Class distinctions

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

While I’m on a roll complaining about airlines this week, I’ll bitch for a moment about the differences between business and coach class. Oh sure, there’s the big seats and the free booze and food, but it seems that business class travellers are also given some special safety exemptions. For example, I’m on a flight to Las Vegas right now, and the seatbelt sign has been on for almost an hour, although there’s been no turbulence for at least 45 minutes — it’s pretty clear that they do this sometimes to keep the aisles clear or give the flight attendants a break or whatever reasons that have little to do with passenger safety. Since we’re almost 4 hours into the flight, people are getting up to head for the bathrooms, but we’ve already been chastised twice about sitting down and keeping our seatbelts fastened. However, just in front of me in business class, two people have been standing in the aisle for at least 20 minutes, part of the time chatting with a flight attendant, and several people have come and gone to the bathroom. Does that mean that there’s no turbulence in business class?

The best part was when I did finally get a chance to head for the back of the plane, and was waiting in a line of about four people (an hour of seatbelt signs can do that). A young woman of about 16 came up behind me, looked past me and asked “is this the line for the bathroom?” Um, no dear, we’re all learning to skydive and this is where we jump out…

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