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Namby pamby Jeremy Clark


OPINION


Jeremy Clark is a frequent flyer who doesn't want to be told what to do and how to do it by people who have no idea what he does


Are you tired of being treated like a three-year old when on travels? I am. The other day, whilst leaving a flight, I was invited to: “Please mind your step as you disembark and make your way through the terminal”. What treacherous hazards do they think await me between the jet bridge and freedom? Hidden potholes? Gangs lurking to mug me before immigration? Is the roof about to cave in? (perhaps, if this was in Paris). During the flight there are nonstop parental instructions. I must fold up my papers and put them on a pile at the front. I must not leave anything behind. I must mind out when opening the overhead luggage locker in case a piano falls out. No, you can’t have tea or a coffee if there is the remotest turbulence, should you incur third degree burns. Unlikely since the stuff is almost always barely lukewarm. My favourite is: “The seatbelt is fastened and unfastened like this….” Frankly, anyone incapable of negotiating this very simple task shouldn’t be out of the house let alone on a plane!


“The captain and crew are here primarily for your safety” I am told. Are they? I thought they were here primarily to fly the plane and get us a cup of tea.


Hopefully, if the engineers have screwed the engine covers on properly and Boeing/Airbus did a reasonable manufacturing job, bird- strikes permitting, we should be fine. We’re also reminded to “Keep your seatbelt fastened until the aircraft has come to a complete stop”. This is nothing to do with safety but designed to keep us all seated until the last minute. Your chances of


46 WWW.ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM


survival in a pile-up with a baggage cart whilst taxiing to the gate are a lot better than at 38,000 ft and 680 MPH, where you are invited to unbuckle it. These namby-pamby


announcements get worse as Health & Safety officers and those tasked with avoiding insurance pay-outs, attempt to cover every tiny eventuality. The inevitable: “This is your Captain speaking,” chit-chats to reassure us there is someone awake at the pointy end and the insistence that we “Take care when moving about the cabin”. I’m so glad to be reminded, as I was about to try out my skateboard. And do we need to be told how high we are and where we are going? The clue is to be found on your boarding pass. Although this information was useful to an American couple on a recent Turkish


"Frankly, anyone who is incapable of fastening, or unfastening, his seatbelt


should'nt be out of the house, let alone on a plane!"


Airlines flight to Dakar (Bangladesh), who thought they were going to Dhaka (Senegal).


Frequent fliers need an option to swipe the Platinum Card somewhere and disable all this stuff. Crew announcements would be restricted to either “Brace! Brace!”, or “More Champagne sir?”. Other than that I think I can probably negotiate the perilous journey from aircraft door to seat and back again without incurring a major medical trauma or accidentally decapitating a fellow passenger. I suppose there’s little we can do about all this and we’ll just have to bear it like everything else. In the meantime I wish you all happy travels, oh . . . . . and do mind how you go. If you have heard a banal safety announcement, do please let me know. jeremy@clarkjeremy.com


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