Observations While Flying

No matter how early a flight departs — 6:40am from SeaTac to EWR, in this case — someone in biz class always orders a drink because the liquor is free. Usually, that first drink is followed by many others. After all, the drinker is likely to announce in a loud voice to anyone who can’t help overhearing, it’s noon somewhere. Male. Bulkhead seat. Screwdrivers. A lot of them.

United offers a pretty decent breakfast in biz class, but like all airline food, it’s prepackaged with no chance to customize. My flight offered three choices, all of which started with a fresh fruit plate, cup of low-fat Greek yogurt, and a warm croissant or cinnamon role. The woman in the seat across the aisle turned down the fruit because the flight attendant couldn’t certify that the fruit was organic. Were the Cheerios gluten free? The flight attendant didn’t know, but thought not. The woman ordered the omelet, which came with a few flakes of dried green onion on top. I got the omelet too, and if I hadn’t wanted the onion, the flakes were easily flicked off with a fork. Nah. The omelet went back, in favor of cheese blintzes with ham. That, apparently, passed the test. There were 12 of us in biz class, and 11 of us were low maintenance and agreeable to the single flight attendant charged with our care.

Planes used to have movie screens that came down from the overhead panel. The the movie screens migrated to the back of the seat in front. Sometimes, the screen was a device handed out from a cart: free in biz class, for rent in coach. Now, the plane has WiFi. You download the app, and watch movies on your phone or IPad or Chromebook. More and more is migrating to phone apps. I still bring my computer on trips, because writing my blog posts on my phone is harder than using a keypad. But I can see the way the tech world is going.

Have arrived safely at my hotel, just off campus.

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