Flight to San Franciso

For the most part, the flight to San Francisco was very pleasant. A beautiful young woman in amazing pumps seemed to be a good omen. I was going to tell her that they were kick ass shoes, but then my zone was called and all thoughts of being flirty kind of vanished in the hustle of..get to your seat, give sufficient greetings to your seat mates, and then put on the headphones before any kind of meaningful conversation can be started.

That is my flight MO. I do not like to fly. I understand that it is the most efficient means of getting there, but I have yet to feel totally at home packed into a metal tube and hovering some thousands of feet in the air. Plus I was in a damnable middle seat. Delta in all their wisdom started some kind of program where only people with sky miles can get certain window and aisle seats. I am sure this is supposed to be a loyalty program but they are not making any friends when they take away what few options I have as a flyer.

So, I put in the Yes album “We Can Fly from Here” which made for a perfect trip starter. I have left this one alone for a while just due to the overplay I gave it while acquainting myself with the new Yes sound. I was already a fan, but this listen cemented my notion that it really is an incredibly wonderful album (despite some lyrical content that fails).

Yes- We Can Fly From Here Pt1

The flight was full of good music, Airbag, Billy Sherwood, and Cosmograf (how did that one pass me by?) While doing all this I perused several copies of Classic Rock Presents Prog

This is a good starter for planning our upcoming show…the best of 2011 extravaganza. There is so much damn good music that was put together this year that trying to identify the best of the year is a near impossible feat. I know for a fact that I will disappoint many people with my choices, but I have to vote from my heart. I look for different things than a lot of prog fans when I am looking at music. I am lyrically and vocally inclined, instrumental albums often bore me, and I expect my music to hook me either musically, or with meaning. That means that some albums that are technically brilliant, genre defying pieces will still get left behind. In the end, if you like our show, you will like our best of show. I just have to make some difficult decisions and jettison a good many options.

A modest proposal:

After years of flying, I feel I am well versed in flight enough that I can make some suggestions to the airline companies. I certainly understand the need to efficiently load people into the bus, get them to their destination, and then drop them off. However, I think with a few tweeks we could bring some joy to our flying experience.

To begin with there are too many seats on the plane. We have bought into the idea that there should be a class system on the plane. We live in that world in which people who have more disposable income will view flying with a greater affinity than those of us packed like sardines into little seats munching on a pittance of pretzels, or the cheapest peanuts money can buy. My plan calls for the removal of this class system. 4 Seats per aisle, nice and roomy. Sure we will all pay a little more for the comfort, but probably not the exorbitant prices that have already served to separate us into some kind of high flying class warfare. I see the seats being geared towards comfort, having easily moved screens, and plenty of leg room.

Next there is the wait itself. When we landed we sat in our seats waiting for the doors to open, and then for each person to get their stuff out of the overhead. I suggest a new system in which both sides of the plane open Delorean style allowing all passengers to exit from their own row. The doors could be sealed both with mag locks and latches. The wings of the plane could fold in, creating a slim cylinder that can deftly slide up to a platform.

Next concern is air pressure. Why is going up so much more pleasant than going down? (phrasing)! Have we not come far enough with our science that proper pressurization techniques could not be developed?  My last experience of the plane is a sharp pain to the ear due to quick pressurization. Surely this should be a non-issue at this point. Not worried about rocket packs and jumpsuits, I just want a technology built with the customer in mind. I know it all sounds rather bitchy, but I just think that we should all be treated better and not held hostage to our badly planned flight program.

I always appreciated that video in which the flight attendant rapped the requirements of the safety protocols. In that moment it seemed that yes indeed we could move into a more hip world in which square values (yes I know the slang is dated) do not pervade so much. I mean we all know the spiel, seatbelt, airbag, flotation devices, exit doors etc. I guess it is a time honored incantation. Perhaps planes are held up by magic and we have to do a safety dance in order to get the gods to look favorably on our ridiculous journeys. No…it seems more likely that we are just trapped in passionless rituals that could be made better. Lets have the captain come out and sing us a safety song. Lets have scripts handed out so that customers can participate. Lets have stripper stewardesses show us how to put our seat belts on. Come on…we can be more creative. We don’t need to let the straight world own our existence. Pedestrian life is unfulfilling. Lets raise the banner and be weird, creative and wonderful for a change. That means everyone- Doctore, nurses, dentists, policeman. Put some zing in your step. Sing me a ticket for speeding! And politicians- far too serious no matter what party you are in. Yes, lets protect our country and develop our freedoms, but lets do it wearing rhinestones.

Flight Attendant Raps Safety Protocol

What do you guys think? Isn’t it time that we revamp our airlines? I am not talking about some kind of fall back to the yesteryear of Pan Am (although the stewardesses on the show would make the flight easier)

I am talking about a move into a new way of thinking. A plan in which the needs of business are the same as the needs of the buyer. I may be asking a lot. I certainly do not know much about the politics and finances of air travel but I think we can do better.

At least we did not have to wait for lemon scented napkins!