t's summer again and, the way I figure
it, it's time for another seasonal ramble. The airlines will
provide a common thread this time.
For years, I have kept notes from my trips indicating which
seats on each aircraft type had space under them to accommodate my
roll-on suitcase. This is important because I am too short to put a
case in the overhead bins myself.
Now, I have stacks of notes and no energy for tabulating the
results. But I have noticed that, in most instances, the case will
fit under the seat if I have a window seat but generally not if I
sit on an aisle.
Middle seats would work, but who wants that -- and can you
imagine how weird it would be to ask for one?
So, window seat it is.Window seats aren't so good if you listen to my doctor: He
tells his patients to walk the aisles every 45 minutes while in
He knows this does not win him points with cabin stewards -- and
I admit I have not been taking his advice.This one makes my ears ache: At the end of a trip, a cabin
attendant is telling us to have a good day in the city where we
have just arrived, or "wherever your final destination may take
Since when is a destination a form of transportation?In April, I had my second 15-hour trip to Iowa in four months.
There are no fingers to point, but the saga is worth telling (I
We departed LaGuardia on time at 8 a.m. but held over
Minneapolis so long I missed a connection. The reason: Winds so
strong they eventually closed the airport below us.
So, we turned to Madison, Wis., for a wind-tossed landing and
additional fuel. Soon after touching down, there was a medical
emergency. A passenger had stopped breathing. Doctors on board
stabilized him and the 23-year-old was then evacuated by
When we finally got to Minneapolis, I rebooked the next
available flight to Des Moines, and as each flight was canceled in
turn, I rebooked again (fortunately, many others went home or
rented cars). At 10:30 p.m., the 6:30 p.m. flight departed with me
My conclusions? Minneapolis has one of the better airports to
get stuck in, always carry a book when flying and don't travel to
Des Moines the same day I do.The carriers say they cannot allow passengers to use cell
phones once an airplane's doors have closed.
I have one request of the airlines: If the technology changes
and it is OK for passengers to use their cell phones, please do not
ever tell anyone.