airline goose

Airline executives were called before Congress this week to be questioned about their business practices because there have been a few recent incidents that put the airlines in a bad light . The friendly skies may not be as friendly as the airlines want us to believe .

Immediately after the pubic hearings before Congress , one air carrier announced plans to reduce passenger space in the economy section . They measure this space , not by leg room , but by the measured distance between seat backs . In this case , that seat- back -to-seat- back space will be reduced to 29 inches .

Thank God for Congress !  The previous company plan to replace the aircraft seats with stacked shelves was , thankfully , scrapped . The issuance of cattle prods to stewards/stewardesses for use in herding customers  is also now under review .  The Congressional panel emphasized , you see , the necessity of considering passenger safety and comfort as well as corporate profits .

I have a solution to solve the airline problem . I didn’t invent it . It’s universally recognized and would help to address several troubling national conundrums . This is it :  There should be a rule that airline execs are required ( and their immediate family members too ) to fly economy whenever they fly . Simple ?

This rule might go a long way toward addressing the national debate over health care policy . Members of Congress would be limited to whatever health care plan they impose on the rest of us . After all , they set it all up .

The ancient Romans had already recognized the value of such a universal rule . Roman bridge architects , for example , were required to be the first ones over the new bridge , so that if their structure  collapsed the designer got to immediately experience the consequences of their flawed plans .

I used to wish for such a rule when I worked for the school district . One example : There was a classroom underneath of which a skunk had decided to spray .

I couldn’t believe the stink day after day in that classroom . The teacher complained , of course , as did several of us at the school , but the principal was evidently unconcerned . I doubt whether he ever visited the room during the weeks that it stunk . Finally , the teacher union representative managed to coax the school district to address the faculty about the skunk issue .flight 1927

The school district representative who spoke admitted that there was a problem , but that the district was hampered , he explained , from doing anything to solve the problem . They were forbidden from using poisons , for example , he said .  He was , believe it or not , verbally throwing up his hands and saying , in effect , that nothing could be done .

Frustrated teachers told him to get someone under the classroom and have them remove the skunk . The district representative , at this point , said , ” I’ll give a thousand dollars to anyone who would go under that building and remove that skunk . ”

I raised my hand immediately and told him I’d do it . He didn’t honor his own offer .  Apparently , his challenge was a rhetorical flourish that he wasn’t willing to back up with cash ! Imagine that !Featured Image -- 11149

This issue , I knew , would have been quickly resolved had the skunk sprayed under the principal’s  office instead of under a classroom . The school district would have found a way to mitigate the issue that day at the  principal’s urging .

Using the universal rule mentioned above , that principal should have been required to move his office into the stinky room .  Simple ?

I’m sad to say that this rule is not being generally applied , though . There is a new facility , for example , at LAX  for well-heeled airline passengers . For  $7000 or so , customers can join a club that allows them to use a comfortable waiting room with good wine, etc. ,  and helpful attendants.  The check -in process is made easy . Distances that ordinary customers are required to walk are minimized . There is a monthly fee, too , I think . Sounds like a good thing if money is no object . Evidently more than 2000 people have already joined up . Meanwhile , for the rest of us , the situation deteriorates . B-25 bomber

Those airline executives in D.C. should have immediately been herded into an airport , forced to walk from one end of the place to the other , then put on an aircraft in economy seats and flown across the country and back . Then the hearings could resume :  Now what do you think about the 29″  seat-back -to-seat-back idea ?  they could be asked , given that this would be their required mode -of- flight from that point on . And  don’t forget to tell your wife and kids that the same goes for them . Api and LACMA Oct. 2015 044

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander .

7 Comments

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7 responses to “airline goose

  1. Years ago they used to believe in ‘the punishment should fit the crime’ and people like slum-lords were forced to live in their own building until it was repaired. But today, forcing airline execs to riding economy and forcing Congress into having the old Joe-Blow health plan might cause problems to the PCers. I’m sure that would be against their civil rights somehow, their right to happiness, the right to the American dream? I agree with you, but outside of ‘the boss undercover TV program – it’s not going to happen.

    • You’re right , GP . There were landlords in Los Angeles living in their crappy buildings. I doubt that many of them really did so , though , as required . I’m sure they found ways around it — like Al Capone sipping champagne in his jail cell . Still , it seems like a good idea as you say , to make the punishment fit the crime . Unfortunately the small airline seats and the lousy health care plans are not , technically , crimes .

  2. I love the vintage photo of the PSA stews! That takes me way back (when flying was actually fun).

    • Remember the commercials ” Fly me to Chicago ” ?

      • No, but, sadly, I do remember when the PSA jet crashed into a community not too far from me. I think that might have been the beginning of the end of that airline, although it wasn’t the fault of the crew at all.

  3. Great ideas, Dan. I would also make members of Congress retire with Social Security, their own savings and Medicare only, unless they want to buy a supplemental plan,.

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