The Unfriendly Skies: Nolan Dalla’s Flying Enemies List
The only thing worse than flying, is flying during the holiday season.
Seriously, could air travel be any less glamorous?
When I was a kid, I remember people used to get dressed up when they traveled by air. Fliers were polite. No one ever seemed to be in a rush. The seats were comfortable. There was plenty of leg room. The airlines served you a hot meal and it tasted good. Alcoholic beverages were free. You never paid additional charges and your luggage arrived on time. When there was a flight delay, the airline apologized and even put you up in a first-class hotel, when necessary.
Now, boarding a plane is pretty much like getting on a Greyhound bus — only with wings.
Flying is constant battle. You battle to find a decent fare. You battle to get a good seat assignment. You battle to get to the airport on time — at least two hours early. You battle to run the gauntlet through TSA screening without being strip searched. You battle to get into the right boarding group. You battle for precious overhead bin space. You battle for the armrest. You battle for peace and quiet during the flight. You battle to depart your row so as to exit the aircraft. You battle to claim your luggage. Then, once you’re out of the airport, you battle to get a taxi or a rental car.
Indeed, if flying has become a serious of battles, then I’m hereby declaring war!
NOLAN DALLA’S FLYING ENEMIES LIST
1. BIN HOGS — I realize the airlines now try to pork you for $30 per checked bag each way. But carry on abuse has become intolerable. Now, jackasses are hauling 50-pound suitcases down the aisles. Then, they heave the bone crushers into a tiny overhead bin space intended to be a storage area for purses and coats. I’m so sick of seeing these selfish pricks usurping every inch of storage space with bags the size of a Great Dane. It’s time for airlines to start enforcing carry-on size rules.
2. ARM REST THUGS — I paid the same $389 fare you did. So, move your fucking body part off my half of the arm rest. You’re not sitting at home in a Lazy Boy parked in front of the television. You’re in public. Try to act like a responsible adult.
3. BORING CONVERSATIONALISTS – I don’t want to hear your life story. I don’t want to hear your personal problems. I don’t give a rat’s ass what happened to you last week in Cleveland. I don’t care what your opinion is of the Redskins-Cowboys game. You’re on a cheap Southwest Airline flight just like me, pal. You’re not a guest on The David Letterman Show. Zip it.
4. JUNK FOOD SLOBS – An airline seat is not a an extension of a fast food restaurant. I’ve seen slobs board planes with chili dogs, hamburgers, slices of pizza, and chicken wings. Not only is the smell of your shitty food nauseating, you’re probably going to be passing gas over the entire state of Nebraska. Either try and lose a pound or two by going on a three-hour diet, or eat your fucking meal where it belongs — at home or in a restaurant.
5. INFANTS AND LOUD CHILDREN – If your kid can be as quiet as a sleeping cat tucked in a pet carrier, then it should be permitted to travel in coach. Otherwise, tranquilize it and stick it in cargo. Bet yet, drive next time. Why should 150 other passengers be subject to your wailing infant? It’s like being held hostage. Planes should have walled off sections in the back for anyone under the age of 12. Then again, some kids behave better than adults.
6. LOUD TALKERS — If you have to talk, it should be at a decibel level suitable for the next person to hear you — not the entire plane. Why must everyone else have to endure the selfish bore who blabbers on endlessly for five hours during a cross-country flight? Moreover, why does it seem the blabbermouth always speaks when the pilot is announcing the flight arrival time or your gate change information. Shut the fuck up!
7. LOUSY PACKERS – Once the overhead bin is shut and you’re buckled in your seat, prepare to camp there for the duration of the flight. I don’t you waking me up from my peaceful slumber just so you can crawl over two seats, re-open the overhead bin, and try to find your lipstick. Whatever your forgot to bring to your seat can wait. Sit there and be quiet.
8. LINE JUMPERS – There is a proper procession to “deplaning.” Those who board last, exit first. Front rows empty one by one, until every passenger leaves the aircraft. That’s what’s supposed to happen. But now, there is a new pest that deserves extermination. I’m talking about the line jumper. It’s usually the prick who boarded the plane with a 50-pound bag and who thinks his time is more valuable than yours or mine. As soon as the aircraft pulls into the gate, the ass joker springs out of his seat and starts mowing down the aisle, totally oblivious to the codes of passenger conduct. The irony is that these rude people don’t really save any time, as they have to wait for the same exact train back to the main terminal as everyone else.
9. SHITTERS — I know this will disgust some people. But something has to be done. There’s nothing worse that being belted into one of the last rows on the plane, only to have some rube enter the restroom cubicle and take a dump that requires a gas mask. Have some human decency. I realize that some emergencies come up. But please try and do your business before boarding the aircraft. There’s nothing more nauseating that being served meatloaf for dinner only to get a whiff of the remnants of what you had for dinner last night in Detroit.
10. CELL PHONE SNOBS – Making a quick last-second phone call is okay. Texting someone to pick you up in 20 minutes is acceptable. Instantly reaching for your cell phone the moment the aircraft hits the runway and then gabbing away about absolutely nothing while the plane taxis all the way to the gate is not. Unless you’re a heart surgeon and the operating room is waiting for our arrival, please spare those around you. No one wants to listen to your trivial conversation.
11. OVERLY FRIENDLY PILOTS — I don’t want to be greeted by the airline pilot, either when boarding or deplaning. You are responsible for a couple of hundred lives based on what you do in the cockpit. You’re not the official greeter for the airline. Before an aging 30-year-old 727 roars down a runway with refurbished parts installed by an outsourced to a labor pool that pays flight mechanics $17-an-hour and hurls me 38,000 feet into the sky, I want your eyes on the instruments. I don’t want you saying hello to me or looking at the hot girl’s ass sitting in 16-C. Drive the bus and don’t worry about making friends. We’re paying you to get safely from Point A to Point B, not to make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
12. BAGGAGE BLOCKERS — Now here this. Standing an inch from the luggage carousel is not going to make your bag arrive faster. The problem is — you stand right next to the carousel along with 80 other jackasses, and then no one can see which bags are on the belt ready to be claimed. Even worse, if we happen to be trapped behind you and suddenly see our bag, we have to shove your fat ass out of the way to reach the handle, or else wait 6 minutes until it comes around again on the next orbit. Unless your bag approaching is on the carousel, move out of the fucking way!
Photo Caption: This stupid bitch should be thrown out of the aircraft without a parachute, along with her big-ass bag!
Photo Caption: What asshole takes up this much room for a single bag?
NOLAN DALLA’S TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR FLYING
1. PAY THE EXTRA FEES – Whatever it costs to get additional leg room or early boarding privileges, it’s worth every penny.
2. DRESS KNOWING YOU’LL HAVE TO DISROBE AT SOME POINT — Why do some people wear laced-up boots, fancy belts, tons of jewelry, and other bulky items sure to get flagged by TSA and block the entire line? Act like you’ve gone through a metal detector before.
3. BRING AN IPOD AND EARPHONES — A plane can and should be a quiet sanctuary. Use it.
4. CLAIM YOUR RIGHTFUL TERRITORY — You;re entitled to one-third of the overhead bin space and half of the arm rest (or the full arm rest half the duration of the flight). I suggest making an advance deal with your seat mate. He gets the armrest from Atlanta to Kansas City. You get the arm rest from Kansas City to Los Angeles.
5. SIT NEXT TO ASIANS — If the flight has open seating, always try and nab the seat next right to an Asian. Even better — an Asian woman. Even better still — an old Asian woman. Seriously, have you ever seen an old Asian woman make trouble? Asians are the perfect flying companions. They don’t take up much row space and don’t talk during the flight.
6. AVOID SITTING NEXT TO SOUTHERNERS — Contrary to Asians, Southerners are often loud, obnoxious, and uncivil. They also tend to vote Republican. If you happen to be flying into Birmingham, you’re probably fucked.
7. BRING EXTRA READING MATERIAL — You can never have enough books, magazines, and newspapers when flying. I refuse to board an aircraft without something to read. Once, I made the mistake of bringing a single newspaper on what I thought would be a short flight. The plane sat on the tarmac fro three hours at Washington National before finally taking off. In that time span, I read the newspaper twice, including the “Want Ads.” You know you’ve exhausted all your reading material when you find yourself reading the “Public Notices” section of the local newspaper. Now, I always fly with literary reinforcements.
8. CLOSE THE WINDOW SHADE — After take off, there’s little to see outside. Sure, if the plane flies over the Grand Canyon, have a look. But Northern Louisiana looks pretty much like Southern Indiana. There’s nothing to look at. So, give everyone on the flight a break and shut the window shade. I don’t want to sit there and have the blazing sun in my face for five hours.
9. BRING BREATH MINTS — We’re going to be sitting within inches of complete strangers, perhaps for hours. Have some courtesy. No one wants to smell your skunk breath or get a whiff of the liver and onions you wolfed down for lunch. Please have some mercy and pop a few breath mints.
10. TO BE DETERMINED — I always forget a few of things. If you have some good advice, please share it with readers in the “comments” section.