Monday, May 17, 2010

Words I Don't Want to Hear

If I hear that word on the aircraft PA one more time, I think I'll cast off my seat belt, jump up, shake my fist and yell, “I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THAT WORD AGAIN! YOU HEAR ME? NOT AGAIN, OR ELSE...”

The passengers will look at me, stunned, mouths agape. The flight attendant will reach for the handset to call the captain. It'll be a “Level I” incident, maybe a Level II. Security will be waiting at the gate to take me into custody. My name will land on the “No Fly” list. I don't care.

Don't tell me we are going to land “shortly.” Shortly is a stupid word that defies definition. Webster takes a feeble stab at it. They say it means: in a short time. But short can't be quantified. Short to me is five minutes. To you it might be 15. To somebody else, 30. Why say it? Why not just say, “We are about to land.”

But then, why even say that? Everybody on the plane knows we're descending. The houses are getting bigger. Spare me that preposterous word.

And here's an annoying practice I hear on the RJ's—seldom on mainline flights: “Our flight today is under the command of Captain Bob, assisted by First Officer Ted.”

Do those sound like cartoon characters to you? Captain Bob? I've got visions of Sponge Bob sitting up there in the left seat. Jeeze! Include the man's last name, for Bob's sake.

I willfully suffer the safety briefing because I know the FAA requires it. The flight attendants have got to do that. But some of the extraneous stuff they do really gets to me. For example: please don't welcome me to my destination before I even get there. The other day, I was welcomed to Huntsville 50 miles out!

I might be painfully wrong about this, but I've lived all my life under the impression that I get welcomed by someone who is there waiting for me to get there, not someone who is traveling with me. So, how about just shutting up about that, okay?

But now, don't think pilots are immune from silly announcements. Here's the one I detest the most: “Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and relax...”

SAY WHAT? Sit back, you say? I can recline my seat back a whopping 2 degrees. My knees are jammed against the reclined seat in front of me. I'm sandwiched between two guys with the girths of a turbo-fan engine, and you want me to relax?

I'll relax if a damn well please, and I don't need a pilot telling me to, even if I could.

Okay. I got that off my chest. What's on yours? 

The last post had some interesting comments and ideas. My comments on the comments: Build more gates? Not likely. Use portable stairs and buses? Makes sense but not practical at most airports. Take the fight to the source of the problem, fine those nasty thunderstorms? Right on.

 Could be a rough ride up there.
Quote of the post:
"Who was the best pilot I ever saw? You're lookin' at 'im."
— Gordon Cooper in the movie 'The Right Stuff,' 1983


amulbunny's random thoughts said...

Ladies and gentlemen the noise you are hearing is the sound of our landing gear being lowered into a locked position. Shortly after landing you will notice a marked increase in the noise level as our captain reverses our engine to slow our forward speed.

Please make sure that your tray tables and seat backs are upright and locked into their secured position. At this time we ask that you refrain from smoking until you are well inside the terminal building.

The time in Los Angeles is now 830PM Pacific Daylight Time. From your LAX based crew we thank you for flying TWA and hope your trip was pleasant.

This is all we ever needed back "in the good old days".

Anonymous said...

"...until we come to a full and complete stop." What does "full and" add that "complete" doesn't already say? Why bother with "complete" in the first place?

Anonymous said...

How about "We will be departing momentarily." Momentarily means for a moment, not in a moment.

B. said...

LOL! Gotta agree about the "Captain Bob" introductions on the regionals...although I've heard it on JetBlue as well. How utterly ridiculous. When I hear that, I usually envision two five year olds up front...

Brent said...

I don't really care what they say once I get on the plane.

It is at the gate during a "creeping mechanical" when we are told we will know more in a few minutes for the third time.

Squatch said...

Captain Bob and first mate Gilligan aren't yet old enough to be called by thier whole name! Duh!

Ken G. said...

The guy should lighten up. As a retired Boeing pilot, I like to hear something from the flight deck. I like to hear the friendliness and ease in his voice that says he is looking forward to the flight. Particularly in these days of armored and shackled doors to the cockpit. Its called COMMUNICATION.

Anonymous said...

And last, but not least, the one thing I don't need to hear is: "We hope you have a safe trip home or wherever your FINAL DESTINATION is."

FINAL DESTINATION, what do they mean?

k1mgy said...

You MUST listen to this:

George Carlin: "They tell me to put my seat back forward. Well, I don't bend that way! If I could put my seat back forward I'd be in porno movies!"

After a dose of George, those inane announcements will never be the same.

Anonymous said...

@amulbunny Nice of you to quote The Graduate. Now I have Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence stuck in my head. Cool icon, by the way.

My annoyance on an Alaska flight between Fairbanks and Seattle: "We know you have many choices when you fly..." Um...HELLO...ALASKA IS THE ONLY AIRLINE THAT FLIES BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES. (And to the smartass who'll comment, UPS and FedEx DON'T COUNT)

Say captain...ever leave the mike switch on "PA" and talk to ATC? "Albuquerque Center, XYZ 1234 is that my ex wife on the radio? She sure complains like her..."

Porcupinetaxi said...

I found your blog interesting. I will write more shortly because I don't have a lot of time right now.