Suggestions for airlines

Airlines are in it for the money, no matter how much they say it is all about us.

Since I have to leave NYC fairly soon – alas – and I am thinking about how pleasant it has become to fly, especially with Delta, I have a few suggestions – developed with the help of a friend – for how Delta can make even more money from their guests, whom they are so pleased to serve.

1. Since Delta announces on their flights that they are now “cash free”, give your appreciated guests the opportunity to dip their credit or debit cards for 15 whole minutes of overhead light or the use of the air jet.  This has the added objective of increasing the passengers aerobic activity on longer flights.

2. Seat recline auctions.  Bid against the person in front or behind you over who can recline the seat… and how far!   Think of the excitement, the thrill of the live action!  Will the person in front of you bid more and be able to recline his seat?  With the person behind you prevent you from reclining yours? Only you can decide!  Courtesy of Delta!

3. Inflight insurance against asphyxia!  Delta is always concerned about the safety of all passengers.  It is their foremost goal!  However, you can be doubly sure that you will receive adequate oxygen, in the rare case that it is needed, by depositing a small, non-refundable fee.  And remember, Delta is a cash-free airline!

We are sure we’ll come up with a few more.  In the meantime, we apologize for the delay.  Thank you for your cooperation. It has been our honor to serve you.  Thank you for chosing WDTPRS!  We look forward to your business in the future.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    4. Everyone’s first class!
    5. Get another de-icer truck just for Delta at Atlanta.
    6. Make dorkier flight safety movies.
    7. Less jerky flight attendants.
    8. Delay Detroit flights longer so we miss our layovers.

    I know, not all of these are really customer oriented…

  2. wmeyer says:

    Since 9/11, I have flown only 3 times. I must say, I do not miss any aspect of it. Not the “security” Kabuki, the time wasted after arriving at the airport, the time wasted at the gate, or waiting to taxi. I do not miss the excitement of discovering my baggage went elsewhere.

    Before 9/11, I had already pretty much stopped flying. The provocation was a flight from Las Vegas to San Jose, CA, after a trade show. From the time I left my hotel to the time I arrived at my home South of San Jose, the elapsed time was 10.5 hours, and I had to go back to the airport the next day to recover my bag. The next year, I drove it. From my door to the hotel in LV, elapsed time 9.5 hours, with a near complete absence of annoyance.

  3. yatzer says:

    The only thing about driving is making sure that the road monotony doesn’t get to me in the form of drowsiness. Other than that, avoiding air-travel hell something I try to do.

  4. APX says:

    I prefer Westjet. The flight attendants are nice in a non- fake kind of way, and they still do live in flight safety demonstrations which are most humorous. Air Canada is another story.

  5. PostCatholic says:

    Please watch this video and see if revises your attitude towards the inconvenience of flying:

  6. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Cash-free pay toilets: $5 to enter and $10 to exit.

    The first twenty people to exit the plane have to buy that privilege at auction and no one gets off the plane until they’ve raised at least $1k in auction bids.

    Priority tiers for when your baggage is released to baggage claim: first class at $100/bag, business class at $50/bag, standard at $20/bag and for free it might arrive next Tuesday.

    If the passenger in the adjacent seat annoys you enough, you can pay to have them moved. Of course someone else may have paid to move an even more annoying sot next to you, but that’s the chance you take.

  7. Fr Martin Fox says:

    Here are some:

    1. Remove all the seats; then you can pack folks in like cattle. No need for seatbelts as having folks mashed up against each other will keep folks immobile.

    2. No carry ons (see point 1)

    3. No luggage. Folks can ship stuff ahead, or else buy what you need upon arrival.

    4. No food or drinks; just makes lines to bathrooms longer.

    5. No need for lights (see #1)

    6. No need for pillows (see #1); plus folks will helpfully pass out before too long.

    7. Confiscate clothes at arrival at airport and issue potato sacks to everyone. No need for further security.

  8. Mark R says:

    Stock market folk I read say that airlines show no profit and are probably the least profitable stocks in big companies to own.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    More intelligent and honest security. I recently had 1200 dollars worth of medicine stolen from my baggage. As to buying what one needs at the other end, that is not always possible, as I travel with a prosthesis, for example, and medication not always available in other countries.

    I would like just, plain honest people working for the airlines. No stealing, no rudeness…just courtesy and respect.

  10. Mary Jane says:

    Last time I flew was summer of 2009, when I took a trip to Europe (Spain, Austria) with my aunt. I don’t know if you could pay me now to get on a plane. I won’t walk through those scanners. Just won’t.

  11. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    Mary Jane,
    I have a friend who is always traveling… twice a week, he goes to either LA or Toronto and occasionally to Texas and once to Norway, and he has yet to encounter a body scanner he had to use.

  12. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Just knock ’em out on Ambien and ship ’em stacked like cordwood on cargo planes.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    I had to go through scanners in Chicago, London, and other places. My son had to do a retina scan somewhere in the States when he forgot his American passport and only had his English one. I think it was in Atlanta.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    Dates for above, 2010 and 2011.

  15. HyacinthClare says:

    We drive. If I want to go somewhere across the ocean, I don’t go.

  16. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    Hmm. Perhaps my friend is just not that big of a deal to security (he is a Delta Platinum Elite and a United something or other). I know I was complaining about Delta, but one time he missed his layover at Detroit. He walked up to the lady at the desk and said “You do this to me everytime I come through here and I’m tired of it. YOU figure it out.” She talked to the pilot, and they opened the door back up, and let him on; something they never do! All he said was, “I was really mad, and they don’t want a Platinum Elite THAT mad.”

  17. Supertradmum says:

    hysterical, but I don’t qualify….

  18. sawdustmick says:

    A certain “budget” Irish airline who has announced a 23% increase in second quarter profits will no doubt take most of the “tongue in cheek” suggestions to a brain storming meeting just to see if there is any mileage in them.

    This is the airline that was thinking of having a certain mount of people standing and charging passengers to go to the loo, – seriously !

  19. yatzer says:

    I’ve been on that “budget” airline. A few years ago we were joking about them charging for the loo. They must have overheard us–Drat!! ;-) We were also talking about them charging to breathe their air. I hope they aren’t seriously considering that one.

  20. TKS says:

    @yatzer. Ah, while there is enough air, it’s recycled and I always come down with something after flying. The percentage of clean air is miniscule. I drive anything up to 700 miles which is all I can do in a day.

  21. APX says:

    @Fr. Martin Fox

    #s 2 and 3 exist on one Canadian air line I’ve flown on.

  22. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    One time my family was going to Orlando, and no, not to Disney but to a reunion, when the flight attendant asked “Are you the Duggars or something?” My mom said, “No, because if we were, we’ve left half our kids behind!” (there were ten kids). On the whole, though, they were very helpful, and my personal impression of Delta isn’t that bad at all.

  23. Dies Irae says:

    I’ve had an interesting Delta experience too. I looked out the window after a layover to see a box floating up the conveyor belt. Two boxes. Both had pink signs on them saying in bold letters, “HUMAN REMAINS.”


    God rest their souls, yes, but even so.

  24. bookworm says:

    Slightly off topic as these are not suggestions for airlines, but for airline travelers, particularly this time of year when weather delays are common:

  25. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Get an RV.

    1. control what you eat and bring your own wine.
    2. control the germs you encounter
    3. sleep in your own bed with a real pillow
    4. you pack once and take as much as you want with you. depend on having your clothes/toiletries when you get there.
    5. purchase with abandon, without worrying if it will fit in the suitcase.
    6. watch the change of scenery, environment, attitudes, meet people as you cross the country, learn geography.
    7. get a place on the water. or in the woods. oh, let’s try the desert.
    8. bring your best friend: the dog.
    9. Google on a full-sized computer.
    10. control your water, heat, and how the air blows, and your reading light.
    11. travel with the windows open!

    Going across an ocean, well. A bit of a challenge.

  26. Fr_Sotelo says:


    Actually, at any given time, half the air within the cabin leaves through vents in the floor and is exhuasted out of the plane. The other half of the air in the cabin of a plane is recirculated and mixed with fresh air that is brought in from the outside and passed through hospital standard HEPA filters, which trap 99% of bacteria.

    The result is that fresh air from the outside of the plan is always being introduced into the cabin so that there is abundant oxygen. Many people think that their respiratory issues come from “stale” air, but it is actually pressurizing the plane to the equivalent of 7,000 ft. altitude and keeping the air very dry which gives people a headache.

  27. JonPatrick says:

    Fr. Martin, that list sounds a lot like riding military transports in the USAF, except maybe for the potato sacks (but then we were already in uniform).

    My suggestion – travel Amtrak! They have their problems too, but at least you have a comfy seat and access to the Cafe car while stuck somewhere in the Jersey Meadowlands.

  28. Bryan Boyle says:

    Actually…just did a round trip to Frankfurt from Philly on Lufthansa. It (well, once I got past the security theater at the PHL airport) was actually 1) efficient, 2) friendly, and 3) what you would expect from a non-US flag carrier. Folks in my party that took USAir (the inheritor of the AllAgony..oops Allegheny) were not as well-treated.

    Found, coming back through FRA for my return trip, the security screening was done with typical Teutonic efficiency, albeit with more dignity and respect than the TSA clowns. Of course, though, they have little tolerance, as a society for the PC garbage we seem to have to deal with.

    Did I mention the wonderful meal (in both directions….) in coach as well as the wine included with dinner? And, no, it was no extra charge. Pillows, blankets, headsets, and a selection of 12 movies included in the price of the ticket. Yes, in coach. Remember when air travel was enjoyable? It was a treat to see SOME airlines still remember.

    Going through passport control in FRA took about 2 minutes in line, and a smile from the officer saying “enjoy your stay here in my country”. Going through passport control in PHL? Stood in line for 30 minutes to face a bored ICE officer who didn’t even say “welcome home”.

    I do hope that’s not the first impression someone from overseas has of us Americans…

  29. irishgirl says:

    Oh, my gosh, these ‘suggestions’ are hysterical! Especially that Conan O’Brien video from PostCatholic!

  30. MAJ Tony says:

    Flew back from Afghanistan, out of Kyrgyzstan (Manas) on a Delta flight, and they took excellent care of us. I’ve flown on most of the major U.S. but I have to say NONE compare to my Lufthansa flight back from Duesseldorf. They even had real metal flatware for service.

  31. PhilipNeri says:

    I wish I had read this post before I bought tickets home on Delta. Normally, I only fly British Air from Rome to the U.S. . .but this time I am heading to New Orleans and the route there on BA is circuitous and long!

    Fr. Philip

  32. BobP says:

    Remove the regulations already. No more scanning. If you want to fly anywhere, do so at your own risk just like doing everything else in life. Why are airlines so special anyway? With all the modern technology, it’s not even necessary to be there to make a sale or conduct a business.

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