Observations at 30,000 ft.

My life as a creative in advertising often requires me to fly around the country. Let me stop you before your imagination takes you to the place people often go when thinking about the advertising world. Which is usually a mishmash of Mad Men and scenes from Studio 54. I think those days went away about the same time grunge deposed hair metal.

I do, however, appreciate and recognize how cool my job is compared to other lines of work. And I’m reminded of this every time I fly and glance at what is on other people’s laptops. Spreadsheets, depositions, analytical reports. Barf.

But hey, someone’s gotta work on Q3 forecasts and projections to ensure ROI is quanti…..zzzzzz

All that aside, I love people watching on flights so here are some of my opinionated observations:

- Walking down the aisle of a plane, older people lose all sense of how ascending numbers work. “This is row 10, oh this one is 11, hey, here’s 12!!” Imagine that all the way to row 32.

- White businessmen with the Exec Platinum luggage tag, we get it. You’re a big deal, and a dork.

- Any guy using a horse collar neck pillow on a plane, you are also a dork. It’s the human equivalent of a dog cone.

- Pervy guy trying to make time with the flight attendant. They aren’t into you, despite whatever tips you read in Maxim magazine.

- When I walk back from the lavatory I see a sea of glowing tablet screens. Everyone is hunkered over watching a movie. And Jason Statham is somehow starring in half of them.

- Coffee on a plane is terrible. I’m certain that they are brewing up old rations from WWII.

- How has a consultancy firm not come up with a solution for stowing carry on bags? Here’s one, assign overhead space to the seat. Bam! $6MM please.

- To the guy who sighs loudly and says stuff like “well that’s just great” if there is a delay. Calm down buddy. Yes, the world IS plotting against you, everyone else on this flight is part of the conspiracy group and our mission is to make sure you’re 20 minutes late getting to Kansas City. 

- I sat across from a woman one time who literally made a pastrami and coleslaw sandwich with ingredients she brought in baggies and Tupperware. Don’t do this. No one will like you.

- Who is ordering enough crap from SkyMall to keep it in business? It’s probably neck pillow guy.

- People flying to the west coast seem happy. People flying to the Midwest seem beaten down. People flying to the East Coast seem happy they aren’t flying to the Midwest.

- I’ve seen dozens of generic business guys sheepishly busying themselves as a soldier is carrying their rucksack back to their seat in 34F. Suck it up and give them your seat. It will make you feel better about the “I support the troops” sticker you have on your car.

- You know someone is bored out of their mind if they are actually looking over the safety card.

- People have forgotten that you can actually carry your bag instead of rolling it down the aisle, hitting…every…single…seat…along…the…way.

- There is no way to wear a surgical mask on a plane without creeping everyone out. Even if it has Hello Kitty on it.

- When I read a magazine on an airplane, it feels like there are triple the amount of subscription cards that fall out.

- I’ve never had a bad flight when the captain has a mustache. Just sayin’.

Thanks, and I look forward to introspectively judging you on my next flight. Bon voyage!

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  • reply Scarydad ,

    I have my own idea for the carry on bag problem: Remove half of it, and the half that’s left is at the back of the plane. Carry on bag holders board first, and deplane last. First class? Have a giant carry on? Back of the plane. We now have an open seat in First Class.

    I don’t travel often but I do it often enough to know that carry on bags are a supreme pain in the ass. There’s rarely enough room for it all, and people will stand there like lobotomized lummox until the row clears, and THEN decide to wrestle their crap out of the compartment, leaving everyone else stuck on the plane. To them I say that if you are unclear on the concept of air travel, get thine ass to the back of the plane and let the rest of us off this thing.

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