coach airline seats aren't exactly perfect -- I'd prefer that the bendy side headrest things be bigger -- but they are about 30x better than current design. The "paperclip" armrest where both people in adjacent seats can share the armrest is especially clever, as is the way that they solve the reclining problem and the storing stuff under your seat problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:26 PM
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Doesn't the existence of the airline industry in its current form prove that market forces are bullshit?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:26 PM
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That should probably be 300x better than current design. They solve both the recline wars and the armrest wars.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:28 PM
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146 - Spirit Airlines, which no one is going to mistake for a major carrier, does charge for (big) carry-ons, in fact more than for checked bags, and I have to say it makes the whole flying thing much more pleasant. Despite it being Spirit Airlines which is in many other ways foul.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:33 PM
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Guys seriously I am so into these airline seats of the future. Fuck you airlines for not installing them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:35 PM
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I was hit by someone in m blind spot the other day. Gah. My fault, I suppose. I checked the mirrors, they weren't there. I moved. They decided to nip out from behind me and floor it at exactly the same time. Bang, they hit my side door. But, as they were in the lane [by about 20ms] and I wasn't, I'm liable.*

I'm not really moaning about that. Letter of the law and all that. But it's hard to think what else I could have done to prevent it. Look in mirror. Pause. Look again. Pause. Hope that someone doesn't gun it at high speed into the blind spot at exact moment of move, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:36 PM
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I mean look how goddamn simple this armrest design is. That alone would be so great, even before you get to all the features in the linke in 164.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:37 PM
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Last time I flew to the US, which was a pretty long haul, as it was Heathrow to San Francisco, the seats and the space were pretty shitty. I think the previous couple of times it was OK because the flights weren't full, so I didn't really notice the lack of space. This time, it was full. Every seat. Which gets pretty damned oppressive. Economy seating on a 12 hour flight is pretty hard to take.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:47 PM
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170: I'm still not sure the few inches of vertical space between the two levels is enough for me to comfortable sharing the armrest with a stranger.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:49 PM
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||
So there's these 2 Eurotrash kids get on the train today, and they start talking in some crazy lingo that sounds like German through a mouthful of mashed potatoes. I'm pretty sure it was not a Scandinavian language, and it didn't sound like the Dutch I've heard, so what could it have been? Some regional German that's way more slurred than standard urban Prussian? Flemish? I dunno, but it sounded very odd.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:50 PM
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There is pretty much a zero percent chance that the seats in 164 could be built such that they would be compliant with safety standards and not unbelievably cost-prohibitive, right? I mean, that NYer article on first class seat-pods made it clear that even those -- with copious space to work with and insanely profitable customers to be had by deploying them -- were massively difficult to design within all the necessary constraints.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:51 PM
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124: I once almost fell over after stepping on a rat. Luckily, that landlord was good about getting an exterminator.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:51 PM
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124: I once almost fell over after stepping on a rat. Luckily, that landlord was good about getting an exterminator. That was in the kitchen.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:52 PM
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174 not even mentioning that first and business class compete on amenities but coach competes almost entirely on price.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:52 PM
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172 was my thought on looking at the armrest. Almost looks like arm-spooning even in the pictures.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:52 PM
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179

I've heard Danish described as Swedish with cotton balls in your mouth.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:54 PM
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180

Worst bakery ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:54 PM
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In business or first class they're usually pretty good about keeping out the rats.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:55 PM
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No, I know what Danish sounds like, it sounds like English with a ridiculous speech impediment. And I've seen a fair amount of Norwegian and Swedish film.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:56 PM
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183

Flemish maybe?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:59 PM
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Anyone ever heard Frisian?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 1:59 PM
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I would have said Danish, because that's the language it always is when I cycle through notGerman-notDutch-notEnglish-OH!, it must be Danish then.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:00 PM
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Maybe they're Hyperaustrian?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:01 PM
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I can read and understand Frisian. Sounds probably closest to Dutch.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:02 PM
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Couldn't it easily just be some German dialect or Swiss German.

174 -- I dunno, who knows. They could probably usefully get rid of the seat cushion as flotation device thing because that's been needed, what, once in the past 75 years?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:03 PM
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Yeah, admittedly, other than that "Distort that tart in my nub" song, I haven't heard a huge amount of Dutch.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:04 PM
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190

Swiss German, maybe?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:04 PM
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That was kinda my first thought, that it was something like what people in Southern Germany might sound like. Physically, they just looked like standard preppie white kids, so that didn't help to distinguish.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:09 PM
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3: This issue of airplane seat reclining is one that inspires near-religious arguments.
Boy, you've got that right. BEWARE YE HEATHENS.

- people who claim that they always recline their seat; aka, the righteous

- people who claim that they have never reclined their seat ; aka, the damned.

Here's why reclining-moaners should stfu and prepare for their eternity in fire: everything about economy air travel is miserable and the ability to press a button and grant yourself the illusion of control over your degree of misery is the only thing that mitigates that misery. Sure, that -- what, like 10 degrees? -- of recline probably makes zero difference in anybody's comfort or ability to sleep but at least you can try, and that's precious. Airlines are not going to take this away until they successfully lobby for permission to tase the shit out of uncooperative passengers. Despite being a generally passive and conflict-avoidant person, I'd most certainly be willing to ground a plane and go to TSA jail over the right to pointlessly recline my seat.

77: I'm sorry your boyfriend is a rude person. I hope that he is excellent in all other available ways.


Posted by: delurking because fuckin-a | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:14 PM
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You shouldn't prove yourself to be an asshole with the initial delurk. Let the assholishness build up over time while people gain tolerance. That's my advice anyway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:19 PM
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192 What, no pastries?

everything about economy air travel is miserable and the ability to press a button and grant yourself the illusion of control over your degree of inflict misery is the only thing that mitigates that misery.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:20 PM
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Swiss was my thought as well. I like it that the Swiss folks in my FB feed write in their dialect pretty much all the time. gmüetlicher gahts nid


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:22 PM
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I've seen something like 132, a headrest with wings that you can manually flare out in semi-acceptable angles.

They're pretty common on BA flights, and they do nothing for me. I sleep fine on trains and coaches where I can lean against a window, but these headrests just don't provide the support I need to sleep. The angle is too shallow. They'd be better if they literally clamped your head.

So there's these 2 Eurotrash kids get on the train today, and they start talking in some crazy lingo that sounds like German through a mouthful of mashed potatoes. I'm pretty sure it was not a Scandinavian language, and it didn't sound like the Dutch I've heard, so what could it have been? Some regional German that's way more slurred than standard urban Prussian

Schweizerdeutsch maybe?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:31 PM
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I totally forgot about "distort that tart in my nub"! Good times.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:31 PM
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Is it really so obvious that the costs to the reclined-into aren't outweighed by the benefits to the recliner? Personally I never recline my seat because it doesn't make me any more comfortable (and because it might bother the person behind me), but I also don't particularly mind if the person in front of me reclines theirs.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:34 PM
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Yeah, as biohazard mentioned, there's always the possibility of a person with a bad back being made slightly less uncomfortable by reclining.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:36 PM
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Yeah, youtubing it makes it seem likely it was probably Swiss German. The one kid was dressed like an extra from the first season of 90210 -- navy polo shirt, white bermuda shorts, blue suede topsiders with no socks, fashion sunglasses and a small, expensive looking watch. I understand Swiss people are all rich*, so that would make sense.

*The other day people were talking about a visit to Switzerland, and averred that the equivalent of a Snickers bar purchased at a gas station was like $17 or something. Can that really be true?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:39 PM
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192's author tries to alleviate the terribleness of airplane travel by the pointless act of reclining their seat. Others here try to do it via the equally pointless means of complaining about people like 192.author. Hey, whatever works.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:39 PM
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Can that really be true?

No.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:43 PM
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I sit with my car seat fairly upright and notice that anyone else who gets in immediately reclines it some. My theory is that most people don't have the lat and ab strength to sit upright for long periods.

Or they have a long torso. I have to sit in classic low-rider position in most cars, as if I sit upright I'm looking at the place where the roof meets the windshield, not directly out. Also, I bump my head.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:45 PM
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Good, I'll cover my short on Swiss chocolate futures then.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:45 PM
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199 is true, which is why the rule in 20.2, which is the correct rule in practice, makes an exception for "special needs." But 192's need to pointlessly inflict pain on others is not a special need.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:55 PM
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Core strength as to why people recline? That seems far-fetched. I'd believe lack of flexibility though, just the general aging kind.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 2:59 PM
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I know that if I sit in my wife's car without reclining the seat, I feel as if I'm leaning forward.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:03 PM
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Here's why reclining-moaners should stfu and prepare for their eternity in fire: everything about economy air travel is miserable and the ability to press a button and grant yourself the illusion of control over your degree of misery is the only thing that mitigates that misery. Sure, that -- what, like 10 degrees? -- of recline probably makes zero difference in anybody's comfort or ability to sleep but at least you can try, and that's precious.

The experience of having someone push a button and make you noticeably even more miserable than you already were is precious, too.

But anyway, this last trip cross country we went "Economy Plus" one way (because "complimentary seat assignment" was "sold out" on that leg of the trip--keep it classy, United) and holy shit! That little bit of extra leg/face room was AMAZING, because it actually tipped the balance from miserable to not-miserable. It didn't matter if the person in front of me reclined! It wasn't horrible to bend down to get stuff from under the seat in front of me! Hallelujah, it's raining men!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:05 PM
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Note that contra 205, 192 is trying to feel a sense of control over their own experience, not to hurt anyone else's.

208.2: I really wish there was a way to pay for extra space without being forced to pay for unctuous service and expensive comestibles.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:13 PM
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I want to be able to shoot the tv in the gate area. Other than that, I'm fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:14 PM
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Not the tv with the gate information. The one with airport CNN.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:17 PM
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And I want to force it to play "Sean Paul - Like Glue (Misheard Lyrics)" on loop. Sadly, we can't have everything.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:17 PM
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Hallelujah, it's raining men!
That sounds like a bad outcome for a flight.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:18 PM
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213: Sexist!


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:19 PM
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209.2: I'm confused. All the major airlines offer extra room in coach for most flights. What do you want that isn't available?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:22 PM
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You mean buying a seat in the exit row?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:48 PM
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The last time I flew back from Europe I was traveling with my kids on an aircraft that had just made the overnight haul from the U.S. Because I had the kids, we were right in the back row. As we were descending in to Newark I was gathering up our stuff and cleaning up the detritus, etc, and I used the sick bag to put some trash away. As I reached in to the bag I realized it felt slimy on my hand. Someone had masturbated into it (or gotten luckier than that, I suppose) on the prior overnight flight. Lovely. Lucky I was right by the bathroom, I suppose. Enjoy your dinner, everyone.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:54 PM
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Enjoy your dinner, everyone.

Thanks, but I just ate.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 3:59 PM
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UA's economy plus, Delta's economy comfort, AA's Main Cabin Extra, etc.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:00 PM
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216 was a serious question. I only fly Southwest so I don't know what goes on otherwise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:01 PM
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209: you can pay for extra leg room. My uncle does it. They're just regular economy seats with a little bit of extra space. I think they're the seats near the wings.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:01 PM
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So, 220 was maybe pwned.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:02 PM
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But what could be luckier than masturbating into a sick bag while on an overnight flight?


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:02 PM
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Looked up "It's Raining Men" because I know a reference when I see one. Don't know if I've ever heard it.

Love the anecdote from Paul Shaffer about Donna Summer, having become a Christian, disapproving of the lyrics.

They seemed anodyne to me, no more risque than Mr. Sandman, but I suppose it's the part about Mother Nature being a single girl. Pagan and a single mother.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:04 PM
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219-221: another Southwest devotee here, didn't know other airlines had that option (and honestly wouldn't be shocked if some Southwest flights do). I did take a United flight recently, and I remember them giving me options for things with "Plus" in the title, but that word, along with the word "Upgrade" or "Extra", just makes me instantly assume "Scam" at this point.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:06 PM
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because "complimentary seat assignment" was "sold out" on that leg of the trip

Another thing I find infuriating. Oh, you have no free seats left? Why don't you change the color from green or blue to yellow, then, and create some out of thin air?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:08 PM
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Considering that the entire point of 208.2 is that the bigger, nonfree seats are wildly better, it's not unreasonable for them to cost more.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:11 PM
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Not to advertise, but JetBlue's economy seats are pretty big, and their extra seats (exit and first few rows, $20 extra) are seriously so big you can't reach the seat in front of you. At least on the routes I fly.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:12 PM
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217 -- how did the semen not dry out in the minimum 8 hours it had been there?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:13 PM
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I haven't figured out (or bothered to look up) the rules on Economy Plus seats on United. I used to always get them for free, now I sometimes (but not always) get charged for them if I choose them when I book my flight, but I usually seem to be able to choose them when I check in with no charge. In any case, I've been paying for them frequently and submitting receipts for reimbursement without mentioning it and no one has complained yet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:14 PM
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What's long, hard, and carries semen?
An overnight plane just in from the US.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:15 PM
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Maybe it was 20 guys not just 1.

Or 4 airborne horses.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:16 PM
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228: my BF doesn't like Jet Blue, because they banged up his ski case.

He is also slightly obsessive about flying legacy carriers, because they have to put you on a competitor's flight if they can't get you there.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:18 PM
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229: Airsick bags are coated in plastic. That's got to help keep in moisture.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:18 PM
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I want to be able to shoot the tv in the gate area. Other than that, I'm fine.

Oh hell yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:19 PM
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I'm not a huge Southwest fan in the abstract. It's just the only major airline that goes on the only route I fly. If I fly another airline, I'm actually on the regional subcontractors. Those planes are just too fucking old and the pilots too young.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:20 PM
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I still fly Southwest religiously even though they broke my guitar. I forgave them for it because A. It was due to break at some point, having been to 4 continents and B. One time I straight-up missed a flight and they put me on the next one no charge. Also C, Midway >>>>> O'Hare (although that seems to be becoming less true?).


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:20 PM
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Considering that the entire point of 208.2 is that the bigger, nonfree seats are wildly better, it's not unreasonable for them to cost more.

In that one case, yes, but lots of times you're paying to be able to board first. Like, the aisle and window will be green and the middle seat blue - it's not because of differential leg room.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:20 PM
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Southwest has been pretty useless to me for the last decade, but it was great when I was in Chicago. Flying to visit my parents only cost about $50. And at the time the combination of Southwest and ATA provided pretty cheap travel from Midway to most places in the US.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:24 PM
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210, 235 I used to have one of these. I see the Pro version works at up to 300'.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:28 PM
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240 was me.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:28 PM
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Still skeptical. 8 hours is a long time. Can we get some forensics on this?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:29 PM
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237B: That's not normal? I did the same thing (messed up the departure time, showed 28 min before takeoff) and got on the next flight, not with S'west.

C is madness, but I think I'm the only one anywhere who doesn't hate O'Hare. I haven't been to Midway in years (always more expensive for me), but it used to be really dingy if not outright dirty.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:29 PM
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242 You could try an experiment in the comfort of your own home. You should have all the equipment you need.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:32 PM
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How did you know he keep airsick bags?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:38 PM
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243.2: Midway has been remodeled. It's less dingy than O'Hare now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:39 PM
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237: Brings to mind the Tom Paxton classic, "Thank you, Republic Airlines."


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:42 PM
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242: airplanes probably have different pressure/temperature/moisture levels than where you usually encounter old semen. Prior experience might not be a trustworthy guide here.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:46 PM
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You think the air pressure matters that much? I guess we could get a commenter at sea level and a commenter in Denver or something to compare semen drying times and extrapolate from there.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:50 PM
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Look if it isn't in the CRC book I'm not ruling anything out.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:54 PM
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249: You need to transport the same commenter to varying altitudes. Lucky you're not an experimentalist. I'd think the humidity would matter most, but that would suggest faster drying times on an airplane.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 4:56 PM
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To make matters worse, I learned from reading that jokey Feynman book that it's really hard to grind up the same male commenter in a mortar and pestle the same way twice. Makes it hard to get any sort of repeatability. Has anyone even run this past an IRB?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:02 PM
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Yeah, the humidity effect obviously goes in the wrong direction. I guess interpersonal variation does matter enough to control for, but we're looking for a big enough effect (8 hours!?) that I wouldn't think it matters much.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:03 PM
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Diet could affect the results too. What are the chances the offender was Paleo?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:05 PM
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193: You shouldn't prove yourself to be an asshole with the initial delurk.

But I *am* an asshole.* Why lie?

209: 192 is trying to feel a sense of control over their own experience, not to hurt anyone else's.

Yes, exactly (thank you). Of course the other side of this is that I don't actually believe that reclining constitutes a significant "inflict[ion of] pain on others." I'm six foot and when someone in front of me reclines (as they always, inevitably, do) it doesn't affect my legroom at all (as mentioned upthread) and the loss of inches of free space in front of me falls WAY down on my list of complaints about the whole situation.

211: Not the tv with the gate information. The one with airport CNN.

For instance.

*With THE GODS ON MY SIDE (returning to the religious angle...)


Posted by: delurking because fuckin-a | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:11 PM
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128
125: I can vouch for the fact that taking the Acela Express from Baltimore to New York is approximately 1,000,000 times more pleasant than flying.

One of my most delicious ever helpings of schadenfreude was taking the Acela to a conference in DC from New York when a number of my colleagues made the inscrutable decision to fly. (or the more understandable but still wrongheaded decision to drive)


Posted by: delurking because fuckin-a | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:27 PM
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143.3: How?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 5:29 PM
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Core strength as to why people recline? That seems far-fetched.

Yes, because Megan's on crack. And even if it's true, if I wanted to strain my lats and abs I'd do pullups. I'm sitting the fuck down to intentionally avoid that nonsense.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:55 PM
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I basically never recline, and I also basically never experience the person in front of me reclining either. As a result I don't really have strong opinions on the issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:58 PM
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That didn't add much value, I realize, but it's a data point at least.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 8:59 PM
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Megan's hypothesis seems totally reasonable to me. People who constantly have poor posture will get used to not sitting up straight, and doing that for long periods of time will be annoying.

Of course, I have no actual new evidence to bring to bear on this, just the note that it seems plausible to me. Data!


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:03 PM
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I dunno, sitting up straight for long periods of times sounds like it would also be annoying.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:06 PM
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Airplane fight (via William Gibson retweet):

As it happens, Romney's most unusual altercation happened with Ann at his side. He was sitting in an Air Canada jet in February 2010 preparing to take off from Vancouver to Los Angeles when, according to news reports, he asked a passenger in the row in front of him to put his seat up--and the passenger took a swing at him. The assailant was removed from the flight. Soon afterward, his identity emerged: Sky Blu, aka Skyler Gordy, of the party-rock duo LMFAO. Romney later recounted the incident for David Letterman: "The fellow in the seat in front of my wife put his seat back during the takeoff procedure, and, as we have all heard ten thousand times, 'Please put your tray table and the seat back in the upright and locked position.' So I tapped him on the shoulder and reminded him of that direction, and he didn't like that, by the way, and he gave me a good swat and he broke my hair."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:15 PM
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In terms of what harm reclining can do, my old laptop was just the right size to have the top of the screen caught by the ridge where the tray table locks, when I was using it. If the person in front reclined unexpectedly, I had to grab the laptop fast to keep the screen from getting crunched and winding up with an expensive brick. I don't generally mind the person reclining, but it would be helpful to have some warning.

(My new laptop has a bigger screen, so this is now less of an issue for me, even though that also means it's harder for me to position it so I can view the screen comfortably while flying.)


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 08-26-14 9:34 PM
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he gave me a good swat and he broke my hair."

That looks like it would take some doing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:28 AM
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I'm reminded of Spaceballs: "He shot my hair".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 2:12 AM
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WELL, I DON'T WANT FOP, GOD DAMMIT! I'M A DAPPER DAN MAN!


Posted by: Mitt Romney | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 2:16 AM
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167: Actually, I think the airline industry is a wonderful example of market forces at work. It turns out that what most people care about (in the quantities involved) is price, but the airlines have figured out how to use price-discrimination to milk the wealthier, so that if you're willing to endure a few hours of mild humiliation and moderate discomfort, your flight is massively cross-subsidized by the people paying for perks.

Doesn't make it fun for the folks in the cheap seats, but the system works pretty well for most people, compared with the alternatives. (Remember, if you want the old inefficient system back, you can just pay more, like everyone used to, and get it!)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 5:44 AM
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167: Actually, I think the airline industry is a wonderful example of market forces at work. It turns out that what most people care about (in the quantities involved) is price, but the airlines have figured out how to use price-discrimination to milk the wealthier, so that if you're willing to endure a few hours of mild humiliation and moderate discomfort, your flight is massively cross-subsidized by the people paying for perks.

Doesn't make it fun for the folks in the cheap seats, but the system works pretty well for most people, compared with the alternatives. (Remember, if you want the old inefficient system back, you can just pay more, like everyone used to, and get it!)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 5:44 AM
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167: Actually, I think the airline industry is a wonderful example of market forces at work. It turns out that what most people care about (in the quantities involved) is price, but the airlines have figured out how to use price-discrimination to milk the wealthier, so that if you're willing to endure a few hours of mild humiliation and moderate discomfort, your flight is massively cross-subsidized by the people paying for perks.

Doesn't make it fun for the folks in the cheap seats, but the system works pretty well for most people, compared with the alternatives. (Remember, if you want the old inefficient system back, you can just pay more, like everyone used to, and get it!)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 5:44 AM
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Oops. I only think that once, not three times.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 5:53 AM
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I think a business plan that requires causing misery to the masses by deliberate neglect as a means of scrounging money from the well-off is a pretty good example of a market failure. Or at least of how, out of a variety of possible equilibria, the market can pick the one that sucks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 5:58 AM
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I dunno, cheap flights are pretty great. Yes the experience might suck, but you get somewhere far away really fast for relatively little money. Which turns out to be what people care about.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:13 AM
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Are there still cheap flights? What qualifies as cheap? Emotionally, I consider anything where the final price tag rings in under $300 is cheap, and I barely ever see that anymore.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:26 AM
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I don't see any cheap flights. It's always $400 round trip for me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:29 AM
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258. Any interest in presidential commentary about the SLC shootings of unarmed wrongdoers?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:33 AM
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275: I got a flight to Tucson for from Boston in October for around $323. That seems pretty cheap to me. It's gone up about $100 since. Inflation adjusted, $423 is still inexpensive. In 1989, we had to buy last minute tickets from Portland, Oregon to Boston, and I think that they cost $1000 each.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:46 AM
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274: careful. Down that path lies complaining that in your day you could get a candy bar for a nickel and a hamburger for fifty cents.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:49 AM
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You can still get a hamburger for a dollar, but not a candy bar for a dime.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:51 AM
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Back in my day you could get a dollar for a buck fifty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:52 AM
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273 is a good point: the correct comparison is not "would you rather spend two hours on a plane or on a train" - obviously the answer is a train - but "would you rather spend two hours on a plane from London to Barcelona and then have 16 extra hours in the city, or spend 18 hours on various trains from London to Barcelona". (In this case, taking the train would probably also be rather more expensive.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:53 AM
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274, 275: Still incredibly freaking cheap compared to the good old days.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:56 AM
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282: Probably, but more expensive than it was in the 90s and it sucked quite a bit less then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 6:58 AM
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I used to fly back and forth from Columbus to Raleigh for $100-$150 on a very comfortable and quick-to-board CRJ.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:00 AM
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283 is right, it depends on your baseline. The current system is much much better than the old old one, but clearly worse than the 90s (with the caveat that the internet makes searching for good fares possible). However, surely a bunch of that is the price of jet fuel increasing so much in the past 10 years.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:02 AM
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Also, I'm still irked that it's 8 hours by rail (and five hours by car) to Philly. But at least I have my choice of departure times: 5am or 7am.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:04 AM
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At the risk that someone already linked, Louis CK (worth a listen if you've not heard it--unembellished and less comedic transcript follows).

Flying is the worst one because people come back from flights and they tell you your story and it's like a horror story - they act like their flight was like a cattle car in the forties in Germany - that's how bad they make it sound. They're like "it was the worst day of my life. First of all, we didn't board for twenty minutes, and then we get on the plane and they made us sit there on the runway for forty minutes we had to sit there." Oh really what happened next? Did you fly through the air incredibly, like a bird? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight you non-contributing zero?! You're flying! It's amazing! Everybody on every plane should just constantly be going "oh my God! Wow!" You're flying! You're sitting in a chair, in the sky!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:06 AM
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285: I don't know about the fuel thing, but I do know they've really lowered labor costs by using "regional carriers" and getting concessions from unions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:08 AM
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287: you know what bothers me about that monologue? You cell phone totally does not connect to a satellite in space. Let's be honest with ourselves.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:08 AM
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You could get a phone that does connect to a satellite in space if you weren't so cheap.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:09 AM
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287: fuck that monologue.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:13 AM
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I also cut my teeth on 90s fares and resent any increases.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:17 AM
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10 Louis CK Monologues That are Better Fucks than Sylvester Stallone.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:18 AM
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At least now that we print our own boarding passes, we don't get cut on the sharp edges of those cards.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:19 AM
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Maybe I should try taking Amtrak to Chicago and then going from there to Nebraska by plane. That sounds unusually complicated, but if you can get from the train station to the airport easily, it might work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:20 AM
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Data.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:20 AM
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Yeah, my baseline was my first self-arranged trip to Europe (ie not school trip) in the late 90s. Entry point of LHR should never be above $300- ok to spend a little more to get to another city within Europe once you're there.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:24 AM
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The monologue in 287 is ok but I remember when youtube videos also had moving pictures to go with the sound.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:26 AM
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296: Looks like they need to bring back 2009.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:26 AM
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296: Part of my problem probably is that I moved to a place with relatively expensive flights at the same time as costs were increasing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:26 AM
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My impression is that regional flights really have become much more affordable since the early 90s. As I recall, flights to any non-hub airport used to be crazy expensive.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:28 AM
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My parents now travel by train almost exclusively. I think they are completely nuts. It took then 24 h to get to DC, which could have been a 1.5 h flight. They took a 3 day train trip to visit my sister, a four hour flight. They seem to find it more pleasant, and my father just retired, so it's not like they're in a hurry. Still seems crazy, though.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:31 AM
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300: Yes, my impression was that after Pittsburgh quit being a US Airways hub in 2004, prices have risen (and much worse options per 286).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:32 AM
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then=them


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:32 AM
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298: but I remember when youtube videos also had moving pictures to go with the sound.

And were cheaper, too!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:33 AM
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303: Those were train times. Southwest flies to Midway several times a day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:33 AM
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Now I should go read the bulk of this thread. I love the sound of whining in the late morning.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:35 AM
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306: Ah.

Southwest flies to Midway several times a day.

Which helps in getting to Phillly how?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:37 AM
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But in fact for most destinations out of Pittsburgh the options have become much more limited and usually crammed into the super-early hop to hub times. I did not appreciate the extent of it until I missed a 5:45 flight due to not anticipating the very long security lines ~5 AM.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:41 AM
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Do you use the alternate security checkpoint?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:44 AM
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302: Trains are pretty pleasant, though. You can get up, move around, the wifi is pretty robust, etc. Going from Durham to DC takes about 7 hours instead 5 in a car, but only costs a little over $50.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:44 AM
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273 is a good point: the correct comparison is not "would you rather spend two hours on a plane or on a train" - obviously the answer is a train - but "would you rather spend two hours on a plane from London to Barcelona and then have 16 extra hours in the city, or spend 18 hours on various trains from London to Barcelona". (In this case, taking the train would probably also be rather more expensive.)

Barcelona's about as close as a destination gets before I wouldn't prefer the train, even if it's much more expensive. Anything in mainland France, train. Netherlands, train. Belgium, train. Frankfurt, train. Munich or Berlin, probably plane.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:47 AM
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Plus, no I95.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:47 AM
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Anything in mainland France

Algeria is long gone. Let it go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:49 AM
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Oh, and Barcelona is only 11 hours by train these days.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:49 AM
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Going from Durham to DC takes about 7 hours instead 5 in a car, but only costs a little over $50.

Hahah. UK train prices, not quite as decent.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:55 AM
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||

My niece just had a baby at 6 am, and is responding to Facebook comments on the pictures in under two minutes. That is a woman who is seriously committed to her social media.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:58 AM
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Do British trains now take 7 hours to go 260 miles?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:58 AM
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When Hawaii was one day old, at like 3 am, Becks IM'd me - mostly as a joke, she assumed I'd left the computer awake at home or something - and I was like "HI WHAT'S UP!" because I happened to be relaxing and enjoying some middle-of-the-night internet from my hospital bed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 7:59 AM
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Being on the train from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh with some French people was a sobering experience. As the train did one of its periodic exteremely-gradual-slow-to-a-complete-stop to let freight trains go by, they became very agitated. They walked up and down the train trying to find someone to ask what was wrong with the train. Upon finding out that no, the train was not going to be late, our passenger train schedules are normally designed to contain interminable periods of going 15 miles an hour, they did not know how to react.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:02 AM
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Somebody told me (possibly you) that it speeds up after Harrisburg, but I've never taken it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:05 AM
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re: 318

No. Long distance trains tend to be faster, although it depends on the route. London to Edinburgh takes a little under 4hrs 30. Which over 400 miles based on the train route.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:06 AM
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Algeria is long gone. Let it go.

I was thinking Corsica (and obviously the Caribbean departments).

Do British trains now take 7 hours to go 260 miles?

Depends on the line. Between three and four hours, probably, if you're on a mainline. London-Carlisle is almost exactly 260 miles and it usually takes 3.5 hours.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:07 AM
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re: 318

London to Manchester is a similar distance (210 miles) and takes 2 hours 15.

Trains in the UK are very very expensive by EU standards, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:09 AM
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323.1: I was joking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:09 AM
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321, Harrisburg is literally the nexus point at which US train travel goes from good to bad. There are multiple trains a day between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, at all times of the day.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:09 AM
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317: It would be even more impressive if the baby were responding to Facebook comments.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:14 AM
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Upon finding out that no, the train was not going to be late, our passenger train schedules are normally designed to contain interminable periods of going 15 miles an hour, they did not know how to react.

"Should we get out and push?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:15 AM
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As the train did one of its periodic exteremely-gradual-slow-to-a-complete-stop to let freight trains go by, they became very agitated.

Probably worried about dementors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:16 AM
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I'm with Ginger Yellow, though. If I can get the train, and it's not super expensive, I will. If I'm travelling to Paris, or Brussels, it's a no-brainer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:17 AM
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I, for one, miss the old, dingey, bus-station like ambience of Midway Airport. It was hella fast to get through security and all -- you could probably have thrown a softball from the front entrance to your gate -- and cheap and utili/proletarian. Now it's just a lousy smaller-city airport. Maybe a bit better than O'Hare, but not much.

I paid the $20 extra to sit in the exit row seat on the way back from Unfoggedycondodecagon last year, and wasn't that impressed. But of course, due to my girth, I'm always horrendously uncomfortable on flights, so that's just how it goes. I have started taking my shoes off for them most of the time. No one has yet complained.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:33 AM
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Airline travel in the US is definitely cheaper, for most on most routes, than it was in 1980.* Whether the current state of the industry reflects a triumph of "market forces" and whether we could have relatively cheap air travel that was more pleasant and better regulated, are different questions. The case for airline deregulation as a success is surprisingly weak despite widespread claims that it was an unalloyed success, and the unpleasantness of air travel in the US is the result of many conscious, often poor, regulatory, antitrust, and business decisions, not some inexorable or irreversible result of demand for cheap fares.

*though the start date matters; for reasons explained in the linked article, 1980 is the start date pro deregulation love.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:37 AM
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Yeah, think in 206 goes to a chart of average domestic fare from 1979 to 2011.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:44 AM
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Airline travel in the US is definitely cheaper, for most on most routes, than it was in 1980.

In Europe it's a mixed bag. Short-haul flights are vastly cheaper (on a best fare basis), because of the rise of budget airlines. But I'm pretty sure long-haul flight has become more expensive, especially if you compare like for like (ie old economy with modern premium economy). Long haul premium economy is really expensive, basically what used to be the business class bump.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:50 AM
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333: think s/b link


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:57 AM
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re: 334

I've noticed recently the budget airlines are creeping up to the same prices as the main national carriers on quite a few routes. We've been looking to fly out to Prague a couple of times this summer [and failed to do so for various reasons] and the various budget airline prices haven't really been that much different from BA.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:02 AM
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336: this has always been the case, depending on when you book: in other words it's never been the case that budget is always cheaper than full service regardless of whether you buy walkup or three months out. But I'm prepared to believe that it's becoming more true as the FSCs adopt more of the LCC ways of doing business.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 9:04 AM
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317: You underestimate how truly little there is to do in a recovery room (besides sleep, obvs) once all the nurses have gone and the baby passes out.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 10:05 AM
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Apparently my new graduate student doesn't fly. I'm not sure whether I should tell him he needs to learn if he ever wants a job.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:45 AM
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338: Hey, that reminds me: mazel tov! Hope everyone's doing okay.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:49 AM
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338: You, clearly, can pose for adorable pictures. Congratulations!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:53 AM
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Happy babying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:57 AM
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Aw, shucks.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 11:57 AM
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Did someone link to this already?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 12:10 PM
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We need a ban on converting ethical/values arguments to property rights arguments. Halford can do the dirty work.

It is telling that you can already pay a modest amount to nullify leg room problems (I do but I'm tall) but some still feel the need to resort to vigilante justice.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 12:27 PM
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258. Any interest in presidential commentary about the SLC shootings of unarmed wrongdoers?

The guy they shot had violated his probation for robbery and had announced on Facebook he'd rather die than go back to jail. We've had one small rally already. One of the main speakers, talking about the "uncalled for" force whe his unarmed daughter being shot last year, forgot to mention the multi city robbery spree she went on with her girlfriend. On one of those robberies they effected their escape by shooting at the cops. Oh, and when she got surrounded she tried to ram her way out in a vehicle.

Any of you know any wingers beating the "black cop shoots white guy and no one says boo" drum on the latest SLC shooting? Because maybe you could have a good time accusing them of making shit up regarding the races involved and even lure them into a bet as to whether the cop is black or not.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 12:30 PM
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Just because he lives in Utah, we're supposed to know that Officer DeAngelo Womack is white?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:01 PM
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I didn't say he was white, but go ahead and ignore Wesley Snipes.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:06 PM
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My accountant says I should ignore Wesley Snipes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:08 PM
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Congratulations Yawnoc.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:17 PM
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On the baby, that is. I'm not congratulating you on Wesley Snipes' failed tax evasion.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 1:18 PM
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10: "You never actually own a putrefying ungulate corpse. You just look after it for the next generation."

generation s/b Halford?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 2:43 PM
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10: best comment erver.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:10 PM
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congrats yawnoc!

as to plane reclining and horror stories...I dunno, I'm always going on 23-hour flights or 9-hour one-day trips in the US that are like EUG-SLC/SLC-ORD/ORD-SAV (this was my fault, tho) and I'm seriously ill, I need to lie down flat a lot of the time normally (I have core strength I just ain't using it to rest for whatever weird reason). I feel pretty justified in mild whining. I won't go on and on and on, but "oh, here's our last 900mi leg before we get on the 23-hour flight home!" is...meh, that was a direct flight, that was ok. my kids and I raise the armrests and take turns flopping on one another variously. that seat is going to be reclined the whole goddamned flight, sorry. I'm with our new asshole. and the halfordismo seat re-vamps are permitted on the sole condition that the armrests go up.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-27-14 8:41 PM
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I don't see any cheap flights. It's always $400 round trip for me.

I recently bought a plane ticket to Albuquerque at the end of September to see my mom. I paid $881 for the round trip. (That's on Alaska Airlines, which is just now starting to offer service to Albuquerque.)

That said, I'm lucky in that most of my air travel is paid for by the state of Alaska (which is to say that it's ultimately paid for by the three main taxpayers in the state*). Round-trip fares from Anchorage to the places in the state where I travel most often tend to be in the $500-$700 range, partly because the state always buys fully refundable fares, which is well worth it since flights get canceled a lot based on weather conditions.

*ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and BP


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 1:04 AM
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They're short flights, too. Usually an hour and a half or less. Nothing like the 23-hour ordeals alameida undergoes regularly.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-28-14 1:07 AM
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The sequel. Maybe somebody should organize a tournament.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 6:15 AM
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There were air marshals on board! How exciting!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-14 6:18 AM
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