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Air travel rant
Old 09-14-2007, 07:42 PM   #1
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Air travel rant

There's a lot to rant about in air travel, but my pet peeve is about in-flight movies. I like geography, and always try to get a window seat on the plane so I can enjoy looking out and identifying landmarks when the weather is clear. But it seems that on most long flights now they show a movie, which I rarely care about, and ask those sitting in the window to please lower their shade so the movie can be seen better. I sometimes lower it a little bit, but refuse to place myself in the dark so those of us who don't enjoy the window view can see something they can rent on a DVD and watch at home. I appreciate that watching a movie can make the flight seem faster but, for me, looking out the window is my pleasure as I enjoy the couple of packs of peanuts we're fed. No one has ever forced me to lower my shade, or even asked me, but I always feel a bit peculiar especially when I'm the only one.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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Bring along a GPS and a camera. Then people can see that you are really serious about looking out the window.
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SoonToRetire View Post
There's a lot to rant about in air travel, but my pet peeve is about in-flight movies.
I'm with you STR, I would much rather look out the window and wonder at the scene below. My most recent experience on United, an east-west across the continent trip, included "Spider Man 3"...an incredibly pathetic waste of anyone's time. Fortunately, both my row-mates were more interested in their laptops than the movie. I was polite, asked them if the open shade was a problem, we all ordered a beer and toasted our employers.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:36 PM   #4
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If I may, here's my air travel rant: Spirit Airlines is selling seats on most of their flights at insanely low prices. My DD snagged a round trip to New York for $100 -- the closest fare on Northwest was $255. So far, so good. She gets to the airport and has to check one bag as she needed to bring more than just a carry-on bag due to the length of time she would be in NY. No problem, that will be $10. Per bag checked, per flight. Maybe Spirit advertised this new add-on fee, but it certainly wasn't anywhere on the ticket. She still came out ahead by flying Spirit, but these "hidden" fees are getting out of hand...$5 for the boxed snack; $7 for the boxed lunch; $10 for checking a bag; $$ for a paper ticket; what's next??
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Achiever51 View Post
If I may, here's my air travel rant: Spirit Airlines is selling seats on most of their flights at insanely low prices. My DD snagged a round trip to New York for $100 -- the closest fare on Northwest was $255. So far, so good. She gets to the airport and has to check one bag as she needed to bring more than just a carry-on bag due to the length of time she would be in NY. No problem, that will be $10. Per bag checked, per flight. Maybe Spirit advertised this new add-on fee, but it certainly wasn't anywhere on the ticket. She still came out ahead by flying Spirit, but these "hidden" fees are getting out of hand...$5 for the boxed snack; $7 for the boxed lunch; $10 for checking a bag; $$ for a paper ticket; what's next??
Hope she didn't need to use the restroom... that would probably be $5.

Or a $10 exit fee to retrieve the bag that was checked.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:11 AM   #6
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Bring along a GPS and a camera. Then people can see that you are really serious about looking out the window.
Hey, I used to do that pre-9/11. I would put my Garmin up to the window, run the cable to my PC, open up a mapping program that used live GPS feeds, and correlate what I was seeing against the maps. If I saw something interesting that I might want to visit on the ground I would mark it on the map. I'd love to do that again, but this time with Google Earth scenes. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I'd have a sky marshall in my face and a full glove inspection if they saw a device stuck on a window with a wire running from it


NotSoon, yeah I also was subjected to Spider Man 3. I would not have pulled the shades down to watch that trash even on a cloudy day.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:20 AM   #7
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Hope she didn't need to use the restroom... that would probably be $5.
It's actually a tiered fee. The minimum charge is $5 but can increase due to a number of factors including, but not limited to:

-length of time using the restroom
-squares of toilet paper used
-number of flight attendants who acknowledged your presence on the way to the restroom.
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SoonToRetire View Post
There's a lot to rant about in air travel, but my pet peeve is about in-flight movies. I like geography, and always try to get a window seat on the plane so I can enjoy looking out and identifying landmarks when the weather is clear. But it seems that on most long flights now they show a movie, which I rarely care about, and ask those sitting in the window to please lower their shade so the movie can be seen better. I sometimes lower it a little bit, but refuse to place myself in the dark so those of us who don't enjoy the window view can see something they can rent on a DVD and watch at home. I appreciate that watching a movie can make the flight seem faster but, for me, looking out the window is my pleasure as I enjoy the couple of packs of peanuts we're fed. No one has ever forced me to lower my shade, or even asked me, but I always feel a bit peculiar especially when I'm the only one.
Wow, selfish much? What makes your view out the window more entitled than the person who wants to watch the movie? (the percieved tone of this post really annoyed me)

I'm going to guess you don't fly often. Therefore, it's a novelty to you to track where you are from the sky. For me and others on your flight who fly all the time (150,000+ miles per year) the novelty wore off a long time ago. Flying is a way to get me from point A to point B.

But I try to remember that there are also people on my flight who have never been overseas, may never go again, or maybe never flown before.

As long as you're not kicking my seat then I try to be tolerant of whatever it is you're doing. I always have an eyemask, if you want to leave your shade up. I have noise-cancelling headphones, if you want to yak with your neighbor. Flight is more enjoyable for me and for you.

BTW - For flights with individual televisions in the seats, they don't make this request, only for the common movie screen flights.

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Originally Posted by Achiever51 View Post
If I may, here's my air travel rant: Spirit Airlines is selling seats on most of their flights at insanely low prices. My DD snagged a round trip to New York for $100 -- the closest fare on Northwest was $255. So far, so good. She gets to the airport and has to check one bag as she needed to bring more than just a carry-on bag due to the length of time she would be in NY. No problem, that will be $10. Per bag checked, per flight. Maybe Spirit advertised this new add-on fee, but it certainly wasn't anywhere on the ticket. She still came out ahead by flying Spirit, but these "hidden" fees are getting out of hand...$5 for the boxed snack; $7 for the boxed lunch; $10 for checking a bag; $$ for a paper ticket; what's next??
Sounds like the Ryan Air or EasyJet model. That's how they keep their ticket prices low. It's a low cost airline, which means when you bought your ticket, you bought a seat on the flight. You didn't buy space for your luggage, food, snacks, etc. For traditional carriers it's included in the ticket price, not so on a budget airline.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:15 PM   #9
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Wow, selfish much? What makes your view out the window more entitled than the person who wants to watch the movie? (the percieved tone of this post really annoyed me)
Thanks for letting me understand (?) the other side.
Where do I begin? Let me count the ways.
#1. You can watch the movie 95% well with my window open, I can't see the ground at all with my window closed, so I detract slightly from your right, you remove my right completely.
#2. You and I both pay for a plane flight. Planes have windows. If I wanted to fly in a closed plane I would get back in Air Force C130 cargos.
#3. I did not ask to watch a movie, so why should you tell me what I should do in order to let you watch a movie I have no interest in.
#4.... forget it.

Quote:
I'm going to guess you don't fly often. Therefore, it's a novelty to you to track where you are from the sky. For me and others on your flight who fly all the time (150,000+ miles per year) the novelty wore off a long time ago. Flying is a way to get me from point A to point B.
Guess again. I just checked my frequent flyer numbers and even though I've used plenty of free miles I still have 280,000 miles in my balance. I regularly qualify for elite levels each year based on mileage, and just happened to have returned from consecutive coast to coast flights in the last month. I also served in the AF for 20+ years, and to me flight is much more than getting from A to B, it's a chance to see our planet from an unusual aspect. If you don't want to look out my window I will give you that choice. I just ask for the choice to be able to look out my own window.

Quote:
But I try to remember that there are also people on my flight who have never been overseas, may never go again, or maybe never flown before.
May you never have to see the overseas places I've been stuck in had the pleasure to visit.

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As long as you're not kicking my seat then I try to be tolerant of whatever it is you're doing. I always have an eyemask, if you want to leave your shade up. I have noise-cancelling headphones, if you want to yak with your neighbor. Flight is more enjoyable for me and for you.
So in that case why should it bother you if I have my window shade up?
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Old 09-15-2007, 01:25 PM   #10
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So in that case why should it bother you if I have my window shade up?
It dosen't, but this sound very judgemental of those who wish to watch the movie (which isn't me).

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but refuse to place myself in the dark so those of us who don't enjoy the window view can see something they can rent on a DVD and watch at home.
Sorry I thought when you said long-haul flight in the OP that you were speaking of overseas flights. Which is what I call long-haul, routinely find myself on and what I based the response on. (is 6 hours really considered long-haul?)
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:02 PM   #11
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Sorry I thought when you said long-haul flight in the OP that you were speaking of overseas flights. Which is what I call long-haul, routinely find myself on and what I based the response on. (is 6 hours really considered long-haul?)
No, even I usually close the shade on boring flights over the ocean. But when one is flying over, say the Grand Canyon, and is asked to lower the shades so some idiot movie fan can watch Spider Man 3, that raises my blood pressure. I've seen the GC lots of times, but every time is like a new experience. I also like to scout out land areas that I may want to revisit for vacation or relocation someday, especially remote lakes. And one never knows what might be seen. Two of my favorites were on night flights: On one we were fortunate to see a rare aurora borealis that reached as far south as the central U.S. On another, on the 4th of July I observed numerous fireworks below, as our flight followed the setting sun to the west.
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:59 AM   #12
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I agree with SoontoRetire! I love gazing out the window. I like the sense of "transition" and opportunity for silent contemplation.

Compare the number of occasions you get to see features of the earth from miles above, versus the opportunities you get to see a crappy movie on a crappy screen. Some people just don't "get it". I still get burned up over a trip to Manhattan prob. about 25 years ago. I wanted to go see Sarah Vaughn live at the Village Vanguard or some such, and my then-BF and his family wanted... to go to the movies. Guess who got overruled. You can take the potato off the couch, but you can't take the couch out of the potato, I guess.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:45 AM   #13
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No, even I usually close the shade on boring flights over the ocean. But when one is flying over, say the Grand Canyon, and is asked to lower the shades so some idiot movie fan can watch Spider Man 3, that raises my blood pressure. I've seen the GC lots of times, but every time is like a new experience. I also like to scout out land areas that I may want to revisit for vacation or relocation someday, especially remote lakes. And one never knows what might be seen. Two of my favorites were on night flights: On one we were fortunate to see a rare aurora borealis that reached as far south as the central U.S. On another, on the 4th of July I observed numerous fireworks below, as our flight followed the setting sun to the west.
I actually agree with your subsequent clarifications. But you originally said long-haul, which wasn't what you meant apparently. Long-haul versus domestic is worlds of difference. I'm actually suprised the attendents requested the shades lowered on a domestic flight. I just don't think it a long enough flight to justify it.

I've also seen fireworks from the sky on the 4th of July and enjoyed them very much.
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:53 AM   #14
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Last flight to the US, the airline (Continental) actually charged for alcoholic drinks. What is the world coming to? They fed us a ridiculous amount of food, but one less meal in exchange for a bottle or two of wine would have been appreciated if they are having cash-flow problems. I'm not interested in either watching either Ocean's 23 or the ever-changing Pacific Ocean, but can use any help I can get in getting some shut-eye on the way.
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:22 PM   #15
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I agree with SoontoRetire! I love gazing out the window. I like the sense of "transition" and opportunity for silent contemplation.
Me, three. always request a window seat.

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Compare the number of occasions you get to see features of the earth from miles above, versus the opportunities you get to see a crappy movie on a crappy screen. Some people just don't "get it". I still get burned up over a trip to Manhattan prob. about 25 years ago. I wanted to go see Sarah Vaughn live at the Village Vanguard or some such, and my then-BF and his family wanted... to go to the movies. Guess who got overruled. You can take the potato off the couch, but you can't take the couch out of the potato, I guess.
As part of the planning for my high school's senior trip, one option was to see "Jesus Christ Superstar" on Broadway. Alas, this proved to be too controversial for our small-town, Protestant sensibilities... At least I ended up seeing a performance of "Up With People" in Carnegie Hall. Most chose the circus in MSG...
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:59 PM   #16
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When I visited China, one of the highlights was our day at the Great Wall. One of the group decided he would rather hang out by the hotel pool. Idiot!
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:58 PM   #17
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I have never understood why people go to foreign lands and then do things they can always do at home -- like eat at McDonalds on the Champs Elysee.


P.S. - Meadbh: Every time I see your avatar, it makes my heart skip a beat. Here's to Audrey Hepburn -- far and away the most beautiful actress ever.
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:19 PM   #18
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I have never understood why people go to foreign lands and then do things they can always do at home -- like eat at McDonalds on the Champs Elysee.
The McDonald's on the Champs Elysee is a very convenient place to use the restroom -- free and clean, a hard combination to find in the area otherwise. That's why I went in there, anyhoo, and then 'paid' for my usage by purchasing a Diet Coke (which I wanted at that moment anyway, for the caffeine).

On 'long haul' flights, my principal goal is to sleep as much as possible. Benadryl works pretty well, plus ear plugs.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:10 AM   #19
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I have never understood why people go to foreign lands and then do things they can always do at home -- like eat at McDonalds on the Champs Elysee.
Ha ha! To bask in the glory of Empire, eating their Freedom Fries right under the snooty noses of the French!!! (like the commercial says: "Priceless.")

Seriously, they probably get such bad service and abuse in the regular restaurants they are relieved to just fork over the cash, get their food, and be left in peace. I know all the French aren't like this.. but traveling there with my sister we came in for random insults and unprovoked sniggering just sitting and minding our own business outside a museum.. I've traveled to other foreign countries and France is(was?) "different" in this way. Get the snapshots and flee, I say!
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:52 AM   #20
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The last time the young wife and I were in Paris, the people were courteous and helpful. But it was over ten years ago and things may have changed. (It is also helpful that I can speak French).

Maybe I have just been lucky, but I have been to a number of foreign countries and have yet to find people who were rude to me. In fact, when we went to Italy this summer, I was wondering whether we would get a cold reception as a consequence of our government's recent misadventures, but the people could not have been nicer to us.
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