Damien on… Why Flying These Days Is SHITE!
Back in the Good Old Days, flying was only for the intrepid RICH.
Then, after WW2, it became a serious means of getting places that were far away – but it was still only affordable by the well-heeled.
However, in the Seventies – thanks to people like Freddie Laker and Richard Branson (now both Sir) – flight finally became available to the MASSES. Which is where it all went horribly WRONG.
The reasons are many.
(1) Back In The Day, since passengers were paying a FORTUNE to fly on (for security reasons) mostly STATE airlines – they were treated like ROYALTY by ground and cabin staff alike.
But now – being PLEBS, flying on planes designed like freighters (there has even been talk of future air-travellers having to STAND on flights) passengers are treated like MORONS – BY morons.
(2) Since “9/11”, said morons have been given carte blanche to use Security as a cover-all reason for abusing and humiliating passengers at will.
(3) Anti-smoking hysteria has resulted in the 25% of passengers who indulge – being BANNED from smoking on planes. And when they finally land, being herded into Smoking Rooms the size of a garden shed – in air terminals the size of aircraft HANGERS.
And (4) When planes got BIG, it was decided that airports no longer needed multiple runways, to enable safe landings and takeoffs in ANY wind conditions – these bigger aircraft could handle CROSS-WINDS.
In the early days, planes either landed on water or grass fields. Thus all the pilot had to do was get a report from the tower on wind speed and direction – or if same did not exist, fly over the field or stretch of water and use his Mark One Eyeball to see what the WIND-SOCK was doing.
Then, with this information, he could land directly INTO the wind.
Not so today. While airport authorities are happy to spend gazillions on big, flashy airport terminals – when it comes to RUNWAYS, they scrimp.
The thing is – those flashy terminals are a measure of STATUS.
Runways are only about SAFETY.
Case in point: London Heathrow USED to have a NETWORK of runways – facing ALL directions.
But when planes started getting bigger, it would have COST them to EXTEND all of those runways – plus, people had built factories and homes on the LAND that would have been required.
And so they merely extended The Tens (runways One-Zero-Left and Right) and reassigned the remainder as taxi-ways to them.
Which, given the winds at Heathrow tend to be light and generally from the East – is fine.
Except occasionally, even Heathrow gets hit by a STORM. These feature powerful CIRCULAR wind patterns which, within moments, can be coming from ANY direction.
Of course, if a crosswind is designated as SEVERE, flights can be diverted to another airport – or STACKED, until the storm passes.
But these options cause PROBLEMS for the airlines. Having your passengers at the WRONG airport – not to mention your PLANE – is a logistical and EXPENSIVE nightmare. And flying around in circles burns FUEL.
Therefore, pilots are NOT encouraged to take these options – which results in some HAIRY landings (see YouTube).
Naturally, this is all about MONEY. If you ban smoking on planes and in terminals, you save a fortune on redecorating, air conditioning – even insurance.
And allow ground and cabin staff to abuse and humiliate passengers and you will have thousands of ARSEHOLES queuing up to take the jobs – for WAY less money than is paid to personnel in companies where they are required to be CIVIL to the customers.
And by forcing people to take their lives in their hands, landing on inadequate runway systems – you save yet MORE money.
So what of the future? Well, as we have seen, planes are still getting BIGGER. Which has been fine – SO FAR.
But what will happen when – as it eventually must – one of these behemoths tries to put down in a storm even IT cannot handle. And FIVE HUNDRED PASSENGERS GET SPLASHED ALL OVER THE RUNWAY?
It will be the Titanic Of The Air. And the cause will be the same as with THAT disaster – Man’s GREED AND STUPIDITY.