Thoughts on Contemporary Flying
“Shhhhh, be quiet, don’t talk too loud.” I whisper to myself.
I see an image on a faraway screen that looks like a big picture of the world, and it’s moving. Everyone around me is sleeping, and some are wearing masks. It’s dark and the only noise I hear is some kind of a continuous “hummm.”
Wait a second: where am I? In a spa?
All of a sudden, the guy sitting next to me pushes me over to get up and go to the bathroom.
Nope. It’s not a spa. And this is not a dream.
I am on a plane. Going to the next destination.
And the reason why I am bundled up in a blanket is that it is very (very!) cold!
I am wearing comfy clothes, as I like to sleep all curled up—which requires flexibility of movement and tight clothes wouldn’t allow that.
I am trying to relax in what is yet another flight for me. And it sounds stressful, possibly hectic, all those airports, with a suitcase always in hand, and being away from home and jumping into another shooting, but you know what? I treasure the time on my flights. It is that magic moment when you are completely out of touch: no phone and no email (or at least in most cases and I regret that it is changing). And you are really away from it all.
For as strange as it may sound, that air transit time in between destinations is a great opportunity to sit back and let your mind wander, catch up on sleep and movies, and really do nothing. It is an activity as important as accomplishing many things and hitting all your goals.
There is one thing, though, that keeps bothering me about flying: despite all the technology that is bombarding us in all aspects of our lives, planes’ comfort level hasn’t evolved accordingly, at least not as much as it could have.
Relaxing is all about comfort, right? Well then, what happened to legroom? Average seat sizes have shrunk over the past 20 years. * You cannot recline properly, blankets are too small, and unless you fly business class, you have no access to the comfort you could have.
So, I am taking my chance to give a few suggestions to the airlines of the world, in hopes that all classes can benefit from additional levels of comfort.
Here we go:
Dear airlines of the world,
- Re: the space between each seat, also known as armrest, how about giving an additional one or two inches, so that we don’t have to constantly fight with our seat neighbor to place our arms on it?
- Also, it would be lovely to get seats to recline a bit more than the usual 20-25 degree angle. A dream would be a generous 40%, so we could all enjoy nicer sleeps.
- About pillows: well, they aren’t really pillows, are they? They are just “differently soft objects” that we are provided with. Can we please make some effort for extra softness?
- And about blankets: it would be great if we could actually cover ourselves with them, instead of using them as scarves!
Also, and I realize that I am overreaching just a bit here:
- Can you please, please, please reduce the A/C?
These are just the very minimum changes that would make a big difference in the way we all travel. Wouldn’t it be nice to sit and enjoy the entire duration of a flight, as if we really were at a spa?
In these days of over-connection, over-information and over-exposition to anything, airplanes are one of the few places where we can still disconnect and recharge, if we choose to. Because, at the end of the day, disconnecting and recharging is a way of life. It’s something we have to secure for ourselves in order to keep our sanity.
Things are rapidly changing with the internet being available on many flights nowadays, and I wish we could go in the opposite direction and enjoy a flight for what it is: a chance to stop for a moment from the madness of daily life.
Life is a journey; traveling it well makes all the difference.
It was a very nice article. I tottaly agree with your suggestions. We need big seats , pillows and 40-45% of degree angle to recline the seat. On the other hand, when you’re flying you can connect with yourself and think about your life and goals or dissapointed things. I like your redaction and Way to say it.
PD: It is the first article that I’d read from your blog and it was amazing. Greetings from Barranquilla.