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The safest seat on a plane and other thoughts at 35,000 feet

August 5, 2008

Random thoughts flying thru my head as I fidget in my seat a mile high with nothing to do.

If you’ve watched enough Air Crash Investigation episodes on National Geographic, you’d have figured out that the farther back you sit in a plane, the better your odds of survival are in a crash so sitting this close to the nose, I’m not exactly enjoying my spot. Its not that I want to throw money away sitting here but other than shacking up in the cargo hold, this is the only way I know to avoid cramps on a long transpacific flight. I hate flying.

Sometimes I’m convinced there is a conspiracy to put the most expensive seats in the most dangerous part of the plane – the front. Just who came up with the idea that moneyed folks make better shock absorbers anyway? Yeah let’s put ’em in a spot where they have no choice but to do a good deed for the folks at the back if we go down. Hehe. If only the good folks in economy know how blessed they are.

So where’s the safest seat on the plane? Lemme guess, you’ll say the ones by the emergency exits at the center of the craft right? Uhh yeah… it can work out for you. Or it may not, if you appreciate the fact that you’d also be sitting right on top of the most flammable part of the plane – the fuel tank. Still, that’s better than my biggest nightmare – riding alongside a paranoid schizo sitting by the emergency exit and he’s staring at the nice big lever with the red arrow that screams, “Pull Me.” Yarrrrr….

No, this whole flying sardine can is a horror carnival ride if you ask me. Did I say I hate flying.

You know what. If I owned an airline I would price seats according to safety. The cheapest seats would be the first 10 rows from the nose and the most expensive the last 10 from the tail. The super premium seats would be the toilets at the tail section because its the most likely to stay intact if something happens. You’ll have privacy too. I’ll charge an extra 10% of ticket price for a parachute in case you want to bail out, maybe $100 for a decent whistle in case you land in the sea and have to attract a boat’s attention while you float. Plus maybe another 10% for a satellite modem so you can surf the net while you wait for sea rescue to arrive. These items you’d be able to buy off the in-flight souvenier cart.

Here’s a comprehensive list of things I hate about flying:

  • The baby that screams non-stop for 10 hours
  • The parent that ignores the screaming baby
  • The flight attendant that ignores the parent that ignores the screaming baby
  • People who don’t know how to use the toilet
  • Offering Air Crash Investigation or Snakes on a Plane as in-flight entertainment
  • Playing very loud muzak on takeoff and landing
  • The burp and fart machine sitting near you
  • The loud snorer
  • Mr. Kim Chee breath (or garlic breath if that rings a bell)
  • The durian smuggler (happened to me once on a flight to HKG)
  • Bad weather
  • In flight romances (they don’t last)

As one fellow passenger once said to me, if man was meant to fly, he’d have wings – like how cats would be excellent sea divers because they’re meant to eat fish.

Funny what the lack of oxygen does to people’s brains.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. LC Teh permalink
    August 5, 2008 10:04 pm

    In case of anything happening to the plane all seats are equal. It’s your luck that counts. Seems like that to me always.

    Here’s an old joke:
    In case of an emergency in the plane, you are told to hold both your ankles and tuck your head between your knees.
    In case of a nuclear explosion, you are to hold both your ankles, tuck your head further between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye…

  2. August 5, 2008 11:43 pm

    Oh bad breath is the worse!! One flight back home from I don’t remember where, the dude sitting next to me had the worse breath and he was sleeping! God knows what he ate for dinner, probably a week old dead rat!

  3. Damien permalink*
    August 6, 2008 8:40 am

    @LC, haha tell me about it. Give me the undersea rail between Shanghai and San Francisco any day. Wish they’d hurry up and build it.

    @dee, that sounds as bad as the flight I took that stopped over in New Delhi. The smell went all the way to the front of the aircraft. I am sensitive to smells unfortunately.

  4. LC Teh permalink
    August 6, 2008 3:12 pm

    Undersea rail!? I get claustrophobic just thinking of it!! Given that alternative, I’d still fly…

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