Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bleachers in the Sky

I recently flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma and back, and with the connecting flights that made four plane rides overall. Air travel has not improved much since last year. I was able to actually reserve a seat instead of waiting by the gate for a last minute seat assignment, so that’s a small victory.

But the airline caste system is alive and well. The division between first class and coach class is made more glaring by the efforts the airlines have made to squeeze every penny out of beleaguered coach passengers ($25 to check one bag = outrageous).

First class passengers get their own flight attendant, who serves them drinks as they relax comfortably in large seats, watching the rest of us slobs file in. I hate them. I want to spit in their smug faces, piss in their complimentary drinks and strangle them with their own neck pillows. But we can’t do that in this day and age, especially with homeland security being what it is (I stood behind a crippled old woman in Tulsa who was made to go into a magnetometer and put her hands above her head— serves her right for packing a metal hip at the airport—so even when security is running smoothly, it is still completely retarded).

The most galling example of this was on a plane where the door was situated between first class and coach. After we landed, a flight attendant blocking the aisle with her body so that we scum of the coach class could not start to leave the plane until a sufficient number of first class passengers got off the plane.

So I think airline passengers should borrow from the bleacher seats at Yankee Stadium. A great tradition at Yankee Stadium, which I’m told has carried over to the New (not the real) Yankee Stadium, is this: at the start of every game, the rowdy “Bleacher Creatures” in the right field bleachers chant “Box seats suck! Box seats suck!” towards the privileged box seats close to home plate.

It’s a great tradition, as the people sitting in the box seats tend to be mindless beneficiaries of corporate largesse or disinterested scions of privilege with no passion for or knowledge of the game. The great baseball owner Bill Veeck observed, “The knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats.” And that’s as true today as when he uttered it.

At a certain point before each flight, after everyone is seated but before the flight crew begin the safety information, coach class should begin a chant of “First class sucks! First class sucks!” This could be a great tradition. It would create a greater camaraderie among the masses in the steerage of coach class. It is protected speech beyond the authority of the government and in large enough scope the airlines could not stop it or sanction passengers who participated. And the snobs in first class would benefit from some humbling as well. So please join me in this, unless I get lucky and get upgraded to first class.

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