Travel as a study in #FirstWorldProblems

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Traveling, especially alone, gives you lots of time to observe the world and see many “first world” problems:

  1. James Taylor’s opus, “Sittin’ By the Dock of the Bay,” while catchy, is not appropriate plane boarding music.

  2. Airlines have lots of options with recorded safety briefings. The animated ones are the most disturbing and funny. The live action plus CGI ones are the most captivating.

  3. If your doing your safety briefing in more than two languages it is definitely time to start being more choosy. In flight announcements in three languages are obnoxious no matter how you do it.

    If you are making announcements in only two languages, your primary working language and a second language, have the same person make both announcements back to back. Hearing the English language announcement on Emirates and knowing the one person who speaks Arabic will be making an announcement with just enough of a delay to cause your movie to pause twice and skip a section is aggravating.

  4. Making a ton of announcements about how you don’t make announcements is self-defeating. If you’re going to play the “quiet airport” game, use signs.

  5. When you clean an airplane, it always looks nice to leave all the seat belts buckled and laying tight across the seats. It looks orderly. However, this is also a BAD idea.

    Remember, you already don’t trust the users of these belts to understand how they operate. It is already too much to expect them to read numbers and letters from their boarding card, understand them, find the right seat, put their stuff in an overhead bin and sit down all while not blocking the aisle, bitching, or hurting themselves or others. You really want to add the complication of making them figure out a seat belt before you explain it?1

The usual rants about bad airport signage, extra BS security screening and security theater, lack of free wifi or BS limits on it, and unprepared people have been deliberately omitted.

Photo by Dominika Bula: Dragon Lantern at the “Magical Lantern Festival” at the Chiswick House and Gardens in London on 14 February 2016.

Note: This post was edited for grammar, typos and phrasing. A full history is available in the git repository.

  1. This particular thought struck me after helping a domestic passenger in China understand how his seat belt operated … with sign language and demos.