Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Unkindness of Strangers

In light of Ryanair deciding to charge for bathroom use aloft and Spirit Airlines announcing a fee for carry-on luggage, I thought it would be fitting to share with any young'uns out there this Carol Burnett show skit mocking the 1970's precursor to all this nickle-and-diming of the airplane passenger - the NoFrills flight marketing idea. Please take special note of Tim Conway's facial expressions and body language - the man was a comic genius.



I suppose I should be glad that air travel is not in our budget. In fact, I haven't been on a plane since we changed duty stations back in 1994. Larry (back in those halcyon, security-free pre-9/11 days) escorted me and a toddling Anna and a 3-year-old Theo onto the plane and settled us in for what should have been a 5-hour flight. After he left, the pilot announced that we would be sitting on the tarmac for an hour while they "changed a faulty engine." Feeling apprehensive about this faulty-engine business (not to mention being trapped on an airplane with 2 small children for an extra hour), I asked the passenger behind me - in a pathetic, begging-for-reassurance, please-lie-to-me tone of voice - if a faulty engine were normal.

"Are you kidding?" he said. "The airlines have just gone to hell since deregulation."

Thanks, buddy. Just what I needed to hear...

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14 comments:

  1. HA!

    In so many of your stories, Larry is either coming or going.

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  2. Loved the Carol Burnett show! This is just a little too close to what is happening today!

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  3. You just made me decide to rent the Carol Burnett videos from the library! My kids have never seen this!

    I forgot how much I LOVED that show. All of them, and Tim Conway, when he played the old man, just had me crossing my legs to keep the pee in.

    I'm doing it. Thanks for the fun!

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  4. Wow--a 9 minute skit. That would never make it with our short attention spans today. That was very funny and I don't remember seeing it the first time around.

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  5. OMG...thanks for posting that! I loved that show as a kid! And I'm getting on a plane in 15 minutes...

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  6. Not sure I wanted to read this post since I'm getting on a plane this Thursday. Short hop to Atlanta, then long plane ride over open water to Europe. I'll be thinking about ya--and hold onto my purse, carry on, and still use the seat bottom as a flotation device.

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  7. I LOVE Carol Burnett. And there is an upside to being financially challenged! No extra fees!

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  8. I love Tim Conway. He's my boyfriend.

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  9. I'm not sure if that made me feel better about flying or not...

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  10. I could tell you that flying is still safer than driving...as long as that doesn't make you nervous about driving! (Actually living in the greater Boston metro area, being nervous about driving is *entirely* rational.)

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  11. I used to watch the Carol Burnett show as a kid and loved it! thanks for sharing. I recently got to fly with all 5 of my kids. Needless to say even without the faulty engine deal, I was a bit nervous!

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  12. Ah, classic piece of TV comedy! The good old days...
    Airlines seem determined to make themselves obsolete, don't they? Sheesh.

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  13. I will *never* fly with a child ever again, mine or otherwise. I flew with my daughter when she was 4. Keep in mind that she is the best behaved child I have ever known...and still...I will never do it again. Granted it was a bit my fault, as I screwed up the departure times on our tickets, but, running through a Michigan airport, carrying a sleeping 4 year old, and both of our carry on bags, to get to a gate a mile away in the 7 minute window we had to catch our flight that was to get us from Va to Fl (that's right, I did say a Michigan airport to get us from Virginia to Florida) was enough to cure me. It was post 9/11, and watching my 4 year old get 'patted down' by security because we were considered 'high risk' because we had to change our flight, put the final nail in the coffin.

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  14. Haha...I needed the laugh! I think it is pathetic that it is so much better and easier to fly international than domestic. We have had very few problems, never any delays or lost luggage, we still get free meals and no fees for luggage.

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