Not long ago, I spent a week at a wellness center in Tecate, Mexico. It was heaven on earth. On my return from this gorgeous place of natural beauty, healthy foods, and peace of mind, I was in high spirits. In fact, at the airport (U.S. side), I actively looked to see something beautiful, say something beautiful, and hear something beautiful. Typically, when I’m at the gate, I watch the passengers like a hawk, spot the potentially difficult humans and wish they don’t sit next to me. Not on that day. I was so high I could actually see the goodness in everyone.
The boarding announcement began with the usual: “Ladies and gentleman, we are going to begin the boarding process, etc, etc. It’s a full flight and your cooperation is greatly appreciated. This is one of our new planes…” Before some of us positive spirited folk could finish thinking the ooh part of ooh la la, she ended with,” which means the overhead compartments are smaller than normal.” So hang on. You charge us for checked bags, yet have no room for carry ons?
It gets better. We boarded the plane and who sat next to me but the tallest Mexican man on earth. He was in the middle seat and didn’t exactly know what to do with his legs. We agreed he’d put one on my side. Just then I realized what was going on. I remember reading an article about how the by decreasing the amount of incline and space between the rows, the airline added one whole row, which added millions of dollars to their annual revenue.
What does that mean for you and I?
Well it means a tall man’s limbs spill over to your side, his elbows and knees touching yours. Ordinarily I would start having rage filled fantasies. Not on that day, though. Oh no. Nothing was going to bring me down. Let me say we were on a 3 and ½ hour flight. Just imagine what he must have been going through. I forgot to mention we were in front of the exit row, which means the seats did not incline. That’s right. We had no were to go while the folks in front of us squished us even more as they were hit by a need for rest.
Now, I know Louis C.K. did a bit about being grateful that we can fly, but let’s be reasonable. We started flying in 1903, thanks to the Wright brothers. Shouldn’t we focus on improving? Aside from the blankets, which are reused, anything you want costs you extra.
This was the first trip to the United States for my tall neighbor. It was embarrassing to tell him about the way of the airlines here:
– On short flights there is no food or drink. On long ones, you pay as you go: headset, movie, food. You even pay for the way the almighty created you. If you are tall and need more legroom, you pay.
– Here in the U.S.we believe in everything extra large except for plane seats. Those we like petite. Furthermore, we find inclined seats passé.
– Also, you land at the exact time your connecting flights takes off.
Good luck. You’ll be fine. Welcome to the united states friend.
Once we were done with the educational conversation, I decided to use the bathroom before they started to charge us for those too. This one had a hot water faucet (bonus), though I noticed something different about sink. There was no stopper on the drain and the water just sat there. New plane must have a fancy button hidden and I’m just not clever enough to find it. Finally, I asked the attendant. “Oh these planes don’t have one. The sinks empty automatically and they are S-L-O-W.”
So ladies and gents I present to you the new and improved delta planes:
No overhead compartments, narrow seats, no legroom, and bathroom sinks full of soapy water. But you can keep your cell phone on and they have Wifi access, for a fee of course.
Tempted to fly yet?
Mid-flight I woke up from a nap, arms and legs touching my amigo’s. The level of intimacy filled me with an odd sense of guilt. When I noticed our breaths had even synchronized, I felt like I was cheating on my partner.