Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cell No!

This week the FCC announced that they are considering allowing passengers to use cell phones while in flight. The response has not been very positive. 

Dear FCC, let me set the scene for you…

Imagine: You arrive at the airport the recommended 3 hours early. You stand in a line rivaled only by Disney’s Space Mountain. It moves forward a few steps every fifteen minutes. It’s hellacious hot because you’re traveling from Los Angeles (a balmy 70 degrees) to New York (a biting 20 degrees with a real feel temp of 7) and are wearing your winter coat (so you don’t have to try to stuff it into your carry-on filled with electronics and food).

You finally get to the counter, only to have to wait while the ticket agent argues with a be-dazzled woman. Said glitterati is confused as to why Mojo, the ‘tea cup Yorkie’ in a carrier, will be counted as her carry-on and she will have to check her ‘actual’ Louis Vuitton carry-on. The woman and agent get into a loud argument about why she has to pay extra for her other checked baggage (she packed fifty pounds of dog food, toys and dog bedding and the bag is too heavy).

After an hour or more you finally get to security. You take off your coat, shoes, belt, pull everything out of your pockets and simultaneously juggle your ID and boarding pass. As added misery, you have to unpack your carry-on, your food, and start your electronics.

Surprise! Security throws your food away.

The people in front of you have three children, three car seats, a stroller, don’t speak English, and also have to get undressed.

Time marches on...

Finally it’s your turn to go through the scanner. Unsurprisingly, you set off alarms. The TSA quickly pulls you aside so they can use ‘the wand’ and ‘pat you down’. After endless personal violation, which gives you the urge for a cigarette, you are finally at your gate. You set down your carry-on. Unbeknownst to you, little Mojo (now out of his bag) runs over and lifts his leg against your bag. Not cool Mojo, not cool…

Finally, you are on the plane, strapped in your cramped seat, knees up to your ears, starving, grouchy and looking forward to a few hours of sparse sleep with no pillow or blanket when an overweight man in a business suit sits next to you and fires up his lap top, tablet, and IPhone. Gordon Gekko pops in his ear piece and begins having a ‘meeting’.

You look around:
  • Behind you, someone is having a cell conversation with her boyfriend about holiday plans.
  • In front of you a child begins playing a ‘kids game’ on Mommy’s cell phone. It’s turned up loud.
  • Next to Mommy is a teen texting. The cell phone makes the tinkle of glass every time she gets a new response. 
  • In the aisle next to you, two boys are watching YouTube on a cell phone - videos of jack ass shit kids to do.
Your eyes get warm as you feel the tears well up and you think, ‘This can’t last for the entire flight.” 

Hours into the flight, your stomach is growling, your head is pounding, and you have to pee. You look back and see the line to the one bathroom that is not out of order. It seems more efficient to just go in your pants.

You hear the lover behind you still on the phone because she won’t hang up until he hangs up. The child in front of you is dialing Japan because Mommy dosed off. Mr. Business’s sweaty rolls lay on your lap while he goes on to his second meeting. The kids watching YouTube videos across the aisle are now watching music videos with loud music you can’t identify. You look for a flight attendant to get a drink. They are nowhere to be found because the flight attendants are looking for little Mojo, who’s genius owner let him out of the bag.

You are at the end of your rope, you are in a cramped tube at 30,000 feet, and you have 4 more hours to go….

I'm sure there will be some kind of fee for using a cell phone on a plane. There is a fee for everything in air travel.  People will pay it. So I ask you FCC, you supreme grand poobah's of Einsteinic wisdom, what part of the scenario above makes you think allowing cell phone usage on a flight is a good idea? If I could call you (via cell phone of course) I would say...ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MINDS? It's just 'plane' stupid. (See what I did there? Used 'plane' instead of 'plain'. Cute right?)

Cell No!
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A writer exercising the writing muscle.