Saturday, February 11, 2012

LAX-SLC-YYC - February 10th, 2012

I don't want to get in the habit of posting whenever I fly, but yesterday's trip from Los Angeles to Calgary via Salt Lake was rather interesting. Or should I say the people I flew with were. And not in a positive way. And why am I starting all my sentences with conjunctions? But enough of that.

My question is why is it that when people fly in the US, they lose all semblance of common sense. Is it the experience of being humiliated and degraded by the TSA's security theater that renders them incapable of understanding that there are other people in the airport or on the plane?

Some unsolicited advice for fellow travelers:

1) Learn the skill of sitting quietly and thinking. At the gate, many people are on their cell phone, speaking so loudly that I am forced to learn far more about their lives than I really want to. What happened to covering your mouth when you talk on the phone? (Note to friends: if I die and you are going to my funeral, do not announce that fact so all of gate 31 can hear it). Those traveling with families are talking amongst themselves, which is fine, but again far too loudly; I don't need to know about Aunt Dora's psoriasis.

2) The flight is 2 hours long, not 6 days. When you board the plane, put the suitcase in the overhead bin and sit down. You don't need to unpack your carry-on, get our your laptop, iPhone, smelly lunch, and change your shoes. Because if you do that, you will have to reverse those steps when you leave the plane, and you will trap the guy at the window seat who needs to get to his connecting flight.

3) Please do not speak excessively loudly about your lives throughout the entire flight in a futile attempt to impress those around you. Yes, your lives are interesting, but only to yourselves. Nobody cares that you are going to Belgium next month with your mother.

4) If you are obese, consider buying an extra seat, paying for the upgrade to business class, or asking to be seated by yourself. Failure to do so will surely turn the poor soul trapped between your excessive girth and the fuselage in a permanent state of hating on fat people.

5) I do not want half a chocolate bar. But thanks for asking.

Enough ranting. Despite being saddled with less than satisfactory seatmates, I still enjoyed the flights, simply because of the views, as it was a clear day for most of the way. Below are a few shots from my window seat.

This 757 (N6716C) took us from LAX to SLC. I love when they give the plane a unique touch, like naming this one after Joseph E. Lowery. Who knew flying could be so educational?

During the taxi, I was happy to see Air New Zealand's All Blacks livery decorating a newly delivered bird (ZK-OKQ). This honours the All Blacks championship at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

We took off at the same time as this United flight. LAX has four runways, generally two are used for arrivals and two for departures, so this sort of thing is not uncommon.

The coast north of LAX

We turned back over the airport, a great overhead view of most of the complex.

Approaching Salt Lake City

SLC with the city in the background

On the way to Calgary with the sun setting on the mountains just northwest of the Salt Lake City.

The lesson from the trip is that you can always let the little things bother you, but when you start to look at the big picture, you'll realize that there is more beauty in the world than you can ever possibly see.



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