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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Less was more

On our return trip from the East Coast last evening, we were on a Continental 737 that was so new that it still had new plane smell. But it was also so new that it didn't have in-flight audio or video entertainment hooked up yet, either. Given that it was a six-hour ordeal, we figured that the kids on board would be going nuts without their movies, and that we'd miss the airline music.

But it turned out just the opposite. The kids were the best behaved group we've ever encountered on a long plane trip, and we did just fine with the music on our iPhone. The lack of video in your face the whole way was actually pretty soothing. Food for thought.

Comments (8)

I've been on several flights in the last two years with lots of kids (my last trip to Portland featured several soccer teams, among other things), and I now go directly for the back when I'm on a Southwest flight. The kids are both polite and friendly, and they always bring stuff to keep themselves occupied, so they understand that "headphones mean 'do not disturb'." Compare that to the yuppies who alternate between asking stupid questions every fifteen seconds because they're bored and screaming "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" every time they're told "no," and I'll take the kids every time.

Assuming you're talking about the Newark-PDX direct, that flight can easily turn into a 7hr-8hr ordeal if you sit on the runway. Rush hour out of Newark is horrible.

Which is why the ability to watch the NBA playoffs on the DirecTV feed in front of me is no small measure of awesome.

The lack of video in your face the whole way was actually pretty soothing.

Are you aware that on model inflight video systems, pressing and holding the "dim" button will eventually turn it off?

It doesn't work for the safety presentation, of course - that will (and should) override the off switch. And unfortunately, it won't override the commercial messages tail ended on the safety presentation that they manage to slip in.

I find that sort of unnecessary travel to be offensive, as it is a needless waste of energy and a selfish excess of one carbon foot print.
Adequate off sets should be required to discourage or mitigate such behavior.

Go by Streetcar!

pressing and holding the "dim" button will eventually turn it off

Yeah. but there are still dozens of flickering screens everywhere you look. This jet didn't even have the screens installed yet.

Continental used to be my airline of choice, with complimentary meals and movies. Ever since the merger with United, they've adopted all the nickel-dime policies of United.

I thought when an airline that avoided bankruptcy, merged with an airline that went bankrupt, they might adopt the policies of the former. No such luck. The airline is now being run by the green-eye shades who don't have a clue about the importance of customer loyalty. This year, I'm just using my frequent flier miles, and will let my elite status lapse.

Love the non-stop PDX-EWR-PDX flight. Sometimes even use the DirecTV, but mostly not - listeing to podcasts or music, sleeping and reading is much more desirable.

Food/drinks nickel and diming? Not concerned. Water and soft-drinks are free and plentiful. Hungry? Bring something on board with you.

Kids? Rarely a concern. That's what the noise-canceling headphones are for.

Having that non-stop is much preferable to connecting flights in Denver, Chicago, or Houston; especially in the winter.

Unnecessary travel? Au contraire mon ami. How else to visit family and friends, conduct business, or get to schools back east.

Delays? Newark has been very very kind to me.

United/Continental merger? Fantastic! Nearing the 1 million miles traveled milestone...

Consumer Reports came in the mail today, with airline ratings. No surprises, really: Southwest and JetBlue up at the top, with United and USAir in the basement. Continental fell somewhere in the middle, but their route network is a real asset for them. Alaska, which ranked third in CR, also has a PDX-EWR nonstop service, I think, though I've never used it. One distinguishing feature of the top-ranked airlines is the absence of change fees and the ability to get full credit for unused tickets toward future travel. Nobody likes being ripped off.

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