Airline wine has never severely disappointed me, but it’s never left a lasting impression on me either -– though it seems it may soon do just that.
While airlines have been scrambling almost universally to add fees and reduce amenities whenever possible to make up for rising fuel prices, it appears as though airlines are becoming increasingly concerned with having quality wine around for their passengers. A piece from USA Today yesterday described the thorough process Qatar Airways undergoes to procure its wine. According to the article, Qantas Airlines spends more than $19 million on Australian wine alone each year. It seems as though airlines’ wine programs are becoming more thorough in response to consumers’ tastes. And I think that’s inarguably a good thing.
The Dreamliner hasn’t been such a dream thus far. Problems have been popping up with the Dreamliner since its first flight. The latest problem occurred with a Japan Airlines flight departing from Moscow. The plane had to turn around mid-flight today because of a problem in the plane’s bathroom. The plane experienced a toilet malfunction, which is said to have been caused by an electrical glitch, according to Reuters. It’s unclear what the exact nature of the toilet malfunction was, but I think we can take it for granted that the toilet wasn’t working and that a nobody wants to be on a flight with a broken toilet.
There was that time the person in front of me reclined their seat suddenly and deeply, sending the red wine I’d just purchased all over my face and clothing. Then there was that other time someone in front of me did the same thing, causing my laptop to slide off of my tray and, luckily, onto my lap where I was able to soften the blow a bit. Reclining airplane seats aren’t doing anyone any favors – other than the people who insist on reclining their seats all the way on every flight. And that’s probably at least part of the reason why nine out of ten flight passengers say they would like to see reclining airplane seats completely banned, according to the Telegraph.
The poll cited in the article was conducted by Skyscanner and the results also revealed that young women (though a bit younger than I am) are the most likely to be considerate when reclining their seat. Maybe I fit that bill. I never recline my seat without taking a look at the person behind me and noting whether or not they have especially long legs and can’t afford to lose the legroom or if they are working on their laptop. And I usually ask permission regardless.
What do you think? Should we just do away with the whole inconveniencing feature
used sadistically against innocent passengers?
The New York Times recently reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has officially ruled that regulations regarding the use of electronic devices on planes when flying below 10,000 feet can be relaxed. This will prove to be a convenience for all passengers and it will likely make flights more comfortable for many (fewer unsolicited awkward conversations, more playlists filled with music that takes you to your happy place). But this move is bound to increase productivity on planes for those who prefer to work while flying when possible. Here’s why:
When flying coach, like I pretty much always do, a compact existence is the key to a smooth flight. This means that if you want to bust out all of the things you need to conduct work after electronics are finally approved for use, you have to set-up your mobile workspace like a ninja to not interfere with the person beside you. This often leads to me not doing any computer work at all. The loosened rules, however, will make it possible for those who need to work to set up their little workspace when they first get to their seat and have some elbow room to work with. Sure, people will still have to fold their tray back into the seat in front for takeoff, but at least everything will be out and usable.2. Interruptions
Most people who work on the computer need to be able to focus. It can be difficult to get back into the swing of work if you started when you first boarded the plane but then had to power everything down for a chunk of time below 10,000 feet. We won’t have to power down now and can instead keep chugging along, hopefully much more focused than before.
Unlike interruptions that cause us to power down in the middle of work, distractions can, in some cases, take an even bigger toll on plane productivity. If you get hooked into conversation with a neighbor who loves talking, which is easy to do if you can’t wear your headphones and at least pretend to be listening to music at the beginning and end of a flight, you’ll be less likely to accomplish what you had hoped to on the plane. These new regulations should help with that.
Cheers to the FAA for making such a sensible ruling and to all of you aspiring to increase your plane productivity: go get ’em tigers. Or, you know, go get ’em as long as your battery lasts.
It’s certainly not impossible to travel as a vegetarian, but it’s not always easy. Not only do I not eat meat, but I usually try my best to refrain from animal products of any sort. Navigating this kind of diet abroad can be tricky, but airlines could do their part to make it easier. On one of my most recent flights, my husband was literally mocked for wanting meat-free food, even if that just meant a piece of bread. All maliciousness aside, what always gets me upset about the pitiful selection of vegetarian food on flights is the pure logistics of it from an airline’s standpoint.From a purely business perspective, it seems like a no-brainer that airlines would serve vegetarian options. Everyone eats vegetables (or should). Not everyone eats meat. In fact, some of the latest estimates say that there are more than 400 million vegetarians worldwide. While both meat and vegetables can rot or become otherwise tainted, the risks of contamination are higher with meat, especially when stored for long-term use, not to mention that the meat that does have a long shelf life isn’t usually the popular choice — give me canned beans over canned Spam any day. Meat is also expensive!
I realize that passengers can usually request food that meets their personal dietary restrictions for flights in advance. What I don’t realize is why plant-based food should be a special request. It seems to me that increasing the availability of vegetarian food on flights wouldn’t just satisfy the millions of vegetarians who travel as well as many non-vegetarians who are more than happy to eat plants, but it would be good for the bottom line, too.