Hurray for First Class

Not only does British Air offer free espresso (and stronger beverages, no doubt) in its lounge, they have (free) Internet access as well. Oh joy.

The film festival group bringing my mother and me over to Italy had at first offered just one 1st Class ticket and one coach but they upgraded the lower ticket earlier this week which relieved me no end: the thought of my poor 85-year-old mama suffering in a cramped little coach seat would have taken some of the enjoyment out of my own flight. Fortunately, she can now join me in the front of the plane.

Airport security is as ridiculous as I remember it – frisking a white-haired lady in a wheelchair while her own disreputable looking son passes through unremarked upon doesn’t make sense to me but then, I don’t believe any of this nonsense is meant for anything but show. When Rep. Charles Dingall crowed about his artificial hip setting off an alarm and generating a pat-down some years ago he said it was a sign that airport security post 9/11 was working. I thought it was a sign of the total ineffectiveness of the program and a sign of worse to come. I was right, Dingbat was wrong. Gosh.

Anyway, the flight leaves shortly and no doubt I’ll have to shut this off so I don’t interfere with the aircraft’s shielded electronics. Do you believe that’s necessary? I don’t. If business travellers’ laptops are outlawed only outlaws … oh never mind.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Hurray for First Class

  1. Helsa Poppin

    I know quite a few elderly women who have been stopped and searched by airport security. My theory about it is that they keep demographic records on these things to preempt charges of racial profiling and prejudice. However, they still engage in racial profiling, so how to disguise it? Simple: For every young ethnic man they search, they have to find someone as opposite as possible on these parameters in order to balance out the statistics. Hence, they search elderly white women. When you mix all the data together, it looks like a random cross-section of the population, when in reality, the two subgroups probably account for most of the searches. Cynical, huh?

  2. realitycheck

    Of course, you could have offered your sainted mother the first class seat first, then your conscience would have been clear. Just a thought.

    • christopherfountain

      Reality check, are you Greenwich Girl writing under a pen name? My comment, of course, was meant in jest.

  3. FlyAngler

    Chris:

    Turning off cell phones has nothing to do with interfering with avionics. It is an issue of screwing up the cell phone networks.

    Seems at low to mid altitudes, the cell phones on the plane can still reach the terrestrial towers. At flight speeds the towers can’t hand off from one to the other. Consider the number of phones that can be on a single plane and you can see how a tower can become overwhelmed which then has an impact in the network. And no, the signal transfer algorythms are not fast enough to compensate.

    Don’t believe it? As on professional pilot told me years ago, when you see a pilot walk the aisle with a RF meter in hand searching out active phones, you will know HE is worried.

  4. cos cobber

    Flying commercial? How quaint, how rustic!

    I think most of your readership flys private, even in the economy.

  5. Anonymous

    I managed during your trip to Montauk, so I will last again….

    Besides, I’m meeting Glen Beck tonight at his book signing. My children are massively excited. They think that he’s the President, (except for the one in the White House).

    Hurry back. I miss you already.

  6. West Side Lackey

    Chris, in case you didnt get the memo, those guys who ran their little 9/11 show have already won the war. Full stop.

    They managed to succeed in making day to day air travel for every American citizen a total nightmare. For those of us that make our livings traveling around and living in airport lounges, it really sucks.

    Now, having said, I just flew Air France to Paris and have to say that their service level, as well as other European airlines such as Alitalia and Virgin America (even in couch), is incomparable when compared to the “chicken or beef…chicken or beef” style of American airlines….enjoy Italy!

  7. Greenwich Gal

    Gasp! Is someone making fun of me? CF?

  8. Towny

    Does the film festival include “Throw Mama from the Train”?