Saturday, September 10, 2016

Panic Button in Flight

9/11 changed how the world travels by air.

Security checks, x-ray scrutiny, examination of shoes, plastic dinner utensils, and no water bottles. These measures have prevented any repetition of 19 men seizing four airliners on the same day at the same time and piloting them into buildings.

America is safe, however our citizens still experienced the terror of 9/11 every time that they get on a plane and once a Playboy centerfold freaked out during turbulence on a Jet Blue flight. The dark-haired beauty ran to the hatch to open the emergency door. Two vacationing police officers restrained the young woman, who was described in VIP, the Singapore version of Playboy as follows, "Tiffany boasts the immaculate poise of a mature model wrapped with a bubbly demeanor."

A few bumps in the air and the immaculate poise was gone.

This panic could happen to anyone.

In 2010 a Jet Blue steward went postal on a abusive passenger during the taxi to the terminal, then punched open the escape chute and slid to fame for his feat. Another case of airplane mania.

Drinks on airplanes are no longer free. Airline attendants are wary of drunks.

One trans-Atlantic traveler drank so much alcohol that he stood on the serving cart in 1st class and took a shit on it. I was impressed by this acrobatic feat, however he was arrested in Heathrow for his prowess.

The skies are safer, so buckle up and fly straight.

Brock Dundee and I were flying to Chicago last year. My friend had just returned from filming British troops in Kabul. We missed our flight and sat in the Sushi bar at the Jet Blue terminal. The London filmmaker was nursing a hangover and the saki gave strength to the booze in his blood. Red wine was his after-sushi drink.

By the time we boarded the next flight, Brock was drunk. His lips were red from the Bordeaux. The overweight steward asked him to sit down, as he placed his bag in the overhead rack, then shut the door on Brock's hands.

"Heyyyyy." Brock slurred with his proper English accent.

"Sir, have you been drinking?" The attendant examined Brock, as if he were a breathalyzer.

"Only a glass or two."

"Then you're not flying on this plane. You either leave or I'll call the air marshal." He began to push Brock.

"Hey, slow down, sport." I was getting our bags. "We'll leave under our own steam."

On the way out I explained to the captain that the attendant had been rude and that Brock had just returned from Afghanistan.

"Sorry, but it's not my call."

I mouthed 'fuck you' to the chubby steward and got off the plane. We went back to the bar.

Safe from terrorism but not ourselves.

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