I’m Attacked By Airline Sock Puppets

With rare exceptions, especially since 9-11, our rule-of-thumb for vacations has been “if you can’t drive there in a day, skip it.”

I like car-centered trips. They appeal to my individualist spirit.

They let me tour around in my own bubble, with all my essential crap along for the ride. Perfect.

But when you live in California and wanna vacation on Maui, you gotta use a plane.

Which gets us to today’s story…

(Side note: I’ll try to fill in a few details about last week’s Hawaii trip later, but we’ll have to wait and see.)

These days, otherwise magical trips are usually tainted by air travel. Our eight days on Maui were no exception.

Not that our flights were delayed or (horrors!) canceled. Nope, everything ran smoothly there.

Not that we were surprised at all by the TSA bullpucky. We expect the worst and are never disappointed in that department.

But the REAL shocker was how badly airline service has deteriorated since we last flew two years ago. (And really, it was pretty crummy then.)

I’m not gonna blame the poor service on the fact that we travel coach. As I pushed through First Class with my carry-on Sunday night, I saw the great Willie Nelson — all frail and spindly — twisted miserably into a tiny, cramped seat. Even for Willie, he looked pretty sad.

Anyway, here’s the deal…

A five-hour flight. No meals, which we didn’t expect anyway. No video entertainment. (The work crew in L.A., we were told, had declared the equipment “unrepairable.”) And worst of all, only two flight attendants for an overstuffed plane, both of whom might as well have been sock puppets for all the service or concern they offered.

Up and down the aisles, I saw call-buttons lit up like a NYC skyline.

And nobody moved.

No. Body.

“Ef you, merry travelers.”

The saddest part about this whole nightmare is that good service is such an “easy fix.” The only reason not to provide it is because you just don’t give a damn. (And think your customers somehow owe YOU something.)

After we disembarked at LAX, Deb and I bumped into a couple who told us the two “attendants” had spent the entire flight curled up together and snoring away in a row of seats in the back.

They said they planned to write a nasty letter to the airline as soon as they got home.


I decided to write this blog post instead.

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