Tag Archives: planes

This Is Your Captain Speaking

I’m finally back home from Houston, which means I need to write at least one more post about the experience, namely my trust issues as they relate to flying. 


Here’s the thing about flying.

It’s the ultimate loss of control. Whereas someone driving you around in a car is theoretically more dangerous than someone flying you around in a plane — especially if it’s a cab driver, as good lord they’re freakishly fearless — at least I can bail out of the car or choose the radio station.

This is not an option in an airplane.

So you basically board the big metal bird and trust that the dude in the captain’s hat had his Starbucks and not a fight with his wife and/or girlfriend before coming to work and navigating a gazillion ton airplane 30,000 feet into the sky.

The captain does often try to connect with you on some level, although I think they overdo it a bit and supply the passengers with completely unnecessary information. The general overview of the flight, weather conditions, etc. are all great facts to have, but they were probably already mentioned by the flight attendants before they plowed through the aisles with their metal carts full of juice and water.

But why do we always need to know exactly how high we’re flying multiple times throughout the flight?

“Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking. We’re currently at an altitude of 17,000 feet and should reach our cruising altitude in about 14 minutes and 33 seconds.”

I’m not sure what to do with this information, and let’s be honest. No one is sitting in their tiny little seat with their tray tables in the upright position logging the altitude of the flight like a fan keeps the box score at a ballgame. All most people care about it making sure the plane is flying high enough not to hit the trees and buildings below.

If they’re going to interrupt my attempt at a nap or try and distract me from the fact that three birds just flew through the engine, they should present passengers with more interesting facts about the person who could potentially turn the plane into a flaming inferno of death.

“Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking. Did you know that after graduating from flight school, I celebrated by streaking through the streets of Barcelona in nothing but a red banana hammock?”

“I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve gone 465 days on the job without an accident or ‘incident.’”

“If I had to choose my favorite meal, it would be lasagna with homemade garlic bread. I eat it before every flight, you know, just in case.”

I would even settle for interesting random facts, kind of a “tweet-like” account of what’s really going on up in the air.

“If you choose to use the lavatory in the next 15 minutes, you will be emptying your bladder at exactly the same altitude as Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain.”

“My co-pilot wants me to tell you that he just finished a crossword puzzle in ink, if anyone’s looking for a hero.”

“Woo-hoo! Conditions are great and this kick-ass tail wind means we’re going to arrive early. This thing is like a manic hummingbird on speed today!”

I’m still not sure what I do would do with that information either, but I can guarantee I could have written a much more entertaining blog post than this.

At any rate, it is nice that they thank us for choosing their airline and acknowledge the fact that we had other options, even if we really didn’t seeing as there was probably only one flight in and out of our destination for the next month.

Still, I suppose they try, and with that I will say:

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your blogger speaking. I would like to thank you for choosing ‘Abby Has Issues’ today, as I know you had other options. Please be sure to check back again for all your future neurotic needs.”

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