Delta: Literary Punch Line

DeltaI couldn’t let more time go by without posting about Delta (I know, you’re just wondering why I let so much time go by without posting at all)…(wait, that’s assuming you actually care when/if I post)… (daring assumption)…(daring over-use of multiple parentheses)… But back to Delta.

Yes, Delta. Just when you thought it was safe to open those over-head bins, another snafu by the airline comes tumbling into your aisle seat. In this case, it came in the form of art imitating life. Now using “air travel” — and specifically Delta — in the same sentence with “art” solicits arguments of its own, but this occasion was just too perfect.

Jacket Image SILKEN PREYI recently finished “Silken Prey,” a crime thriller by John Sanford, which I enjoyed. But what I enjoyed more, was this excerpt from Chapter 20… The protagonist sent a colleague to Albuquerque, NM, to do some recon, and knowing the man should actually be on a plane, but finding him here at his kitchen table, broached the topic:

“How was Albuquerque?”

“You got me a ticket on Delta. What do you think happened?”

“The plane broke?”

“Exactly. They’re bringing another one from Chicago. Revised departure time is 10 PM, assuming that the replacement plane makes it this far. They’re probably bringing it on a truck.”

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Delta Airlines has become so synonymous with poor customer service, flight cancellations, and maintenance issues, that it’s become a target for humorous dialog  in pop culture crime fiction. And given the 4 hours I spent at O’Hare in Chicago last week waiting for a flight to Minneapolis, I’m inclined to agree. And laugh. Now, if we could all just bank Sky Miles for the hours we have to spend waiting in terminals courtesy of Delta, we’d all have Platinum Status by now!

Just for fun, let’s take a poll… 

Prisoner on a Plane

You all know how I can rant and rave about air travel. (Delta: Chapter 3, Kujo at 38,000 feet, Limited Recline, and M&M: Not So Sweet, to jog your memory…). So when the airline that is trapping you offers WiFi in your cell, why not take advantage of it, right? Now, I’m not trashing Delta. This delay is actually weather-related. But 1.5 hour “in-cabin” delay does give me the opportunity to post about something I keep forgetting to, and have been wanting to for SUCH a long time: The Delta PreFlight Video!

Based in Minneapolis (flight attendant lingo intended), I typically fly Delta more than any other airline, so my opportunities to view this video with some regularity come into play. And every time I watch it, I chuckle to myself at it’s fiercely choreographed extras, perky pilots, forced racial diversity (they even added a few “racially ambiguous” folks just to make everyone feel welcome), and, of course, our femme fatale leading lady: the flight attendant. God, I love her. I’m not really quite sure what she looked like before she had all the work done, but under the right lighting, wearing the right make-up, I’m sure what she had done looks fine. And I can guarantee you that right now, somewhere, there is a drag show in production with at least six of her, and they are all fabulous! I do have to give the woman kudos, because I have never seen anyone deliver such a mundane script with such sex appeal. Check it out if you haven’t already. Oh, and just for fun, be sure to watch her in slow motion and super slow motion. It will change how you feel about flying, and about plastic surgery.

But before I wax on further about our ingenue, let’s touch on the inordinate amount of time this video dedicates to a “water evacuation.” Not “crash landing at sea” or “emergency landing on a river we hope is wide enough to accommodate this jet.” No, a “water evacuation.” A full 1:02 seconds out of a 4:37 second video is devoted to how to use our seat cushions as a life-saving floating device, or how to inflate a life vest complete with a flashing red light for a little extra visual drama. Call me crazy, but wouldn’t the fireball on the water kind of give us away? And how am I supposed to blow up my life vest when I’m breathing in smoke and jet fuel fumes? Ah, let it go, Alan. It’s just a movie, after all.

Another of my favorite scenes in this little darling is when one of the flight attendants stands mid-cabin by an exit row and delivers the following line with a sympathetic shake of the head , “No, you cannot smoke. I’m so sorry.” Now when was the last time you saw someone wave down a flight attendant to ask if it was okay to light up? It hasn’t been legal on planes for, what, 20 years now? It cracks me up every time. And she is so sincere in her apology. Wonderful delivery. I wonder what she used for motivation? God love the casting agent for this sucker.

And speaking of casting, this is a cast of thousands. They filled that plane, and filled it with expertly color-coordinated people and wardrobe. I can’t imagine the role of stylist and casting director on this one. There is a list that was checked more than twice. Even the number of male passengers with goatees seems to be calculated! Ah, Hollywood. You’ve found your way to the industrials of the skies.

And speaking of the skies, I’m still up there. And my wine just got comped. I was digging under my seat trying to find my wallet, and when I came up with credit card in hand, the flight attendant smiled and said it was on him, for the unexpected delays. I was elated — and then I turned back to my laptop and realized that it was open to this post, and the title, “Prisoner on a Plane” was as big as life! Something tells me there was more to that comp than the travel delays. But hey, I’ll take that glass, and raise it. Cheers! See you on the ground…