Monday, July 04, 2005

Flight Risk

Ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the flight crew and the security personnel and the terminal ticketing and check-in personnel and our extended family of codesharing partners and the many ancillary service providers and individuals who made today’s flight possible, for example the fuel refillers and cabin vacuumers and wing deicers and Big Mike and his terrific team from meal services and the guy who kicks the tires and the guy who waves the day-glo sticks, wonderful, all of you, great, great, just great, welcome on board.

Please find your complimentary copy of our in-flight magazine, A Wing and a Prayer, in the seat pocket in front of you.

Our video presentation today features a romantic comedy starring Ashley Judd, Ethan Hawke, Keanu Reeves, Alicia Silverstone and Robert De Niro. You may use your own headset or purchase one for the price of $2 which you may use on future flights should you ever have the opportunity to fly again and should you decide to avail yourself of such an opportunity or opportunities.

Exercise caution while opening overhead bins as their contents may have shifted or be packed with Semtex or some other type of plastique explosive which, while likely to have been wired to detonate by remote control or according to a crude timing mechanism, may be highly unstable due to the haste and inattention with which the sweating and eager miscreant prepared it. Enjoy your flight with us today.

We apologize if your preferred beverage selection is not available.

Our estimated flight time, barring such unforeseen circumstances as the gradual appearance of a headwind due to the effect on the jet stream of subtle shifts in the earth's climatic condition which may or may not bear a relation to the ill-controlled emission of so-called greenhouse gases by the industries of rapidly developing economies such as China, Russia, Venezuela, Uganda and Vietnam; planewide hysterical nausea precipitated perhaps by one passenger’s lost struggle with airsickness and his inability to limit the visibility, sound and/or splattering of his vomit to a tolerably discreet degree; a cockpit breach involving one or more assailants armed with steak knives, box cutters, prison-type shivs or some other easily concealable and difficult-to-detect weapon or weapons resulting in the diversion of the flight or the crashing of the plane into a landmark fraught with symbolic meaning; catastrophic pilot error due to aneurysm, cardiac arrest, sudden dementia, the fatiguing effects of a night spent at the hotel bar flirting with the cabin crew and drinking Grey Goose, Johnny Walker Black, Maker’s Mark or some other premium-brand liquor or combination of such liquors far into the FAA-mandated twelve-hour sobriety buffer period for flight deck personnel or the ill-advised yet charmingly playful temporary passing of the commands to his son or some other adorable, towheaded young boy who promptly pitches the plane into an irretrievable, spiraling descent; interference of traffic through no fault of the pilots; accidental shooting by Navy jet pilots in training; congestion at destination requiring the adoption of a holding pattern; running out of gas though that never happens; is seven hours and 43 minutes.

All travelers must complete customs declaration cards and travelers from EEC countries must complete visa and immigration cards. If you are a citizen of a country with a visa dispensation agreement with the United States you must complete and sign a visa dispensation agreement card.

You are free to move about the cabin.

Seat cushions may be used as flotation devices. The white lights lead to red lights and the ramps turn into rafts. In case of sudden cabin depressurization oxygen masks will rain down like a plague of yellow jellyfish. Muzzle your child tightly in one. If you are sitting in an emergency row, remove your window with a glass cutter and suction cups and walk out upon the wing, inviting others in your cabin class to join you. Dance a fucking jig like in those old newsreels. Feel the wind rushing against your face, against your body. Spread your arms like a great big bird. Wheeee!! Did you know that the air at 30,000 feet contains considerably less oxygen than at sea level? We thank you for your cooperation.

Please fly with us again.