All that Jazz
Not sure whether to laugh at this or not – it’s so bizarre. Due to rising fuel costs, some airlines have their passengers buy food onboard (hello? Iberia that would be you. And BTW, you haven’t contacted me yet).
So we cough up a lot of money to buy an airline ticket (particularly if you live in the “arse end of the world” as our former PM, Paul Keating once quipped). And now we’re expected to cough up more to buy refreshments. What’s next? Bring your own cutlery?
I do find it amusing that airlines give you a plastic knife, hoping to bypass any terrorists stabbing people, but still give you a metal fork, which to me seems a pretty good stabbing instrument. Now, I’m reading that an airline in Canada – a regional carrier by the name of Jazz – is removing life vests from all its planes in order to save weight (around 25kg) and fuel. Not sure I’d travel with an airline with that name anyway but I’m wondering if passengers are being asked to either (a) bring along their own life vests or (b) perhaps bring a plush cushion or two along as they could make handy flotation devices.
Jazz is apparently now telling passengers that should the aircraft be hurtling earthwards, they are to rip out the seats and use these as safety equipment. What the? I don’t know too much about Jazz as this is the first time I’ve heard of them. I’m presuming their flight paths don’t cross over oceans because if you’re about to hit the water, a life vest might just come in handy.
Mind you, this article says that Jazz planes cross Canada and the US. A quick look at the atlas tells me that Jazz might have to fly over the Great Lakes (unless of course, global warming has sucked up the water and made the lakes dry, ergo Jazz is not crossing water). Jazz must think we’re all awfully good swimmers too – a’la Michael Phelps – because apparently Transport Canada regulations allow carriers that fly within 50 nautical miles of shore to use flotation devices instead of vests. So if the plane comes down 49 nautical miles from dry land, well no worries, just rip out your seat cushion, kick awfully fast and head towards shore!
Frankly, I think this grabbing for money by airlines is bordering on obscene. We’ve all heard about the fiasco of JetBlue Airways, a US carrier, charging passengers US$7.00 for the luxury of having a blanket and pillow. The argument being that it’s eco-friendly, you can reuse the pillow and blanket, which are now your very own, on your next JetBlue flight. When it comes to messing around with safety equipment like life-vests, that has me really worried.
So I thought it best to prepare the ThinkingShift Survival Kit When Flying. It would consist of:
- your own doona and pillow – heck if you’re not going to be given blankets and pillows, why buy them from the airline when you can bring your own super comfortable doona and extra-fluffy pillows?
- favourite mug and thermos full of steaming hot tea or coffee – if like me you’ve had enough of purchasing airline food/refreshments and consider airline tea “overstewed”, then bring your own!
- cutlery – who wants the plastic stuff. Toss in some plates too.
- toilet paper – think ahead, airlines will probably charge per sheet soon!
- flotation devices – if the airline isn’t providing them well…actually I can see opportunities here. Perhaps Hello Kitty! decorated flotation devices could be purchased Duty Free. If you’re going to be floating aimlessly around some ocean, you may as well look good.
- perhaps a screwdriver or spanner for ripping out that seat cushion in a hurry
- lipgloss – never forget the lipgloss!
And here is the Jazz passenger safety card, which shows you how to rip out your seat cushion and swim to shore: