What I Have Learned At 39,000 Feet…

I have inarguably spent a fair bit of time up in the air of late. While the benefits of air travel are few and far between in this day and age, it does afford ample opportunities for people watching, and offers some interesting insights into the human condition. I share the following for your edification and entertainment:

Apparent happiness at an airport is inversely proportional to experience in air travel.

Happy people dressed casually are leaving on vacation. Cranky people dressed casually are returning home.

Cranky people in suits could theoretically be at any stage in their journey. They may be 20 miles from home, or 20,000. It all looks the same.

Advanced frequent fliers really do compete for status by comparing the size of their frequent flier accounts while socializing. This is likely a form of compensating.

Smiling, being polite and respectful is the best way of maximizing the likelihood of an improved travel experience (upgrades to business class, better hotel rooms or a Mustang convertible at the rental counter).

Frequent travelers are those who stand to most benefit from recognizing the correlation between smiles and service.

Frequent travelers are those who are least likely to take on board the whole lesson about there being a correlation between this whole smiles and service thing.

Asking an agent, ”Don’t you know who I am?” will likely result in them endeavouring to learn that information fairly quickly. There is also a very real likelihood that you will not enjoy the rest of your trip.

Even smiling isn’t likely to get you into the business class cabin for free, unless you can back up that smile with an upgrade certificate.

If the boarding machine ever offers you an upgrade to business class for less than $300, on a flight of more than 1.5 hours, slap down your credit card immediately. There is no other experience that has a greater payoff for the money, and a greater level of regret for not spending it.

When you do get to business class, the fish will be the most tasty. And probably will have run out just before the steward takes your order. The vegetarian pasta is the most filling. The beef is probably a reasonable compromise.

There is nothing quite like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies served at 30,000 feet. It genuinely rivals sex in terms of pleasure. Even good sex.

Hotel-room sex is substantively different than at-home-in-my-own bed sex. For this reason, you should never sleep with your face near the comforter of your hotel bed. Or the carpet.

Men should realize that at the best of times, they fail to pee successfully whilst standing up.

Men are most particularly likely to try to pee standing up when enclosed in the narrow confines of an airplane toilet. And least likely to succeed.

Their manhood is in no way would be threatened by sitting down. Or wiping up their evidence of failure. Evolution still has yet to select for either truth.

As an employee, the airport security guards genuinely would rather not ’touch your junk.’

As a traveller, I will acquiesce to my junk being touched (and anything else they would like to check out) before I get in their machine.

Of course, most of this should not be revelatory (well, except maybe for the bit about the cookies and paying for upgrades). In fact, most of us should have learned most of this in kindergarten (except,again, for the bit about upgrades; and yet, some kindergartens in certain private schools no doubt have this on their curriculum as well). But for those who have forgotten the lessons of childhood, perhaps the above will serve as a useful refresher.

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