Fly the Surly Skies

We watched Airline last night. I have a little more sympathy for the workers of airlines since watching this show. That doesn’t mean that I’m happy when they screw me, but they do catch a lot of shit just for doing their jobs. It struck me last night how many of these issues that people were freaking out about were of their own making. In one, a woman didn’t make the flight because Southwest didn’t get her the wheelchair assistance in time. That’s their fault. However, the woman’s luggage made the trip and it had her medication in it which apparently was life threatening to miss. The daughter of the family spent lots of time raising sand about how bad this was. In the first place, DON’T PUT MISSION CRITICAL THINGS THAT WILL KILL YOU TO NOT HAVE IN THE CHECKED LUGGAGE! Suppose the luggage got lost, which happens occasionally. Then you equally don’t have it. Would it have been so burdensome to put this shit in your purse? Second, they seemed uninterested in solving the core problem or even identifying the core problem. As I read it, the core problem was “mom will die if she misses her pills tonight.” They seemed to be focussing on getting her from LA to New York to get to where the pills and luggage are. You know, a phone call to your doctor’s office can get an emergency prescription. I’ve done it before in cases like that. This appeared to be the middle of the day, so why didn’t they just find a close by pharmacy and call the doctor? It would have solved the root problem without all the histrionics.

In the other one, a family was flying with their mother/grandmother, who required oxygen. You can’t take the tank on the plane, and the whole thing centered on whether or not she could make it from Chicago to Las Vegas without the oxygen. The SWA employees weren’t going to do it without a written note from the doctor, and the daughter was raising a fit. “Of course she can make it that far, what’s going to happen. It’s our responsibility” and other stuff. That’s all well and good, but the liability is still on Southwest. If the woman dies on the plane from missing her bottled oxygen, I could easily see her beeyatch daughter turning around and suing for negligence, even though she busted balls all day to try to get mom on the plane. I’m not sure why the two sentences were not enough for her: “We can’t take the bottled oxygen on board because if we lose pressure it will explode and hurt or kill people.” and “If your mom dies because she doesn’t have that oxygen, the responsibility is ours not yours.” I thought the daughter was completely unreasonable.

All that said, why don’t planes have a seat or two specially with oxygen tubes for this situation? They already have it onboard in a tank somewhere for those little masks that pop out. Couldn’t they bring a little extra and allow for a senior or two to have a nose tube the whole time?

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.