Why ask why?

by James Wysong on May 16, 2004

After 15 years in the airline industry, I have come to the conclusion that the word “why” will always be asked, but a rational answer should never be expected.

Here are a few of my favorite examples:

Why is it that after sitting down most of the time on a 14-hour flight, the first thing you want to do after you deplane is … sit down?

Why is it that approximately 40 percent of all flight attendants have a fear of heights?

On the safety information card located in every passenger’s seat pocket is the sentence, “If you can’t read or don’t understand the information on this card, please contact a flight attendant.” If they can’t read, why bother writing it?

Why does being in an airplane spark up an unusual thirst for … ginger ale?

Why do hotels print outlandish daily rates on the inside of their room doors? Do they think that everyone will consider themselves lucky compared to what they actually paid? Has anyone ever actually paid the rate posted?

Why would the flight attendant job that has so many beautiful women working in it, attract predominantly gay men? I joined to travel the world but as shallow as it sounds, I signed up to meet women as well. Call me crazy but I liked the odds.

If peanuts are proven to cause gas, then why do they serve them eight miles in the air, in a plane with hundreds of people confined to one space, sitting next to each other?

Why are there ashtrays in the airplane toilets if you’re not allowed to smoke in there (or anywhere on the plane for that matter) at any time?

Why do people insist on standing on the moving walkways at airports? What is it about the name that is so unclear? I actually don’t have a problem with those of you who wish to stand, but don’t look at me as I pass as if I am a pest who is breaking the rules.

Why do airlines over compensate their CEOs regardless of performance? Why not give them a stock option instead? Then they can receive their fortune if their airline does well. Isn’t there an airline out there applying for an ATSB loan that just paid their CEO a $3 million bonus? Better yet, didn’t another airline CEO just become a multi-millionaire after his recent resignation? As far as I can gather, all he accomplished was the total destruction of morale, stock price, and the airline’s foreseeable future.

Why is it that people wait until the seatbelt sign is turned on, or the meal service begins, to get up and use the toilet?

Why do all airlines always show the highest attended movies? If a hundred million people have seen Spiderman, don’t you think most of the passengers would have also?

On that same note, a few airlines claim to have “free movies and headsets.” Why all of a sudden are the movies not so new and the headsets absolutely ancient? Just a scary thought, what if used headsets could spread lice or SARS?

Why are 40 percent of all major airline pilots named Bob?

Why is it that you remember that you vowed never to fly a certain airline again half-way through their service?

Why are people suddenly allergic to fish when it’s the only entree left?

Why is it that the same people who complained about the quality of in-flight meals are now complaining about the lack of food?

If air crews trust and advocate the checked baggage system so much, why on their off-time do they always carry their bags onboard?

Why are there so many luggage stores at airports? You would think that the passengers about to board a flight would have their luggage needs covered by then.

If we can give, or now sell, you a meal that causes indigestion, why aren’t we allowed to give out the cure, like Alka-Seltzer or Rolaids? Maybe we should just give the meals away and charge a fortune for antacids.

Why would anyone eat at an airport-dining establishment called The Terminal Restaurant?
Just a few things for you to think about the next time you fly.

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