Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

No bombs in the seatback pocket

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on August 30, 2009

If you’ve bought a ticket to London recently, you know that the Brits are choosing to fight the emissions caused by flying by levying pretty big taxes on each flight. In the US, we’re going with the approach of making flying completely intolerable instead:

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that airlines whose flight attendants had been telling passengers that no personal items of any kind could be placed in seatback pockets were “following our guidance, if they are enforcing this with travelers.”

The agency’s response came after numerous inquiries following a flight I made from Denver to Tucson operated by SkyWest Airlines, on which the flight attendant announced before takeoff that, as a safety measure, nothing could be placed in seatback storage pockets — no eyeglasses, no ticket stubs, no iPods or bottles of water or magazines.

This is obviously a big hassle for over-electroniced passengers like me, but it’s also yet another example of a total failure to understand opportunity costs. While the flight attendant is busily looking to see whether you’ve snuck an iPod into your seatback pocket, he or she is unable to spend that time doing things that might actually enhance safety, or, God forbid, improve the enjoyment of your flight. Thanks, FAA.


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