It’s Monday morning, and I’m halfway up on my morning commute; this week to Pittsburgh. I’m in the Charlotte USAirways Club (now Admirals Club) and my connecting flight leaves at 11:45am.
My first flight was on a US 767 widebody jet from MCO to CLT. The flight ran fine, except for a medical emergency. (I know that sounds like the bad joke: “Except for the shooting Mrs. Lincoln, how was the Play?”) I had completely reclined in my near lay-flat, but angled seat, when I heard the flight attendant call for a Medical Doctor to come to the front of the plane; never a good sign. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to serious like a heart attack, but it was quite startling to hear. I didn’t hear anything else about it while on the plane, so apparently the situation seemed under control. Until shortly before we landed, when the Flight Attendant made an announcement for everyone to remain seated, as EMS staff would be entering the plane upon landing for a sick passenger.
Which brings me to my air travel pet peeve list; well just a couple for now, but more later. I’ll only list the four I encountered today from passengers.
- When a Flight Attendant request everyone to remain in their seats upon landing – do just that! I couldn’t believe that 1/3 of the First Class cabin immediately stood up upon arrival, only to be told to clear the way for the EMS. As it happened, a Mother and teenage daughter came running up the aisle to reach the paramedics. As I got off the plane it appeared she had some respiratory issues.
- When waiting to board, unless you are special-assist or First Class, kindly clear the way for others to board. Please do not stand to the front of the Priority line, especially when your boarding pass shows Zone 4 or 5. While I’m not being a snob, it slows the whole boarding process down and creates unnecessary boarding congestion.
- Do not automatically take another seat if the one you want is not available! While this should be common sense, to some people it’s not. I’m not talking about the people including myself who occasionally sit in the wrong seat by mistake, and immediately move when they realize their error. I’m talking about people who intentionally take your seat to be next to their traveling companion, and expect you to take their original seat. Flying out of Orlando, this happens quite frequently to me or someone else, and you’re made to feel guilty if you don’t switch. Kindly keep your original seat, and ask once you’re seated. Most people will switch, although it should be a similar type seat: Aisle to aisle or window to window.
My connecting flight from CLT to PIT was shorter, but still a bit out of the ordinary. While the northeast was getting hammered with a blizzard, we were a bit west of the mess, but still had a bumpy flight with snow and low visibility. About a half hour before the flight landed, the lead Flight Attendant asked everyone to completely turn off all electronic devices (not airplane mode) as the visibility was very poor, and the flight would land via the ‘Auto Land feature’. I had never heard this before, although I heard it rumored that a plane can land by itself in certain conditions. If Pilot Steve ‘Dos’ is reading, perhaps he can chime in on this.
I must say, it made me feel a bit uneasy having a computer land the plane, working in the information technology business, and seeing how things can go wrong. Fortunately we landed safely, and I can blog about this.