VIDEO: Curb Your Enthusiasm coachy vs. first class

On this week’s episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David returned to New York, home of Seinfeld. On the plane, he got into an argument with a coach passenger on using the bathroom in different classes. Larry claims to still be “coachy” even when flying first class. This isn’t the first time Larry David has tackled the class issue, here’s a classic scene of Elaine suffering in coach on Seinfeld, and here’s why you can’t just move up to an empty seat up front.

Do you consider yourself first class or coachy? What other sitcoms have had great airplane scenes?

Photo of the day – Approaching Rio

photo of the day
Many of us love the window seat when traveling. Even in cramped coach class, you can feel like you have your own little nook with a place to prop up your tiny airline pillow (in case you don’t fly with a SkyRest like Mike Barish) and a great view of the sky and landscape below. But few of us ever get the best window seat, up in the cockpit, where the view is framed by hundreds of tiny lights and controls. Fortunately own resident pilot Kent Wien shared this nighttime arrival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. See more of his beautiful sky photos here.

See any stellar views on your travels? Add your pictures to the Gadling Flickr pool and you may see one as a future Photo of the Day.

Zombies with passports: The Walking Dead goes worldwide


In order to promote the new show The Walking Dead on AMC, swarms of zombies invaded 26 cities worldwide (including my city of Istanbul, pictured above and filmed here) earlier this week, lurching around major tourist landmarks and generally freaking out passerby. The undead began their sightseeing in Taipei and Hong Kong, then hit European capitols including London, Rome, and Athens. More arose in Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, and Johannesburg, before going after American brains coast to coast from New York to the show’s premiere in Los Angeles. Check out more photos and video on the show’s blog and Facebook page.

Zombies would make ideal travelers: they can walk through airport security slowly and with no complaints, pack lightly, and don’t need to be fed or entertained on planes. If you can evade the attempts to gnaw on your flesh, they’d make better seatmates than a screaming baby or an armrest hoarder on a long flight. When there’s no more room in coach, we will all walk the earth.

See any zombies on your commutes or travels this week? Leave a comment below if you escaped unbitten. Want more Halloween dead-eyed fun? Our favorite British bear does his take on the zombie genre with Dawn of the Ted.

[Photo Courtesy of Fox International Channels]

Ask Gadling: What to do when you have to fly coach

Sad lemur flies coach.It could be worse. Whether it’s lack of funds or lack of availability in your usual class, almost everyone flies in Economy Class (charmingly called “Fiesta Class” by Philippine Airlines) now and then. Heck, some of us fly coach all the time.

Flying is an enormous privilege many of us have come to take for granted. Consider the miraculous nature of it: you get on a big metal tube with wings, speed up really fast and suddenly start flying through the air for thousands of miles, sometimes to continents far away — lands previous generations would have had to travel for weeks or months to see. We’ve lost our awe for air travel. It’s not our fault; it’s the times. In all fairness, we lost our awe for the wheel millennia ago.

And just as many of us are loathe to ride in the back of a bus, we hate to fly coach. You may recognize some of these descriptors: cramped, rushed, dirty, packed, uncomfortable, bad wine, worse food, no blankets, stinky restrooms, too many people too close together. Economy class can be trying, but if you plan ahead, it doesn’t have to be horrible.

You can request an exit row at check in, but if there isn’t a seat available, you’re kind of out of luck as far as space. There’s not much you can do. Lose a few pounds? I kid, I kid — but make the most of your space. Be sure to take your coat off and store it overhead. Dress properly: lightweight or stretchy materials can help you feel more comfortable than jeans on a long haul. Bring airplane slippers and take off your shoes. If you’re traveling with your spouse or significant other, pull up the armrest and snuggle.

Next, think of a perk you really love about your class of choice. Is it the champagne? The eyeshades?

View more Ask Gadling: Travel Advice from an Expert or send your question to ask [at] gadling [dot] com.

These are things you can bring yourself … albeit the former will have to be brought in teeny, tiny bottles — yeah, maybe forget the champagne, but you can always bring teeny, tiny shots of your favorite spirit to mix in your complimentary soda (as suggested by Bruce from Gadling’s Travel Talk). Bring a blanket that folds up small and a pillow if that will help you sleep. As much as everyone loves the service in first class, all that attention can sometimes be a pain anyway. Try to think of the anonymity of coach as refreshing; a kind of privacy.

Give yourself something to look forward to. This idea comes from the road trips I used to take with my family as a kid: we’d get a sticker or activity book we couldn’t open until the car hit the bottom of the driveway — it really took the focus off of the long ride ahead. Get yourself a little present you can’t open until the flight. A book works well. That way, your mind will be occupied from the start and less prone to jump straight to complaining.

If none of that helps and you’re still just dreading the very thought of boarding the plane? Do what many would have done in first class anyway: pop a couple of sleeping pills and say goodnight.

[Photo by lovely lemur via Flickr.]

SkyRider airplane seats lack legroom, resemble saddles

Think your economy class airplane seat is cramped? Well, imagine sitting on something that looks like the bastard child of a roller coaster seat and a horse saddle. That’s what Italian airline seat designer Aviointeriors has devised and hopes to unleash into the wild with their SkyRider model. With only 23″ of legroom and air carriers allegedly interested in someday creating a class below coach/economy, you could eventually find yourself perched precariously at 35,000 feet on your way home for the holidays.

The SkyRider’s creator insists that it is, in fact, a seat and not a way to trick standing passengers into thinking that they are not, in fact, still vertical. Before you go into a full-fledged panic though, it’s worth noting that these seats have many hurdles to jump before finding themselves inside airplanes.

An FAA spokesperson said, “While it’s not impossible, it’s difficult to conceive of a standing seat that would be able to meet all applicable FAA requirements and still be cost-effective.” See? We can all go back to complaining about baggage fees, lost luggage, jerks reclining their seats into your knees, expensive yet crappy airplane food, airplane bathroom sinks that make it impossible to wash both of your hands at the same time and everything else you hate about air travel.

For now, we can simply look at the pictures of these torture devices seats and wonder if that woman with the “I just farted” smile is about to take off or be probed.

Via Gizmodo & USA Today.