Rants are fun to write and read, but take them with a grain of salt.. I'm not that angry or mean of a person.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Customers Hate Airlines More

a customer’s view on airlines

Today's rant is about MSNBC's Christopher Elliott.

Christopher Elliott, you have no idea how the airline business works. You need to sit down, shut up, and be happy your country has a transportation system as unregulated as ours is. Spreading your fear, uncertainty, and doubt will only further confuse our revenue passengers and ultimately leave them more confused and unhappy than they were before.

Unfortunately for us, someone even stupider than Christopher Elliott gave Christopher Elliott a job as a FUD writer and now we have to deal with shit like Dump This! 7 things airlines should jettison (Local Backup). In his article, which I shudder to call an article, he explains how the airlines are so stupid and if they only followed his advice, we could all be profitable and happy. Now in the aviation industry I am just a lowly pilot and nowhere near management, but I do have an inside look at what goes on and can easily tear through everything he has to say. Especially his bullshit headline: Why not remove the pilots to cut weight? That's hitting a little close to home there Christopher Elliott, but that's a bad idea no matter who you are.

Now I know you will say "Well Mike he's obviously using a little observational humor to deflate a source of copious amounts of stress" but there are people out there who believe this....trash, this...vomit from MSNBC Christopher Elliott. These people buy the cheapest tickets available from or some shit, expect to be treated like gods, give themselves 15 min to connect to a different freaking airline on the other side of the airport, and even if they make it complain about how their bag didn't! No shit! A bag can't make it from through the baggage system at a hub in 15 minutes! Then they cry foul for years about a certain airline, turning all their friends away from it. I bet everyone reading this has that one airline that you just hate because something happened one time. Hell even I do, it's Lufthansa after they stranded us in Finland with no refunds. But you know what? It was because we bought a nonrefundable ticket off and couldn't get back into russia to make the flight. You've got to listen people...listen to what the airlines are telling you and if you want options like refunds and transferability, you've got to pay. That's Capitalism. That's Deregulation for you. Your congress which you voted for made it this way in 1978. And the customer got much lower airfares while employees in the industry took a 66% paycut. Thanks a lot guys. But I'm going to approach the rest of this rant as if I were a paying customer. Like Christopher Elliott but with the common sense an infant would approach this subject with.

MSNBC's Christopher Elliott assumes that airlines are trying to ditch everything on an airplane in an effort to save weight. A lighter airplane requires less lift to fly, and reduces the thrust (fuel) required. Simple to understand I suppose. So why not just just get rid of the whole plane! Think about all the profit you could make selling tickets and then not actually having to take people anywhere! No flight crew, fuel, catering, ATC and landing fees to pay for.. The real answer is that if it's still on the plane, it's 1) making money or 2) required for safety. There is nothing on that plane not required for safety that doesn't make money, with one exception: the bathroom. Come on Christopher Elliott, I think you're kidding when you mention getting rid of anything more than one bathroom, but with your other suggestions I'm not so sure. People can't even make it from the terminal to the aircraft on the jetbridge without having to go. For what little is decent in humanity, let us keep our bathrooms. You mention getting rid of inflight magazines probably because they are poetry compared to your drivel. Truth is, American Way magazine has to sell enough advertising to make up its cost in fuel. It has to earn its way onboard. Maybe it even makes a small profit. Imagine that. Something onboard the aircraft yet still making money. Same goes for your "duty free" carts, or the alcohol. Just because you don't pay for anything above the minimalist fare doesn't mean first class shouldn't get what they pay for. And I've heard what they all say: "Well I would gladly pay more for better service" - BULLSHIT - EOS Airlines, all business class with that idea in mind and BANKRUPT. You had better service for more money in the 70's and you all bought the cheap tickets. And here we are. Pay for first class or don't complain.

Christopher Elliott doesn't understand safety either. To a passenger, safety is a given. All airlines are equally safe, right? The FAA makes it that way, right? What if we truely deregulated the airlines and took away the FAA? Bet you'd have your wish. I bet you 1000% that airlines would be flying around with one pilot and no other flight crew for that very reason. You'd have more issues like GoJets pilots falling asleep in the front. Or the Comair Lexington Crash taking off from the wrong runway. Two pilots up there is what keeps our system as safe as it is. We've already have our salaries slashed 50% at every bankruptcy crisis so that Christopher Elliott can fly for 99 dollars. And those airplanes are so sophisticated that they fly themselves...sure... The airplane I fly is older than I am, doesn't have GPS or a flight management system and has an autopilot with a minimum wage attitude, that is to say it doesn't like to work a lot. And some commercial airplanes still don't even have autopilots! Those that do can bring the airplane down to 100 feet above the ground. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want my pilot to let go at 100 feet. And even worse what happens when something goes wrong? An engine shreds itself or there's an electrical short and your precious autopilot stops flying? Just how much are those pilots up there worth now?

Christopher Elliott also thinks very highly of flight attendants. Obviously their only reason for being aboard is to serve you drinks. Of course the FAA requires one FA per 50 seats so it doesn't take too long to get your drink, right? The real reason is that they are there for your safety, to regulate the cabin so that the pilots don't have to. They assist in emergencies and undergo a lot of training. Most of their training you never have to see but I am glad to fly with them for everyone's sake.

It is hard to get people to pay more when inevitably the coach passengers arrive at the destination at the same time as first class does, so as long as there is even one company out there willing to give you a cheap ticket with no frills, the others have to match it or fly empty. It's like Rick's rant about cable. There is intense competition between companies, but the individual doesn't get a whole lot of say in the matter. When people buy their ticket based solely on the price of the ticket and nothing else, this is what you get. It's your free market. Put your money where your mouth is.
Posted by eclipse on 09/24/2008 at 02:16 PM
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Science! Busted!

Forum question posed: Would an airplane on a gigantic treadmill be able to takeoff?

Remember that?


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Posted by eclipse on 03/12/2008 at 11:09 AM
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It’s the same!

To solve everything, why don’t we just give the Sunnis the crappy part of Iraq, and the Shiites get the shitty part?

Posted by eclipse on 02/06/2007 at 01:22 PM
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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Short Rant today

“Opponents of the bill say their taxes should not fund research which involves the destruction of embryos.”

Well fuck!  My tax dollars should not fund your war!

Posted by eclipse on 01/11/2007 at 05:37 PM
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Forum question posed: Would an airplane on a gigantic treadmill be able to takeoff?

(17:32:04) BobCortex: i get the whole gyst of the dumb argument
(17:32:17) BobCortex: figured i'd ask someone who flys the things
(17:32:37) Eclipse: if the engines are going, the plane will leave the treadmill
(17:33:08) BobCortex: even if the treadmill can keep it from actually moving foward?
(17:33:12) Eclipse: its like pulling a wagon, the wheels dont do the pulling
(17:33:21) BobCortex: right
(17:33:25) Eclipse: the wheels just let you move
(17:33:34) BobCortex: plane with breaks on and full power wont move or take off
(17:33:41) Eclipse: a treadmill would change the speed of the wheels, but not the body of the plane
(17:33:50) Eclipse: right
(17:34:29) BobCortex: its some weird physics question
(17:34:48) BobCortex: plane + treadmill that can keep up with the plane. prefect world physics
(17:35:09) BobCortex: people come up with all sorts of junk
(17:35:15) BobCortex: like wheels dont do jack
(17:35:22) BobCortex: planes can take off on water
(17:36:08) BobCortex: but i always kinds thought the engines kinda moved air over the wings
(17:36:15) BobCortex: at least with props
(17:36:42) Eclipse: the engines pull the airplane forward, wheter its a prop or a jet (a jet is a prop with a cone around it)
(17:37:03) Eclipse: the moving airplane causes lift under the wings
(17:37:03) BobCortex: but i guess if the plane is not moving. the wings arn't moving. thusly lift is not being generated
(17:37:13) BobCortex: therefore sits still?
(17:37:21) Eclipse: correct
(17:37:31) BobCortex: if eclipse says its so i can sleep easier!
(17:37:45) BobCortex: it was fun reading people bicker about it
(17:38:09) Eclipse: heh
(17:38:26) BobCortex: fun stuff like "piolts" saying they wouldn't even really notice a diffrence on takeoff
(17:38:52) Eclipse: they wouldnt, the airplane would still accelerate like normal
(17:38:59) Eclipse: the wheels would be spinning faster or slower only
(17:39:10) BobCortex: but take off would never happen
(17:39:13) BobCortex: no climax!
(17:39:26) Eclipse: the wheels do not pull the airplane!
(17:39:37) Eclipse: the engines pull it forward and therefore judge acceleration
(17:39:59) Eclipse: a treadmill would only change how fast the wheels spin
(17:40:30) Eclipse: like a car spinning out on ice, the car still moves forward at the same velocity (due to inertia) and the wheels spin really fast
(17:40:53) Eclipse: the airplane is similar except the engine cause the motion instead of inertia
(17:41:05) Eclipse: and the treadmill would only change how fast the wheels spin
(17:41:26) Eclipse: once the airplane accelerates enough, lift will form under the wings and takeoff would happen
(17:41:42) BobCortex: but its not really moving
(17:42:01) Eclipse: yes it IS
(17:42:08) Eclipse: you're thinking of a car
(17:42:13) Eclipse: thats not how airplanes taxi
(17:42:19) BobCortex: ok
(17:42:23) BobCortex: you keep changing your mind
(17:42:29) Eclipse: no im not
(17:42:34) BobCortex: i know the wheels on a plane dont actually move it
(17:42:46) BobCortex: they roll freely and have brakes
(17:43:34) BobCortex: sure the plane would accelerate on the treadmill. but it wouldn't really be moving in physical space
(17:43:46) BobCortex: is the conculsion from earlier
(17:44:28) BobCortex: heh
(17:44:32) Eclipse: wrong
(17:44:49) Eclipse: the airplane only needs air to move
(17:44:58) Eclipse: otherwise it would be a real shitty airplane
(17:45:18) BobCortex: ugh hurting my head
(17:45:18) Eclipse: so the treadmill will not affect the acceleration
(17:45:39) Eclipse: unless the treadmill is in a perfect vacuum, the airplane will move in space
(17:45:53) Eclipse: because it uses the air to accel and not the motion of the wheels
(17:45:55) BobCortex: but the treadmill is preventing it from actually moving foward to get lift
(17:46:08) Eclipse: no, the treadmill only moves the wheels
(17:46:40) Eclipse: if there were no wheels, and the plane's belly was sitting on the treadmill then maybe
(17:46:52) Eclipse: but the wheels spin freely
(17:47:28) BobCortex: plane acceleration -----> <------ treadmill
(17:47:59) BobCortex: if its moving the plane backwards as its trying to move foward. its not really going anywhere
(17:48:36) Eclipse: thats what i am trying to say, it doesnt move the airplane
(17:48:47) BobCortex: right its spinning the wheels
(17:48:54) BobCortex: and the wheels are connected to the plane
(17:49:05) Eclipse: i think that's where you are not getting it
(17:49:22) Eclipse: are the brakes on?
(17:49:24) BobCortex: no
(17:49:38) Eclipse: then why would moving the wheel move the airplane?
(17:50:06) BobCortex: but the engines are pulling it foward
(17:50:28) Eclipse: if you attach a rope to a wagon and put the wagon on the treadmill, will the treadmill pull you?
(17:51:00) Eclipse: now what happens if you pull the wagon?
(17:51:07) Eclipse: the wagon comes towards you
(17:51:18) Eclipse: the wheels are what prevents the treadmill from having any effect!
(17:51:32) BobCortex: trickery
(17:51:33) Eclipse: now the airplanes engines provide that same force as you pulling the rope
(17:51:59) Eclipse: because the airplane can accelerate independantly of the treadmill
(17:52:11) Eclipse: thats not true for a car
(17:52:25) Eclipse: cars need the friction between the wheel and the ground to move
(17:52:27) BobCortex: i thought the treadmill would act to keep it in place. as in someone running on one. like a propelled treadmill. not one of thoes free running ones
(17:52:27) Eclipse: airplanes do not
(17:52:45) Eclipse: the person would need the friction
(17:52:56) Eclipse: airplanes do not need friction under the wheels to move
(17:54:11) BobCortex: so glad i never took physics
(17:54:22) Eclipse: do you get it though?
(17:55:16) Eclipse: i have to go soon
(17:56:11) BobCortex: so the engines pull the aircraft. regardless of what the wheels are doing. beacuse the wheels do absoluty nothing except keep the plane from falling over.
(17:56:19) BobCortex: someone needs to build a giant ass treadmill
(17:56:32) Eclipse: thats right
(17:56:48) BobCortex: no matter how fast the mill goes it wont affect the plane
(17:56:54) Eclipse: right
(17:56:58) BobCortex: just makes the hwels spin faster
(17:57:01) Eclipse: right
(17:57:13) Eclipse: or slower, if the treadmill is going the other way
(17:57:41) BobCortex: crazy airplanes
(17:58:12) Eclipse: they have to rely on the air or they will be useless after leaving the ground
(17:58:20) Eclipse: like a car in the air can't do anything
(17:58:43) BobCortex: so the plane will justhop off the treadmill and carry on its way
(17:58:48) Eclipse: yup
(17:59:00) BobCortex: sorcery!
(17:59:09) Eclipse: physics!

The answer: The airplane will take off and the pilots will not notice any difference

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Posted by eclipse on 12/06/2006 at 10:06 PM
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