Sunday, February 24, 2008

Airline Ponderings

Three conundrums cross my mind whenever I travel by air. And not one of them involves luggage.

1. Why don't airlines have little bottles of water available for pickup as folks board a plane. The flight attendants pass them out later, anyway, and most of the time people get real thirsty between the time they board and whenever it suits the crew to offer beverage service. Bottled water in airports costs an arm and a leg, and often passengers don't have time to stop and buy something before boarding begins. So. Doesn't it make sense to have those water bottles that will be tossed around later available as people board? Face it. It would keep the natives quiet until the real beverage service started.

2. Does it save more time to board from back to front or front to back? I've always thought it was quicker to board back to front, but almost every plane I get on now does the front to back routine, holding up the process as a lengthy queue forms in the jet-way. I think Delta is the only airline still boarding back to front. Perhaps there's a good reason for this switcheroo. Can someone explain it to me?

3. In the airplane toilet, why is the default sink-plug mode stoppered instead of unstoppered? You have to push down a little lever to empty the sink of water. I see why the faucets automatically shut off, preventing a sink overflow. But doesn't it make sense to have the sink unstoppered for the same reason? The way the system works now, I need at least three hands to maneuver the faucet/sink-plug. Explain that one to me, too.

Obviously, I spend too much time on airplanes.


Anonymous said...

The airline I flew to Florida did load from the back which is the logical way to load. My problem was that those people who boarded first placed all their carry-ons in the overhead bins in the front of the cabin. What selfish pigs! I always try sitting as close to the front as possible and on the aisle. So by the time I board all the front bins are full.
I like your bottled water idea. Let's go ahead with that before our next trip.
Lastly, I try to never use the facilities on an airplane... I just know there could be the "ultimate flush". That's not really the way I want to go.

Anonymous said...

When we've answered your questions, let's move on to some really important ones. Like, why do some folks insist on hanging their toilet paper such that it rolls off the bottom? That's just not natural. And couldn't airlines sell larger bottles of liquor on the plane instead of those little tiny ones? Inquiring minds want to know.

Em said...

I've flown Delta four times in the past month...and every flight boarded front to the first folks fumbling around in the overhead bins held up every other person on the entire flight. Back to front is the only logical way to do it.

MaryB said...

Bro - Yeah, there outta be a law. I usually sit toward the front, too, and by the time I board, the back 'o the bus folks have used up my overhead bins! And, sounds like the bathroom phobia may need a little bit of therapy. :-)

anon - good questions. I don't get folks who load the toilet paper the wrong way (because I load it the right way, which is paper coming down the front). And I'm all for larger liquor bottles. Why don't we ask one of our favorite Delta employees?

em - well. Hm. Delta always loads back to front, I thought. Don't tell me they've changed,too? Why, oh why? (Welcome back, by the way.)

Liz Hinds said...

We're not allowed to carry water or liquids onto aeroplanes. Or into stadiums.

I have toilet paper coming down the front too. it's the only way.

Joy Des Jardins said...

You raise some good questions Mary. Not the seasoned traveler you are....I've also noticed the flights I've been on board board 'front to back' too. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me either. Makes for quite a log-jam of people frankly. The bottled water idea....a good one since you can't take any with you. I have hardly ever used the toilet on an airplane...only if absolutely necessary....not my favorite place to be for several reasons.