Hell on wings. The entire process of flying in America today—from the humiliating TSA search procedures to the constant mechanical delays and nasty customer service—is designed to immiserate the passenger. None of this is an accident.
Air travel has been an exercise in ritual humiliation since the airlines capitulated to terrorists during the golden age of hijacking in the late 1960s. Conditions, however, became truly abominable in the wake of 9/11. Nineteen Muslim immigrant men between the ages of 18 and 35 decided to ram several aircraft into the nation’s commercial heart and the Pentagon, therefore the Transportation Safety Administration needs to pat down grandmothers and use surveillance tools to peer at the naked bodies of ordinary citizens. Of course.
COVID managed to ratchet up the nastiness to Stanford Prison experiment levels of wanton cruelty and callousness. A constant drone of public service announcements extol the correct way to wear your face muzzle. Flight delays, a product of absurd COVID isolation procedures and crew burnout, are the norm.
Everything about flying in America is unpleasant.
There is, however, a simple solution. It would bring customers substantial savings, reduce the tension of flying, and contribute to a more positive and welcoming atmosphere.
Fire the flight attendants. All of them.
America’s flight attendants are the single most useless part of the flying experience. Their work has nothing to do either with flying or maintaining the aircraft. Their only real job is to hand out snacks.
A vending machine before the jet bridge would be just as effective and far cheaper. The cost of personnel makes up roughly a third of the cost of flying. Cut out the Sky Karens and there would be nothing but upside for the airline customer. Flight attendants are a product of government regulation, not free-market pressure. The Federal Aviation Administration mandates that flights carry a set number of flight attendants per number of passengers.
Stuffing a bunch of glorified hotel front desk clerks into airplanes doesn’t make flying safer. Nor does it prevent terrorism. It was passengers who led the revolt on Flight 93, not the flight attendants. When skyjacker Paul Joseph Cini tried to take over a DC-8 in 1971, it was the pilot who took his gun, wrestled him to the ground, and grabbed his throat so that another crew member could crack his skull with an ax. When Nguyen Thai Binh tried to take over a flight headed to South Vietnam, it was the pilot and an off-duty police officer who seized him, pumped his body full of five rounds of .357 magnum, and then dumped his body on the tarmac in Saigon before taking off.
American passengers are smart enough to figure out how to sit down and close overhead luggage bins before takeoff. The flight crew can easily run through the cabin to make sure passengers are doing the bare minimum. Over the last 50 years, just how many lives have actually been saved by sending a bunch of glorified waitresses down airplane aisles ensuring that tray tables are stowed and seat backs are in the upright and locked position?
Flight attendants, like any other government-mandated grifter job, are filled by liberals. At a December hearing in Congress with the heads of America’s four largest airlines, the CEOs each expressed skepticism about the TSA’s mask mandate on aircraft. Sara Nelson, the head of the flight attendants’ union, however, was having none of the talk about treating customers like human beings. In the words of the Forbes report, she “fact-checked” the CEOs (all white males, the horror) by blathering about how masks were a necessary “safety protocol.”
As the virus masks went on, the political mask came off. Flight attendants have always been pointless, but COVID made clear that their only real purpose was to serve as high-altitude camp guards. The videos of airline staff cruelly kicking off families with young children who couldn’t wear the mask is evidence enough of the vicious contempt far too many airline staff feel toward the passengers under their charge. Americans need to liberate themselves from the human resources’ regime.
If the flight attendants had their way, Americans would be masked up forever. It is time for airlines to jettison this pointless dead weight. The fewer officially sanctioned grifters manning make-work jobs the better. No more affirmative action for liberal white women. There is no group in America more in need of full-on contact with reality. The reign of neurotic liberals has gone too far.