Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why One Should Keep Aware of One's Surroundings

The airline industry is a competitive one and as such, they are always trying to attract you by adding features to make your flight more comfortable; offering cheaper fares; and offering more attractive in-flight features.

Thus, when I was flying down to Boston last year, I found myself in an airplane equipped with a personal screen on the back of the seat in front of me. This was something new to me. It used to be that when the airplane was like this:

The cabin tvs used to be set up like this:
Old Cabin

But now was more like this:

The old way was very limiting. You had no choice over which movie was playing, and sometimes you would be seated at a very awkward viewing angle. The movie would only turn on at cruising altitude and turned off again as the plane began to descend.

With Boston being a relatively short flight, I decided to make use of this new feature as soon as I got settled in the seat. The new Star Trek film was the best of the choices and I hadn't seen it before, so I put it on. I was able to watch right from the airplane moving through takeoff with only a short interlude for the standard safety speech.

After it restarted, I got into the movie. I got REALLY into the movie. So much that I barely paid any attention to the short announcement that we would beginning our descent. Add to that the fact that the pilot was either very smooth or the cabin pressure adjustment was flawless and you get me right back into the movie. In the OLD way, the movie would have stopped at that point and you would be resigned to and turning off your personal electronic devices and watching the ground get closer out the window. I was fully engaged in the movie instead. If you've ever seen the movie, it was the point at which Kirk, Sulu and Olsen make a jump onto a platform and Olsen falls to his death. Looks something like this:
Base Jump

Anyways, the moment that they hit the platform was the PRECISE moment the plane wheels touched the ground. The shock immediately caused me to yell out "AAAAAAGH!" and all of the people nearby turned around and gave me a quizzical look.

Naturally, due to the personal viewing experience, the likelyhood of anybody else experiencing the same coincidence was pretty slim...which would explain them being so confused. So, I just took off my headphones, nodded my head, said 'hey' and made my way off the plane.

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