Tuesday, February 20, 2007


My dear co-worker is in my office ranting about the issue of a passenger’s bill of rights. This is an issue I had never heard of but apparently this woman who had to wait nine hours in an airport decided this was maybe necessary. In the wake of the Jet Blue delays, she has many more supporters. Now my little co-worker is the most precious little thing ever. She is talking with her hands and making forceful gestures about the insanity of this proposal. She is emphasizing the spoiled and obviously entitled-feeling people who think that legislature is needed to make sure their flights aren’t delayed. She is making very valid points about how long it took to get a medical bill of rights and how our constitution almost didn’t even have a bill of rights. It is not a right to fly. Why I am not surprised that she is leaving me alone in this office to go to Georgetown Law in June?

Now I understand the frustration of being left at an airport or on the plane but not moving for hours. Cancelled flights are even worse and I try not to think of that horror. However, I know that when something really bad happens on a flight, people can usually get something free out of it. No you aren’t getting a free flight for a minor delay of a few hours, it happens. It’s one of those things that you know when you decide to travel by plane. However, if your light is cancelled, you are probably going to get another one and not have to pay for it. If you are stranded somewhere, the airline may very well pay for your hotel room. To me, these solutions are pretty much all an airline can do to help you along. The point is flying is not a right. It is a choice. You could drive, take a train, or even a bus. Instead you opt to fly. If something goes wrong maybe you should consider another option.

The scary thing is that many people will support this lady and her passengers bill of rights. This is something that will occupy our legislators time rather than things like healthcare, education, or the war. This is stupid. I wonder what she is planning to include in this bill? Personally, I would like more frequent updates on the status of a delayed flight, maybe very ten minutes or so. That would eliminate my need to ask the customer service people and their need to tell a plane full of individuals the same thing over and over, thus getting a bad attitude. I wouldn’t mind some free snacks and/or beverages when things get really tedious. I would like for all size planes to be equipped with TV screens so I could catch an in-flight movie when things are delayed while I am on the plane. I certainly want a refund or another ticket if I am not able to go where I planned on going. These are all great things. Do I think our legislators need to get involved? Not in the slightest. These are things airlines should just do. Many of them do these things already. People who seriously think a bill is needed to deal with this issue have too much time on their hands and think they are far more important than they are.

Now it is time for music for that will calm me. I just thought this issue was funny when I started writing and now I am a little perturbed. Thanks dear friend. Since I downloaded so much music this weekend we’ll only go with songs that are new to my library. I think they are going to be very hard. Sorry.

1. Hey little boy you’re not allowed to stay/ You have to evolve inevitably/ And I’ve sure come a long way.

2. He said “I’ll protect you like you are the crown jewels” /Yet/ Said he’s feeling sorrier for me the more I behave badly/ I can bet.

3. Love is a dress that you made long enough to hide your knees/ Love to say this to your face/ I’ll love you only.

4. And I will stroll the merry way/ and jump the hedges first/ And I will drink the clean clear water/ For to quench my thirst. Sweet Thing, Van Morrison. Identified by Brooke.

5. They love me like I was their brother/ They protect me/ Listen to me. Nice Dreams (a.k.a No Strings) by Radiohead. Identified by Brooke.


Brooke said...

Friend, I agree that the passenger bill of rights is a little ridiculous. However (I have not researched this myself, so I may be wrong) my understanding is that the fury over the jet blue delays is mostly the fact that people were kept on planes that were not going anywhere for up to 11 hours. That is unacceptable, especially for infants and elderly folks. I certainly don't think it's the most pressing of issues, but stuff like that can and should be avoided.

4. Sweet Thing - Van Morrison. This song makes me so happy. The semester of Nobody Dies was seriously one of the best times of my life.

5. No Strings - Radiohead. For some reason this song reminds me of the Belmont apartment right after graduation. Were we listening to this a lot then, or am I just crazy?

dave said...

you have to burn me some CD's and send me home with music for my puter when it's happy again!

the other day someone got fiesty with me because i had to scooch into the ilse to let someone out of the inside seat on the CTA. while scooching i apparently bumped into someones girlfriend, the boy belonging to said girlfriend got hopping mad and even poked me while going nutty about me nudging her.

the lady that i was letting out yelled at him saying that she was shoving me out of the seat and if he wanted to yell at anyone he should yell at her.

there was a big hurumph when she was done too and he didn't yell anymore.

but after she was gone he said something further i had to chuckle to myslef while i reminded him he was on the CTA during rush hour.

the world is as big as you want to make it. if you choose to make it tiny and portable then you have to be accepting of delays. it takes a lot of work to make something so large so accesible. and there are bound to be little (in the greater scheme of things) mistakes in the process.

I think they have no real need not complain as long as the delays don't take any longer then a briskly paced walk to the same destination.

we shall get together to play in the next few days. that is what i say.

Mom said...

Natalie, please tell Dave E. Wo that he needs CDs of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar music to use as relaxation music for his clients. It is the sweetest of sounds, and communicates that the universe loves you and will always take care of you.

We went to a Slack Key concert at the Cedar Cultural Center this weekend and saw Dad's old buddy Ron Young.

Katrina said...

Well said.

Yep, bill of rights is going a bit far. But those people definitely should've been let off the plane.

Michael C said...

I was at the doctor's office this morning and CNN had 25 minutes too much time as that is how long they devoted to the Jet Blue topic!

Natalie said...

Brooke- Oh 11 hours on the plane is totally out of control. I read that in the proposed bill of rights they have to let people off the plane after 5 hours. That still really sucks. I was so happy to download Astral Weeks. I can't believe I hadn't done it earlier. The Radiohead song is actually called Nice Dreams but we certainly did listen to The Bends constantly at Belmont apartment. I can't figure out when I lost the album but it sucked. I am happy to have it again.

Dave- I will because I have such fun new music now and I am wanting some more. CTA fools are so foolish. I like your walking theory. Glad we got to play last night WOOOWOOO.

Mom- I'll let him know but as no one has that music but Dad I'll have a hard time getting it for him.

Katrina- For sure they should have been let off. That is crazy talk. I would have died from so many things if in that situation.

Michael- 25 min on CNN? I thought a whole blog post may be pushing it.

terry said...

yeah, it was 11 hours on the tarmac with no food, little water, and bathrooms that were backing up rapidly. people were tearing up t-shirts to give to the parents of babies to use as diapers.

it was that bad.

and guess what? the airlines don't have to do any of those things you mention if you're stuck. they're not required to. that seems a little silly to me.

you're right, no one can control the weather, but it seems to make a lot of sense to provide some sort of protections to consumers.

just my two cents.

Lesa said...

Good post.