Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On board AA

Tuesday got off on a rough start. I woke up at 5 when I really could have managed it all even if I had hit snooze on the alarm set at 7 a few times. Then a very inefficient American Airlines rep made me shell out a whopping $450 out of nowhere for the little one (who’s under 2 for the record) for a ticket category that she totally made up on the spot – lapticket, which for the gullible means free ticket, sure but you still gotta please Uncle Sam. And they say we’re not frighteningly close to being a socialist country. Yeah right.

On the short 3 hour flight to Dallas, I was doing the usual – familiarizing myself with environment. A guy on expense (who immediately bought in-flight internet and wine and spent a majority of time playing online poker amidst sending some e-mails from Outlook), an obese woman (admiring her double cheese sandwich), a hippie traveler (with large hair and several piercings who didn’t mind the air on her with full force when everyone else (I) was freezing), an Indian nerdy gentleman (with thick glasses who kept himself busy with thick reports) and the guy who slept with his mouth so wide open, I could have slid a giant koi into it.

As I flipped a page of the novel I was reading, I read something interesting. One of the characters, a strategy consultant was recommending his client, an airline, that they use intelligence to assign seating to their customers on the flight. It’s no secret that at the click of a button, we all become a bunch of demographics – female, under 30, single, no kids, 125k income, property range of 250-500k, domestic traveler, orders home gym shopping catalogue, you get the point. The airline had built their business on price alone and the consultant was convincing the airline that it’d do wonders for them to market the idea of ‘human togetherness’. Which basically translated into seating like-minded people together without their knowledge to create a better travel experience. I couldn’t help think if it was to get implemented. Yes I might learn some new tricks of handling toddler tantrums if I was automatically seated next to another mommy and yes our kids could collectively cry in unison and no one would give us a dirty look but what would happen to all my fun observations? I need variety to survive! Don’t you?

I opened the flimsy plastic window shade to look out. The brightness from the thick cloud layer almost blinded me. With a mouth so dry that I couldn’t even swallow, I kept wondering. It didn’t look dreamy. The infinite vastness of the space made me uneasy. I think I might like confinement more than I think I like it. It was a slightly shocking realization. May be I just need some sleep and my $450 back. There’s so much I could do with that money. Aah the possibilities.

The little fat thing bounced on me one more time. Time to sign off. Have a safe one.

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