After selling both of our cars four years ago, Tara and I have flown a disproportionate amount compared to the rest of our lives since coming to New York — enough to offer some flying tips. I can say, for starters, don’t fly United or American and, frankly, John Oliver was right to say that corporate consolidation is ruining customer experience.
However, there are a couple of flying tips I only discovered this year that would have drastically changed how we flew since 2013. One of them is bereavement discounts. My family had to spend probably $2,000 on flights back to the midwest so that I could perform a couple of eulogies. Apparently, Delta does bereavement discounts which would have been wonderful to know back then. If you are flying to attend or perform a funeral, call this number for a Delta discount:
- 800-221-1212 (domestic travel)
- 800-241-4141 (international travel)
Obvious flying tips we missed until recently:
- Apparently support dogs can be carried in the lap.
- We keep forgetting to book in the exit aisle for leg room. Though now, due to corporate consolidation, they’re literally charging extra for you to pick your damn seat. I mean $3 extra on Megabus is one thing, but $50?
- CPAPs work on plane outlets, but the flight needs to be bigger than these one-stop pond hoppers like you get flying LGA – XNA or LGA – STL. Don’t forget to buy a water bottle at the counter — they won’t let you bring a jug of distilled. But worked great for the Alaska redeye flights.
- Uniball pens explode. Often.
- LAMY pens do not.
- Though Laguardia’s Delta check-in desk is awful, Delta’s customer service line has been the best we’ve dealt with and has drastically made up for the check-in desk’s failings.
- TSA is still getting worse, still more invasive of person and privacy, still doing everything they can to assemble a massive surveillance state post-9/11 that continues to make people feel more and more insecure and it will not get better until the sort of massive protests we saw for the Muslim ban happen for security checkpoints in general — they objectively do not prevent terrorism. Oh and did you know the TSA did not exist until after 9/11? Because it didn’t. So the surveillance army established in reaction to unpreventable aviation terrorism does not prevent aviation terrorism.
- Of course now they want to charge you for retinal scans, so I suppose it’s nice to know while they’re logging your biometric cloud and holding for blackmail until the end of time, at least you’re paying them a premium for the kindness. In Southern Illinois, we used to call this “pissing on me and calling it rain.”
No, seriously, I’m not joking. They’re literally charging people for retinal scans:
Of course with all the data we’ve already paid companies to hoard through social media and iPhones, I suppose the biggest modern fallacy is “If the customer is always right and I’m a paying customer, therefore the thing I’m buying can’t be wrong.” I won’t even deign to respond to kind of logic whose only defensible premise is literally “I’m a paying customer.” God, how I wish infosec was taught in public school.
As for future planes, we have this to look forward to:
…Though you’d think with all of that fancy, Airbus would at very least start connecting the pilot’s steering wheel straight into the wing flaps so that, as with Boeing, you have an analog backup redundancy if the digital controls go out, just like on a car. #Ifitaintboeingiaintgoing
Of course there are all the rumors about the electric airplanes so we have that to look forward to. Until then, I recommend voluntary carbon taxes.