There seems to be a lot of attention on travel grievances these days. Having recently endured some air-transit annoyances myself, I thought I would strike while the iron is hot. flying
From lineup to landing, here are 7 innovations that I think would greatly alleviate some of our most familiar frustrations with flying.
Time-To-Completion Predictive Countdowns Above Self-Check-In Kiosks When Old People Are Using Them
I love old folks; they say it like it is, they fall when it’s windy, and they’re the only people in the world that like getting wasted and driving golf carts into trees more than I do. But holy shit, I need a heads up when it’s going to take Leonard and Pearl 61 minutes to figure out which way is “Face Down” for their Passports. Thank God there are no Next buttons on prescription bottles.
Between Google intelligence, eye-scanners, and the people who make NBA shot-clocks, we should be able to throw a pretty helpful countdown above those kiosks to let me know when it’s a good idea to switch lines. Or plant cocaine in their fanny packs.
Electric Shock Chairs For People Who Sit In The Wrong Seat After Having Graduating From 1st Grade
Sitting in the right seat on an airplane, under the most complex of circumstances, requires three things: looking around, counting as high as 50, and reading up to the letter “K”—assuming access to education and no notable impairment, all things we learned by the age of 7. Has there ever been an easier riddle posed to the adult world? Maybe the light switch? Ass-wiping? You figured out iTunes and tipping a waiter, but 14B made your ears bleed?
The last thing I should have to do after someone flubs the exact opposite of a Rubik’s Cube is spend 90 seconds comparing tickets and saying things like, “See, the number on here shouldn’t be above a row I’m not sitting in.” Give out SmartTickets that are synced with geo-fences, weight sensors and electric prods integrated into each seat, and just zap them until they move.
A Digital Waiver Instead Of That Excruciating Safety Video / Presentation
Oh my golly, is that how seatbelts work?? And wait, wait, wait—that thing that drops down from the ceiling is a jock strap, right? We have people signing fine-print that fucks them out of insurance coverage and waives their rights to class action law suits, but every time I get on a flight I have to watch a drama-school dropout pretend that in the event of a water “landing” we’re going to remember anything they said, and not just shit our pants while we belt-strap together the two chubbiest passengers to make a catamaran?
Come on. Do what everyone else does: throw up a bunch of mumbo jumbo in 6-point font, don’t bother checking if we scrolled to the bottom, sneak something in there about sharing our data with the Russians, and let us blindly click “I Accept”.
A “Wake Me Up You Idiot, Of Course I Want My Fucking Dinner” Indicator Above The Seats
Hotels have had “Do Not Disturb” signs since the first day doorknobs and prostitutes co-existed, but KLM was founded almost 100 years ago, and nobody has figured out an efficient way to let flight attendants know that they should (or should not) interrupt the world’s shittiest sleep to make sure I don’t have to eat a blanket on my way to Asia? Knowing that major airlines haven’t figured out that brain-buster, it’s no wonder that most of them are stuck making less than $10 profit on every passenger. That being said, who knows what kind of chaos and confusion would ensue if they removed the No Smoking signs…
A “Don’t Talk To Me” Indicator Above The Seats
Come to think of it, is there anything actually useful in that ceiling console above the seats? I don’t need industrial-strength air-conditioning on 8% of my forehead, I can use those personal floodlights for maybe ten minutes before feeling like I woke up during heart surgery, and if I really need the flight attendant’s attention, I’ll speak Arabic. What I really need is something that politely and pre-emptively tells Alan Boychuck from SumDildio Corp. that I’d rather read an 80th article about Vancouver’s fusion cuisine than hear about the last time he got food poisoning in Boston, and how his introvert daughter is “really into soccer.”
Just a simple button that stays lit when you press it in, and maybe looks a little something like this:
Noise-Cancelling Baby Clothes
How hard can this be? We’ve figured out the basic science in headphones, wearables for infants have officially turned satire into sales, and nobody has been able to hear shit coming out of an astronaut’s helmet for decades. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, there has to be a smart-clothes-for-babies innovation that either drowns out the sound of Chokey McSnotterson’s eight-hour ear infection, or simply funnels it directly into his parents’ temporal lobe. Too complicated? Fine. I’ll pay to have the overhead bins sound-proofed and we can take it from there.
A Crate Of Mutilated Vibrators Instead Of An Electoral College
Lower your costs, boost your efficiency; the ultimate goal of innovation. And what could be more American than mixing weird sex with questionable politics? #NailedIt
Ben is a Toronto-based writer and public speaker with more than a soft spot for 90s hip hop. He has spent over 10 years in business & tech, more than 20 in the arts, and an entire lifetime in a state of perpetual judgment (highly recommended). He is the author of the blogs This Is Your Brain on Dating and Love Gone Cray and can be found pontificating on Thought Catalog, Notable.ca, The Toronto Standard, Offline Magazine, Gasm.org and Huffington Post.
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