April 6, 2013

"Plane Diverted After Family Complains In-Flight Movie Is Inappropriate for Kids."

"Apparently, the pilot decided that the family's complaint about the movie constituted 'grave danger to the aircraft.' Yet, according to the father..."

191 comments:

tiger said...

Turns out that being a pilot doesn't necessarily mean you have other skills - like 'common sense' for example.

furious_a said...

United, figures. Surliest airline EVAH.

On a personal note, I can't listen to ESPN Radio with my daughter in the car anymore -- birds-and-bees was ticklish enough, but the constant-run E.D. ads -- "What's 'male performance', Daddy"? -- are too much.

chickelit said...

We stopped flying United years ago and just last week cancelled our United Milage credit card. Screw them and the town they fly out of.

AprilApple said...

Ridiculous.

Yes-- Hollywood cannot produce anything but brain-dead cultural rot filled with sex and violence with a PG13 rating. That doesn't mean a pilot should feel threatened and inconvenience an entire aircraft full of people.

United - figures.

Fred Drinkwater said...

On the one hand, from the Federal Aviation Regulations:
FAR part 91.3a: The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

"Pilot in command" (usually abbreviated to PIC) is an official and distinct role in the regulations, not merely impressive-sounding words.

On the other hand: What could possibly have impressed a reasonable PIC that the flight was in any danger, from the incident as described? That pilot should have a very very tough interview with his management, though the union (ALPA) will probably back him up.

Astro said...

My wife and went to see Fargo, thinking it was a comedy. Not prepared for the sex and violence. But, oh well. We hated the movie, but we'd seen worse in terms of sex and violence.

What actually bothered us was that some women dumped her two young boys off in seats a couple rows in front of us, then left the theater. She was in the lobby waiting for them after it ended.

As for the flight, why not just show no movie and offer a voucher for netflix or amazon.

Hepworth said...

The airline has a vide variety of customers to worry about pleasing. Tehy pick movies they think will entertain and be approprioate for MOST passengers. Look at the movie ahead of time-they're posted online-and if it's a deal breaker don't fly that airline.

BDNYC said...

I want to be angry at the pilot alone, and he did overreact it seems, but these parents need to stop insisting the rest of the world participate in the raising of their children. You see it everywhere. Get out of the way of strollers. Avert your gaze when a mother whips out her boob to nurse. Don't say bad words loudly on the street. And so on.

Whining about a PG-13 film on a plane, where there's no sounds unless you wear headphones? Come on. Deal with it. Your kids no doubt think you're lame already, there's no need to embarrass them. They're watching this filth anyway, behind their back. In a few years they'll be having sex and trying alcohol.

Humperdink said...

Quit flying years ago. Now drive everywhere. Rent a car for very long trips. Use my vehicle for shorter trips.

I have had it with the TSA probes and prods. Being squeezed into a miniature seat. Waiting endlessly for bags. My preference is to be in control - not at the hands of incompetent government employees or airline personnel.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Problematic in-flight movies are not news. Way (way) back before I had kids even, I was so put off (slightly nauseated, actually) by the movie (Jagged Edge, IIRC) that I wrote a real letter to the airline to complain.

(Of course, that's less impressive than it would be today, that was years before generally available email.)

Humperdink said...

And I used to have my own airplane.

chickelit said...

Here's a trailer for Alex Cross. You decide.

It's very expensive to fly a family of four. The occasion is usually a vacation or visiting relatives which is hard to reschedule. It's pretty difficult to arrange for four seats together when somebody learns that a movie is "inappropriate."

These days, most "hepsters" have their own electronic devices, iPads, laptops, etc. Why do they even need to watch crowd-inflicted crap?

creeley23 said...

From the article:

Marriage is whatever two consenting adults say it should be. If they can make it 16 years, why should we question them. Rock on Will and Jada! Keep doing what you are doing!

Are we back to redefining marriage again?

creeley23 said...

Too many browse tabs. Ignore above.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Humperdink: I certainly agree with you about TSA. I am substantially less willing to fly anymore, knowing I will be forced to participate in that absurd "security theater", as Bruce Schneier puts it.

Humperdink said...

@Fred. Apt description.

Seeing Red said...

We were taking the young kids to Disney in the middle of the afternoon. One would think with young kids on a plane heading to Orlando it would have been a clue like showing a G-rated or Disney movie might have been appropriate, but no, some Friends crap opening up with one of them naked in a towel after sleeping with someone.

edutcher said...

He wouldn't have made it in the 8th AF over Regensburg.

AprilApple said...

At some point, we will rot-out to the point where the airlines play porn movies.

Freeman Hunt said...

So if we take our kids flying now, we first have to go through the naked vision scanner, and then we have to sit as a captive audience to whatever moronic, inappropriate movie they want us to watch? (Why didn't the airline let them close the little screen? If they wanted to show a PG-13 film, why not one with PG-13 language but G visuals?)

I'll be driving whenever possible for the foreseeable future.

As for this "news" story, having only one side makes it infotainment. Who knows what really happened?

chickelit said...

BDNYC said...
I want to be angry at the pilot alone, and he did overreact it seems, but these parents need to stop insisting the rest of the world participate in the raising of their children. You see it everywhere. Get out of the way of strollers. Avert your gaze when a mother whips out her boob to nurse. Don't say bad words loudly on the street. And so on.

This is part of the growing Panem mentality I was chiding Ritmo for a few nights ago: link. It's a Vegas makeover for American cities. There is an extant status quo, a balance which needs to be struck, before recklessly pursuing "progress."

chuckR said...

What is amazing to me is that it is easy to show, and some economists did, that G rated movies have the best profitability as they have the widest (voluntary, not captive like here) audience. (Hope we taxpayers didn't get dinged too bad for that study of the obvious). Movie makers must have a different agenda than profit.

GrandpaMark said...

The local Bank of America installed monitors tuned to CNN.

I complained every time I went in there.

Guess I wasn't the only one because now they show the cooking channel.

As for Alex Cross, was there a vote among passengers as to movie choice? Who actually picks the movie for United Flights?

As for this incident, I assume there is alot of drama involved in diverting a flight. Somebody needs to be fired.

C Stanley said...

My favorite personal anecdote about cluelessness of airlines was the in- flight movie selected for our flight to Guatemala (which was fairly soon after State Dept warnings were lifted for travel there): Proof of Life, a flick about an American kidnapped in S. America.

traditionalguy said...

It's those right wing terrorists again. They were using the children as pawns in their morality game designed to take over the aircraft.

The pilot is now a hero of the culture wars.

Big Mike said...

Everybody is supposed to do what everybody else does. If everybody else is okay with their little kids watching blood and gore, then what the Hell's wrong with you, lady?

That about sum it up.

I don't much enjoy flying United, but my company has deals with United and American so we have to write a detailed explanation when we use a different airline. And I hate American even worse.

Captain needs to move to the right hand seat until he develops some common sense.

tim maguire said...

One wonders if the constitution-free zone that is American air travel has an outer limit. Ultimately, I blame the federal judiciary. Their cowardice, their unwillingness to simply do their jobs in the face of "national security!" guarantees that obscenities like this will continue.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
St. George said...

"A homicide detective is pushed to the brink of his moral and physical limits as he tangles with a ferociously skilled serial killer who specializes in torture and pain."

Plot summary of the movie at IMDB.

Perfect family entertainment. A serial killer. Torture. Pain. How delightful at 30,000 feet.

Funny how the news article doesn't mention that.

I saw a trailer yesterday for a movie called "The Purge" about a dystopian future in which murder is legal for a day and a family is terrorized. Sick stuff.

Last week's NY Times ran a preview feature on the new "Evil Dead" movie and, of course, reviewed it. It's just sick crap. Also, the NYT Sunday edition ran a full page story about the esthetics of ineptly executed cover art of obscure death-metal bands. Crap.

AprilApple said...

The only G-rated-movies Hollywood make are cartoons.
I challenge Hollywood to make a family friendly movie that isn't a cartoon. A family appropriate movie that isn't vapid or
sappy and isn't filled with bad d-list actors.
Something people of all ages can enjoy.
Ho-wood can't do it.

The big stars won't touch the project unless the film is edgy with tits and guns. ooo and their must be a big wig communist producer in there, like Oliver Stone.

Big Mike said...

That about sum it up - question mark?

Fixed.

Jeff Gee said...

Those are really small screens. No sound without headphones. I'm thinking a book jacket or a sheet of newspaper and a couple pieces of tape, and you're good to go. Or is scotch tape on the forbidden list now?

T J Sawyer said...

I am always disappointed on trans-Atlantic flights when I am told to "close the window shade, so people can see the movies." I would much rather watch Greenland, Iceland and Ireland go by than watch anything Hollywood produces. Even if it were a good movie, I wouldn't watch it on a tiny six inch screen.

Alex said...

These days, only masochists fly.

Alex said...

Jeff - no doubt if they see you with scotch tape that means you're an Al Queda terrorist about to blow up the plane.

Freeman Hunt said...

Jeff, if they weren't allowed to close it, I can't imagine they'd be allowed to tape things to it.

I hate those screens. I never watch whatever is on because it's always something horrible, and they're distracting. No empty space, screen confetti.

jrberg3 said...

I want to be angry at the pilot alone, and he did overreact it seems, but these parents need to stop insisting the rest of the world participate in the raising of their children

Yikes, I didn't get that from the article. Give me a break. What these parents did was nothing more than I would have done (proud dad to 2 girls 8 and 6). That's not a movie I would let them anywhere near. It's different when you are caged up in a tube 30000 ft above the ground. They aren't asking for others to raise their kids, these parents were looking out for them all on their own.

I would like to hear some more confirming accounts of what happened, but if true, it is beyond ridiculousness. The pilot should be severely disciplined. The amount of money, effort and time he wasted for this is too extreme to go unpunished.

United should be embarrassed but somehow I think they lost any feelings of shame some time ago.

creeley23 said...


Bizarre story.

I find it hard not to look at a flickering screen wherever it is. For a while I was taping paper to my individual screen on a plane so it wouldn't keep grabbing my attention. Eventually I found the right buttons to push to turn the damn thing off entirely.

My sympathy is with the parents, though I want to hear more from the pilot.

Sometimes it seems the whole country is on the edge of a breakdown all the time.

Ann Althouse said...

"Here's a trailer for Alex Cross. You decide."

Thanks for linking to that. I watched half of the trailer.

That should absolutely not be shown on a plane. Quite aside from children, it depicts the torture of women. This is a disgusting environment to impose on people who cannot escape.

Many people are already anxious about flying. The movies shown should not be anxiety-heightening at all.

I don't fly anymore myself. This reminds me why. You are treated inhumanely.

Ann Althouse said...

Why is big money put into making torture pornography like that?

This is Lionsgate Video, the company whose trademark is on "Shakespeare in Love" and "Life Is Beautiful."

What on earth has happened?

I can see why some people believe in Satan. At least it would explain some things.

Ann Althouse said...

And this is another reason that a human being can no longer fly: You are expected to suppress your real feelings of outrage and need to defend the vulnerable.

You must follow their orders, they system of values, not your own.

You are not free to protect your children. And the movie depicts torture. This is a type of torture for the feeling individual.

I have feelings of dismay and anxiety just watching the trailer and thinking about the fact that the movie was made at all and is being held out as an item of commerce as if it looks like a grand night out.

Ann Althouse said...

Now that people have iPads, let them watch their own movies down on their laps.

The screens are all obsolete now. It's like those cars with dvd players and screens or a built-in GPS system. No one wants that anymore. It's superseded by better technology.

Cedarford said...

We don't know how strenuously the parents reacted when told the movie would not be turned off for all the passengers due to their objections.

That their kids perhaps could have done without earphones and been told to avert their eyes. Wasn't an acceptable solution...they wanted to impose their will on all passengers and "ban the in-flight movie".

We do not know if either parent, when they couldn't control the situation to fit their wishes - didn't escalate to threats or a breach of the peace , in an ongoing in-air disturbance...

Right now, it is only the parent's version of the incident.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

furious_a,

"What's 'male performance', Daddy"?

From one of Elizabeth George's mystery novels, a colloquy between a policewoman and a little girl who's her neighbor. (Recalling this from memory, so not likely word-perfect.)

Little girl is visiting her neighbor. Neighbor has been reading a romance novel, and it's left face-down on the nightstand. Little girl asks, "Barbara, what's a throbbing member?"

Barbara, thinking very rapidly, says "They're all part of a traditional music society. The drummer is the throbbing member. The other members sing."

The little girl retorts, "But here it says she touched his throbbing -- "

A rapid change of subject is contrived at this point.

Paco Wové said...

Had a similar experience (inappropriate-movie-for-kids experience, not pilot-says-I'm-stopping-this-plane-right-now experience) flying across the Pacific on Continental about 15 years ago. They showed some Stallone vehicle and I complained to the stewardess about the killing and bleeding not being great fodder for my 6-year old. They appeared sympathetic, but there wasn't much they could do.

Inga said...

I agree, why subject passengers to a movie some person picks for the whole plane to have to see or to have to tape paper over a screen, or figure out how to turn off? Even my four year old granddaughter has a mini iPad, as well as my 9 year old grandson and 12 year old granddaughter. They just got home from China, long flight, iPads were gold.

Freeman Hunt said...

"That their kids perhaps could have done without earphones and been told to avert their eyes. Wasn't an acceptable solution...they wanted to impose their will on all passengers and "ban the in-flight movie"."

That's not what the parents requested, according to this article.

Lem said...

All the. Planes i recall flying as passanger had the option of turning off or change. Sounds like newer planes are being under-designed.

AprilApple said...

Indeed - that movie trailer is disturbing. Standard Hollywood bad guy: Evil scary military man likes to cause pain and torture people. Good stuff, hollwyood! Perfect family fun for your you cannot escape the grip of Hollywood's hypocritical influence no matter where you are. enjoyment.

Horrid entertainment with a nice touch of propaganda.

Real torture takes place on a regular basis inside prisons in places like Iran. How about a movie about that? At least the violence could be based on reality.

Baron Zemo said...

Ann Althouse said...
Why is big money put into making torture pornography like that?"

Because that is a prime example of Hollywood values.

These are the same people that tell you that we need to raise taxes, spend more on entitlements, extend abortion rights to the point that babies born during a botched abortions should die at the whim of the mother and that SSM must be the law of the land. It is all of a piece.

These are the people that tell you if you reject this and have different values then you are a "christianist" and a religious fanatic and a bigot.

They are you and you are they.


AprilApple said...

People look forward to the distractions airlines provide their customers to help pass the time. Smart travelers pack their own distractions. (books, nooks, electronic games and other devices, ipod-ipad, music, etc..) Not everyone can afford those gadgets. Not all parents fly on a regular basis and have those things on hand. All ages do fly - a baby, a 2 year old up to grandma and grandpa. PG13 movies may not be appropriate, especially since the bar is so low for sex and violence. Not everyone wants to be exposed that crap.

Some airlines offer dig-e-players. Individual devices are pre-loaded with an assortment of movies, music, tv shows and cartoons. It's not great, but you know what you are getting and you (or parents) can control it.

Perhaps United should upgrade their in-flight entertainment offerings.

creeley23 said...

That should absolutely not be shown on a plane. Quite aside from children, it depicts the torture of women. This is a disgusting environment to impose on people who cannot escape.

Mother McCree! Absolutely right.

I assumed it was a-little-too-violent thriller. This was something else.

Baron Zemo said...

Those parents should have known that they have no rights in this regard.

The only video that would be banned would be one that dissed Muslims.

Then you could go to jail.

Otherwise shut up and sit back and enjoy the decline.

Lem said...

Commenting from phone.

Chip Ahoy said...

To escape this misery I took the train.

But American trains are fucked up too. Canadian trains are fine. American trains are not fine. The one I was on between Concord and Denver is not fine. Not. It could be fun but apparently the rails are for products and passengers are shunted, we sit there and wait for long periods sidetracked for cargo. That happened several times.

But that wasn't so bad. In the blizzard they lost their freezer.

!!!

So food was a problem

!

And the whole thing stretched out longer than it needed to be. People crammed into dining for craptastic sandwiches and the entertainment was G rated but consisted of all screaming. SCREAMING. I'm such a crackpot. I sat next to an old family and muttered unhappily "Man, I hate screaming." And halfway through my sandwich a thin gray-haired man said among much real train noise and t.v. screaming, "I hate screaming too."

But I must say, the times we were stopped in Nevada where the rain was washing the landscape away, I can see how a geologist's instinct is aroused by the place and how easy it must have been to find silver and gold washed right up and exposed on the surface. I really did want to get out and walk around in the rain and the sliding mud.

Paco Wové said...

"Why is big money put into making torture pornography like that?"

All part of the sewage factory that is the American entertainment industry, Althouse. Go rinse your eyes out with some Girls episodes.

MathMom said...

Continental was a good airline, until they joined up with United. I live in Houston and was very disheartened to lose a good airline to The Chicago Way.

Gah.

chickelit said...

Chip Ahoy said...
To escape this misery I took the train.

Did you know that you can't take dogs on Amtrak? Only service animals. You can't even crate and stow them in a sequestered car. Yet you can take dogs on planes.

Howard said...

I flew all the time for business in the 80's. It was very very expensive. Full planes would go down killing all aboard pretty regularly, but it was still considered very safe, especially compared to the turboprop era. I was having a drink at O'Hare when a Delta flight pancaked in Dallas from a microburt: I'll have a triple!

Now, only foreign majors crash.

We have never had it so good. It's cheaper and safer than ever.

Oh, TSA is rude. The movie sucks. They make me switch off my phone. They make me sit down. I have to check my bag. an on and on and on with the complaining about nothing.

Suck it up and deal. It's cheap and safe. To all in the airline industry: Thanks, I don't know how you manage to pull it off, make money and put up with the adult children hypersensitive to microscopic inconvenience.

Howard said...

I flew all the time for business in the 80's. It was very very expensive. Full planes would go down killing all aboard pretty regularly, but it was still considered very safe, especially compared to the turboprop era. I was having a drink at O'Hare when a Delta flight pancaked in Dallas from a microburt: I'll have a triple!

Now, only foreign majors crash.

We have never had it so good. It's cheaper and safer than ever.

Oh, TSA is rude. The movie sucks. They make me switch off my phone. They make me sit down. I have to check my bag. an on and on and on with the complaining about nothing.

Suck it up and deal. It's cheap and safe. To all in the airline industry: Thanks, I don't know how you manage to pull it off, make money and put up with the adult children hypersensitive to microscopic inconvenience.

Erika said...

When we flew on Qantas years ago, they played Mr. Bean episodes.

I love you Australia, except for your silliness on guns.

rhhardin said...

Some Saturdays, long ago, I'd take the Eastern shuttle from Newark NJ to DC, and take the train back, a nice day's outing for not much money.

And a bus back to the airport parking lot.

No movies were involved.

Nobody checked much of anything.

Jim S. said...

I don't understand the people who are saying the parents should have prepared to take care of their kids without the in-flight movie. I can guarantee you that all parents fly expecting that. I can also guarantee you that having a television monitor in front of a child makes it almost impossible to remove the child's attention from it. They weren't asking other people to assist them in raising their children, they were asking other people to not prevent them (the parents) from raising their children appropriately. If this story is correct, that pilot should be fired, tarred, and feathered.

rhhardin said...

The major safety advance was in the 60s when they took flight insurance machines out of airports.

rhhardin said...

Diverting the plane costs the airline a lot of money, whatever else is true.

lemondog said...

I don't know how you manage to pull it off, make money...

Taxpayer subsidies.

jr565 said...

Do they still even have in flight movies? The last plane I was on each seat had it's own screen and you can watch whatver it is you wanted that was on.

Still I see his point to a certain degree. Suppose the inflight movie was The Evil Dead that just came out. Granted, I'm going to see it because I like horror movies, but if that was the movie onscreen I could imagine there being some issues.
It reminds me of the scene in Airplane where the inflight movie was of a plane crashing. MAYBE you wouldn't want to have that showing as your in flight movie.
So, not saying you should turn a plane around simply because of a movie showing, but perhaps some thought should go into which movies are actually shown on a plane.

Howard said...

rh: I remember those insurance machines in the 80's. You are right, once the big iron got above the weather in the 1960's it got a whole lot safer. I still think the 707 is the sexiest passenger jet ever. I love the smell of kerosene in the morning...

MathMom said...

Howard,

I used to live just beyond the end of the runway in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Every morning MEA would take off for Beirut in a 707, and it would come screaming over my house with the gear just barely up. I would stand there and enjoy the back side of those engines until I couldn't see it anymore.

I LOVED that sound. I love jet noise. It sounds like freedom.

ALP said...

The obvious solution here is for airlines to stop showing movies. Given how touchy-feely and sensitive people are - I am shocked the practice ever got started in the first place. Nevermind parents concerned about kids, what about:

- ex smokers that recently quit having to watch a movie where everybody is sucking on a Marlboro;

- vegetarians being subjected to watching a movie character making sausage with a meat grinder;

- holier than thou green types upset at how many characters in a movie drink bottled water and don't recycle the empty bottles;

And on and on and on....

Again - amazed the practice of showing movies on flights ever got started to begin with.

BTW: the poster above who had to watch Mr. Bean on the Aussie flight? My boyfriend hates that man - he'd probably hijack the plane to get away from Rowan Atkinson.

ricpic said...

Can a crumb cruncher really by ruined by exposure to a PC-13 rated film if the exposure is an accidental rarity? The parents should have accepted that this was an unfortunate but one time thing and let go of the reins.

jr565 said...

I remember when I was really young and they had an inflight movie on and it was a movie with Pavarotti in it where he played a singer who fell in love with some woman and various stuff happened. It was the most god awful piece of dreck I had ever seen up till then (plus the sound was pretty bad). I wouldn't have minded if they diverted the plane because of that and personally would have preferred ten Alex Cross's to one of that piece of shit.

As I mentioned the sound was terrible (which is why I really can't describe the plot). But theres an answer to the predicament of this family. Rather than divert the plane, dont give the kid headphones. Then he doesn't have to watch the movie. If you watch a screen and don't have any sound you usually grow board and occupy yourself with other things, like sleep or talking to family, etc.
Besides, he didn't bring his iphone with him and can't divert his time in other ways?

exiledonmainst said...

BDNYC wrote:

"Don't say bad words loudly on the street."

Listening to a steady stream of obscenities is not just obnoxious for people with small children. I grew up in the city and yet I remember going weeks, even months, without hearing anybody on the street screaming "Fuck you!" to someone else. Now I hear it daily. I certainly curse myself, especially when I watch the news, but I watch my mouth in public.

chickelit said...

Can a crumb cruncher really by ruined by exposure to a PC-13 rated film if the exposure is an accidental rarity?

ricpic, I still remember the first naked breasts I saw in a movie as a kid: Ursula Undress in "The Blue Max". My dad took me and my brother to the movie because we were gung ho on WW I airplanes. I would argue that was better exposure to nudity than a torture flick. As for the portrayed violence itself, by the time a boy is 13 or so he's seeking it out on his own out of curiosity.

chickelit said...

Listening to a steady stream of obscenities is not just obnoxious for people with small children. I grew up in the city and yet I remember going weeks, even months, without hearing anybody on the street screaming "Fuck you!" to someone else. Now I hear it daily. I certainly curse myself, especially when I watch the news, but I watch my mouth in public.

I've never been a cursor, even as a teen. I remember when the kids down the block tried to make it cool. My dad never swore but my mother was known to swear a blue streak.

My wife has more of potty mouth in our family but cleaned up a bit in front of the kids.

They other day I said "schuckin' fit" in front of my teen daughter and she LOL'd.

Freeman Hunt said...

I love the mental image of a shucking fit.

ALP said...

ricpic:

Can a crumb cruncher really by ruined by exposure to a PC-13 rated film if the exposure is an accidental rarity? The parents should have accepted that this was an unfortunate but one time thing and let go of the reins.
********
My thoughts as well. At what point were the parents planning to sit down and talk to their kids about such things? I was surprised to find they were 8 and 10! The 10 year old has probably tortured his share of insects at that point!

I have to admit, I was laughing my ass off when I got to the part of the story where they were met by the FBI, Chicago police, etc...once off the plane.

I am sure those boys learned a thing or two because of this event, but it is probably not the lesson the parents intended.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Nevermind him. He likes corn is all."

C Stanley said...

Sheesh, the reading comprension deficits. The parents didn't ask for the plane to be diverted, the idiot pilot made that decision. They also didn't necessarily think their children's psyches would be permanently harmed, they just asked a cutomer service rep from a company that they'd paid a load of money to, if they could please find a way to not subject their kids to an inappropriate film. There was agreement from the other passengers who were seated in that area. Now maybe the article has completely misrepresented the facts, but we have no evidence of that.

What's up with a movie like that getting a PG 13 rating instead of R anyway? Even the trailer barely should have made it under the radar.

Freeman Hunt said...

"At what point were the parents planning to sit down and talk to their kids about such things?"

There's a torture talk we're supposed to have with our kids?

Howard said...

MathMom: We must be related. By folks would take us to the approach end of LAX in the 1960's and we would watch those big, kerosene spewing birds screaming less that 100-feet overhead.

Don't try that now!

Freeman Hunt said...

"Little Johnny, you're six now, and your mom and I feel it's time you learned about serial killers..."

Inga said...

Freeman, you know, THAT torture talk, right after the birds and bees talk.

C Stanley said...

LOL, Freeman. Damn, they're covering all the sex stuff at school now but I forgot I still have to do the torture talk.

Titus said...

I was on a flight recently and we were grounded for three fucking hours at Newark. So they put on the movie Life Of Pi. There were a couple fat fuck families with fat kids on the plane and they were immediately asking what the rating of the movie was-not of the sky sluts knew the rating-I bet they will get written up.

Not knowing the ratings the fat families immediately put the headphones on their fat heads with their fat hands and were mesmerized...until the tiger ate the goat and then they complained to the sky mattreses.

Much to my disappointment the movie was edited and did not show one of best scenes where the kid pisses all over the boat to mark his territory and then the tiger sprays him back with a huge golden shower. I wanted to complain Censorship!!!!

C Stanley said...

Now, son, I know at some point you will be curious and will experiment with tormenting amall animals. It's only natural. What's important is that you learn to do it safely...

Freeman Hunt said...

Life with Dahmer.

Inga said...

Freeman, I love the chapter, "Breakfast of Champions".

chickelit said...

Titus: It's hard to parse from your prose whether you despise families more than obesity. Could you be more specific?

ALP said...

There's a torture talk we're supposed to have with our kids?
************
I would certainly broach the subject of violence and how the media uses our worst, base impulses to get us to buy crap - especially if I had found myself stuck with such a movie. Hell, you could even weave some anti-bullying in there as much violence in the movies features the strong preying on the weak. Why not start early in getting your kids to have a skeptical view of the media machine?

I probably would have tried to explain the situation, much like my parents probably would have done had they been the ones in this story. That's how I was raised - explain it, don't hide it.

Michael said...

God help us all. The airline made a poor decision on the movie. The parent made an idiotic request, truly stupid. The screens all come down or up. Even the captain of the plane cannot lower or raise a single screen. The wonderful concerned stupid parent should have told his children not to watch, to read, to close their eyes, to look out the window. No person gives a shit about your views of a movie on an airplane. Shut up and read. Shut up and sleep. Shut up. Please shut up.

This is another reason I will do anything not to fly in steerage. The people in front are steeled to the experience. They have learned to make the most of it. The seats are wider. The food is better. But mainly the first class cabin is not filled with idiots opining on aviation.

Michael said...

God help us all. The airline made a poor decision on the movie. The parent made an idiotic request, truly stupid. The screens all come down or up. Even the captain of the plane cannot lower or raise a single screen. The wonderful concerned stupid parent should have told his children not to watch, to read, to close their eyes, to look out the window. No person gives a shit about your views of a movie on an airplane. Shut up and read. Shut up and sleep. Shut up. Please shut up.

This is another reason I will do anything not to fly in steerage. The people in front are steeled to the experience. They have learned to make the most of it. The seats are wider. The food is better. But mainly the first class cabin is not filled with idiots opining on aviation.

AprilApple said...

United isn't the only airline to play violent movies to the entire plane.

I recall seeing a violent movie with Liam Neeson (sp>) . I listen, but occasionally I'd look up from my book and watch. It was quite violent. Hollywood has forced this into the mainstream.

Palladian said...

Do you... like movies about gladiators?

Palladian said...

No person gives a shit about your views of a movie on an airplane. Shut up and read. Shut up and sleep. Shut up. Please shut up.

This is another reason I will do anything not to fly in steerage. The people in front are steeled to the experience. They have learned to make the most of it. The seats are wider. The food is better. But mainly the first class cabin is not filled with idiots opining on aviation.


No, apparently the first class cabin is filled instead with assholes telling people with reasonable requests to "shut up"...

chickelit said...

FH wrote: There's a torture talk we're supposed to have with our kids?

I found a whole bunch of films out there to help explain torture, S & M, other "adult" things to kids:

Shame (1953)
Stagcoach (1939)
E.T: The Extraneous Terrestrial (1982)
Supineman (1978)
Fantastic Voyeurs (1966)
The Story of Toy (1995)
The Story of Toy 2 (1999)
The Story of Toy 3 (2010)
Curse (2006)
Tied Up (2009)
Drying out Nemo (2003)
Nauseous in the Valley of the Wind (1984)
My Neighbor Torturo (1988)
Kinki's Delivery Service (1989)
Swingin' in the Rain (1952)
Adventures Robbin' the Hood (1938)

Maybe there are others?

Inga said...

Driving Over Miss Daisy.

Inga said...

It's a Gruesome Life.

chickelit said...

Michael said...This is another reason I will do anything not to fly in steerage. The people in front are steeled to the experience. They have learned to make the most of it. The seats are wider. The food is better. But mainly the first class cabin is not filled with idiots opining on aviation.

Times have certainly changed. In 1912, transatlantic sea captains regaled 1st class passengers with tales of seamanship, buckling swashes and derring do, along with exhorting the safety of the latest vessels.

Peter Hoh said...

Chickelit, what part of Totoro or Kiki's Delivery Service has anything remotely like torture or S&M?

Synova said...

"The wonderful concerned stupid parent should have told his children not to watch, to read, to close their eyes, to look out the window."

Never have kids.

Or at least have the dull sort that listen when you say idiotic stuff like this to them.

("Hey, Lady, keep your toddlers away from the slot machine with the pretty flashing lights right in the middle of the store at their eye level... it's the law..." The answer is the same... "Bite me.")

CyndiF said...

I was on a flight once when they started airing the in-flight entertainment, which somehow consisted of an unedited episode of Sex and the City. That one got turned off pronto. I still don't know how it happened. Did the flight attendant put her tape in instead?

chickelit said...

Peter Hoh said...
Chickelit, what part of Totoro or Kiki's Delivery Service has anything remotely like torture or S&M?

So, you've seen the others?

Peter Hoh said...

I haven't flown in 8 years. Looking forward to keeping that way. Almost booked flights for a funeral a few weeks ago, but we decided to drive instead. That was much more enjoyable.

Fallows just posted a letter from the director of Alex Cross.

He writes: When I read your piece this morning, I felt extremely sympathetic to the family involved and, in some ways, quite apologetic. I never made the film to cause anyone this kind of discomfort. It seems to me they (the family) were well within their rights to request some control as to what their two young children were exposed. As a father of five year old triplets, I, too, would not want them to absorb some of the images we created for my film.


Synova said...

"...but these parents need to stop insisting the rest of the world participate in the raising of their children. You see it everywhere. Get out of the way of strollers. Avert your gaze when a mother whips out her boob to nurse. Don't say bad words loudly on the street. And so on."

So... I bet you REALLY hate disabled people, hm?

Children and babies are human beings with a right to be in public. Because it's *public*. Expecting *public* to be appropriate for *public* is not expecting other people to raise your children.

Though if you want to be that way... how about if my children don't have to pay for your old age and ill health?

That seems fair.

rcocean said...

No wonder so many airlines are in and out of bankruptcy. Pilot = truly stupid.

As for the in-flight movies, I wonder who's paying who. Given the small number of people who watch and the crap films its hard to believe the airlines are paying Hollywood to show that trash. OTOH, the airlines are dumb.

Glad some parent stood up. Hollywood = toxic waste dump.

Peter Hoh said...

Ah, Chickelit, you caught me speed reading. Didn't notice that you had changed a letter in each of the titles.

It just so happens that Totoro and Kiki were my kids' favorites. I've seen them a few too many times.

Grundoon said...

I was booked on a flight with a major airline once and finished my work early so I tried to move to an earlier return flight. There was some issue in doing that and the person at the counter told me "Well, beggars can't be choosers." Since I was paying $700 for this flight I didn't feel much like a beggar--I kind of felt like the funding mechanism for the whole enterprise, i.e., paying customer. That was about 30 years ago. I still remember. I suck it up and fly major airlines if I have to on business, but I prefer Southwest where they make every trip a party, or I just drive and feel like a free man.

chickelit said...

It just so happens that Totoro and Kiki were my kids' favorites. I've seen them a few too many times.

I derived my list from a list Freeman compiled; I hope she comes back to add more.

There's a typo: "Swingin' in the Rain" should be "Swingin' in the Pain". ;)

Paco Wové said...

"As a father of five year old triplets, I, too, would not want them to absorb some of the images we created for my film.

If that's the case, not sure why you'd want anyone else to absorb them either.

Grundoon said...

I am a baby boomer and I was the first one in my family to be born into a house with a TV. My older sister (about two weeks older than our hostess Ann) was 3 years old at the time and asked "After the baby comes, then can we get television?" My dad made the decision that the 1954 Rose Bowl on New Year's Day was a good reason to take the plunge so the set was already there when I arrived as a newborn in March. I grew up with Captain Kangaroo, Saturday morning cartoons, favorite evening shows, Japanese horror films and a kid's show in Phoenix that now has a cult-like following on the independent station, and the Tonight Show even before Johnny Carson. But I have given up on both Hollywood and television. I have lived in my current hometown for 14 years and I don't think I can name more than one TV station, and that one probably because they share a sweetheart of a traffic reporter with the Christian radio station I listen to. My time killer now is blogs. It is a ton more fun. I would prefer that the airlines let you read blogs on airplanes. Maybe someday they will if you take the social position of beggar in the community of the people on the plane.

Paco Wové said...

"Don't say bad words loudly on the street."

Well, don't.

MathMom said...

This is another reason I will do anything not to fly in steerage. The people in front are steeled to the experience. They have learned to make the most of it. The seats are wider. The food is better. But mainly the first class cabin is not filled with idiots opining on aviation.

One of the worst flights I ever had was in First Class from Dhahran to Singapore, with undisciplined male Saudi shits climbing all over everyone, whining, dumping food everywhere and generally being Male Saudis. No one would discipline them, because they were Male Saudis. First Class? Not.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

chickelit,

Good heavens, there's probably thousands of porn films riffing on the names of "legit" movies. Back when I was working for the late Tower Records and there weren't any customers, I used to scroll through the film rental titles in the database. The porn versions ranged from moderately clever to "Oh God, someone was actually paid to come up with that?" "Dances with Foxes." "Doing Miss Daisy." And, God help us, "Edward Penis-Hands."

Autocorrect could do better. DYAC ran an Ebert tribute just today with some lovely ones. "Forrest Hump." "Pirates of the Carrotpenis." "Bill and Ted's Excrement Adventure."

AprilApple said...

Our entertainment culture is dysfunctional and rotten.
Europeans love to mock and marvel at violent US culture. If you watch our movies and TV, it's easy to understand. Hollywood doesn't simply showcase violence-- The violence is wrapped inside perverse and demented plot themes with and laced with vulgar over-the top images.

Tari said...

United Airlines - that's all the explanation needed for this stupidity. Houstonians continue to mourn the loss of our hometown favorite, Continental. When Smisek comes on the video monitors for his part of the United safety video, you can hear the Houston-based passengers boo.

dc said...

According to Althouse,"cars with DVD players or a built in GPS system" are all obsolete now.
I'm shocked. My car,a 97 Lumina, still has a tape deck.
The world is leaving me more and more in the dust.

Smilin' Jack said...

In today's America, freedom of speech means, "Don't talk back."

Synova said...

"If that's the case, not sure why you'd want anyone else to absorb them either."

There are a whole lot of movies that I enjoy that I'm glad were made that I wouldn't want a 5 year old to watch.

JAL said...

Inga - $1000 for the grand kids ' iEntertainment? Nice. But that isn't happening in every family, believe it or not.

This family of four was probably paying > $1000 to fly on this airline. (4 seats ... long enough flight for a movie? = Bucks. I am flying to Denver soon and it is close to $400 RT)

And where did "8 and 10" year old come from. The article the Professor links to says the kids were 4 year old and an 8 year old.

Even at 8 and 10 -- 'cuse me folks, the Cross movie is totally not appropriate.

I know -- United should have given them flight blankets to sit under for 101 minutes.

Freeman Hunt said...

Chickelit, ha ha!

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm thirty-three, and I don't want to be captive audience to a torture flick.

ooonaughtykitty said...

Doesn't United break guitars?

http://bit.ly/Xwkp1n

CEO-MMP said...

ALP said...

There's a torture talk we're supposed to have with our kids?
************
I would certainly broach the subject of violence and how the media uses our worst, base impulses to get us to buy crap - especially if I had found myself stuck with such a movie. Hell, you could even weave some anti-bullying in there as much violence in the movies features the strong preying on the weak. Why not start early in getting your kids to have a skeptical view of the media machine?

I probably would have tried to explain the situation, much like my parents probably would have done had they been the ones in this story. That's how I was raised - explain it, don't hide it.

It's a fucking 4 year old kid for fucking christ's fucking sake. You don't have a torture/violence talk with a fucking 4 year old. Are you that goddam dumb?

Michael said...

Palladian: It is not a "reasonable request" to ask the flight attendants to stop a movie because you find it offensive. Thousands and thousands of other people have been subjected to the movie why not grow up and realize that the airline is not going to stop the movie for you. They won't. It is utterly unreasonable to think that it is. The assholes are the ones whining about the movie, about being a few minutes late taking off, about a few minutes late landing, about the service, about the seats, about any fucking thing that is not to their liking. The people in first class might be assholes in your world because they are more successful or value their comfort but they do not whine about the things that make air travel dreadful enough without having to listen to someone ask to have the captain lower one screen, an impossibility.

exiledonmainst said...

Even the director of this crap movie said the parents were within their rights to object. Michael, however, anxious to protect his right to be a nasty arrogant prick, doubles down on stupid.

Michael, please never breed.

exiledonmainst said...

First class, Michael? More like no class.

Michael said...

exiledomanist: A prog are you? The back is best for you. Trust me on this, you will be more comfortable there whinging about the movie or the slow service or the fact that there are no peanuts. Doubtful you travel much and for that the rest of us are grateful but why not write a rough letter to the CEO of United Airlines and give him a bit of your movie criticism. Oh, and should you ever go on a flight of such length as to offer a movie, a free movie, feel free to weigh in with the flight attendant if you don't like it. She'll call the captain and they will make it right for you. Asshole.

Synova said...

Yes, of course, because an adult not liking a movie is the exact same thing as movies that are inappropriate for small children.

But I suppose small children, who are a bother, should never fly. Grandma dies... too bad. No flying the family home because some self-righteous twit thinks he's got a right to live in a world without the bother of children in it.

Like I said, Michael, disabled people must really ruin your day.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

chickelit said...

We stopped flying United years ago and just last week cancelled our United Milage credit card. Screw them and the town they fly out of.


United's typically not been my favorite, but usually unavoidable as one of the major carriers in the Northeast. That means that most of my experiences over the last ten to twelve years being squeezed like a sardine into a seat attended to by stewardesses would couldn't give much of a damn has been with them. Imagine my horror when after a wonderful, very comfortable connecting flight to Boston, my next flight I was treated to United's CEO appearing on the drop-down screen for an in-flight safety movie prefaced by his declaration of how wonderful it is that they just acquired Continental! Bastards!!!

That said, the story does have commentary by others pointing out that the pilots typically have to rely on the information (and attitude) handed to them second-hand by other flight crew.

I always wondered why we all have to watch the same movie and programming at the same time on flights like these. But then, I can see the corporation's point. It kind of has the effect of lulling the passengers into a collective rest or snooze. I wouldn't be surprised if they did some research into this and figured it was a more effective way of keeping one-too-many belligerent or rude passengers out of their hair.

Paul Ciotti said...

Tim McGuire: One wonders if the constitution-free zone that is American air travel has an outer limit.

"Constitution-free zone" is a good descriptor of a problem a lot of us have been worried about a long time. Thanks for coming up with a concise definition of the issue.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Michael says his customers are his "masters" and he is in business to serve them but I think, as we can tell from the above, that he really doesn't feel that way.

Michael said...

Synova: How you bring disabled people into the conversation is a trick that will have to be explained. The second sentence of my first post was that the movie was entirely a bad decision by the airline. OK. So what is it you think I am trying to say other than it is futile to change the airline's movie because you think it is inappropriate? It is pointless to create enough of a scene that the plane has to land. Or do you think it is justified to go on and on about the movie even after it has been made clear that 1. they aren't going to stop it. 2. they can't lower one screen even if they wanted to 3. we are busy

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You'll have to forgive Michael, guys. His ancestors commanded the ships carrying slaves from Africa to the Southern U.S. so it's hard for him to look at passengers in any way other than cargo. Hey, it was a tough job!!! Cut him some slack!!! He built America!!!

Michael said...

Ritmo: Yes, the customer is always right. Especially when they want to change a movie on a flight because they don't like it. Usually the good airlines do what that one customer wants even if the rest of the customers are enjoying the movie.

exiledonmainst said...

Michael: yeah, I'm a real "prog." Just ask Inga.

Mr. First Class Asshole wants to enjoy his torture movie, goddamnit! He paid the big bucks and how dare those miserable proles (what on EARTH are these serfs doing in first class?) and their little brats spoil his entertainment. Put blindfolds on the little bastards or something, or let them watch, because if they're going to grow up to be proper first class material, they have to learn to be STEELED to such things.

Jesus Christ. Supposedly civilized adults can't even agree that there are somethings 4 year olds shouldn't be exposed to - because YOUR desires and YOUR wishes supersede anybody else's.

What a selfish, piggish sack of shit.

Michael said...

Exile: Well you must be a prog because you can't read. REad my first post asshole, the post where I say that the movie was poorly chosen. You are too stupid to be a conservative.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Pretty weak, Mikey. We all understand the logistical conflicts, but only you are the one assuming that customers are wrong for believing that their payment really shouldn't accompany forfeiture to their rights to be parents.

This entire country has sensitized every parent to what their kids can or shouldn't see or be exposed to, and you're there on the sidelines telling them it's their fault for expecting the exact same autonomy that the MPAA has told them they deserve every right to. Pretty weird.

It's like when libertarians complain about the collusion of big government and big corporations, Michael's right there to step up and say, "Yep. Guilty as charged."

Inga said...



"Jesus Christ. Supposedly civilized adults can't even agree that there are somethings 4 year olds shouldn't be exposed to - because YOUR desires and YOUR wishes supersede anybody else's.

What a selfish, piggish sack of shit."

4/6/13, 7:41 PM

Oh yeah.

Synova said...

Michael... people don't *know* that it's futile. So they ask. And they find out that it can't be done.

You've gone off on a tear about how kids should just be old not to look (impossible) and then about how people should quit wanting you to help raise their children by not wanting you to swear in the street or something.

Behaving in public (or choosing movies for captive audiences) in a way that is appropriate for the *general* public is not putting a terrible burden on you. It is not asking you to raise someone else's children. Children are people and have a right to be in public.

We also go out of our way to accommodate handicapped people in public, because they also have a right to be there. The handicapped are no less annoying, sometimes, than children can be annoying. But for some reason people who see the rightness and need to make sure that handicapped people are not excluded, get completely bent out of shape when a parent thinks that "public" should be an appropriate place for their child to be.

Michael said...

Ritmo: Most flights have a couple of hundred people jammed onto them. It is axiomatic that everyone must suffer, that there are going to be many many things that you won't like about the experience. I think if you click through and read the linked story and follow through with other links you will conclude that there is more to this than reported. I would guess the concerned parent made a bigger fuss than he is admitting. My point in all of my posts is that a certain stoicism is required when flying and complaining about movie content is way down on the list of things worth complaining about.

Finally, I work or read on planes and never, ever, watch their crappy movies.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Synova - it's futile. Michael wants the right to raise your children for you.

In his line of work, this is called unfettered access to a "captive market". He likes it this way.

Thinks it makes him a good capitalist. Or just typical for his kind.

C Stanley said...

Synova I agree with the point you are raising but I think someone other than Michael made some of the comments that you are attributing to him.

Michael said...

Synova: Not sure why you are going on and on about the disabled but I am neither annoyed by them nor find them anything other than fellow travelers who have drawn a bad card. Unclear how they came on the scene in this thread.

Also, I have a feeling the father in this story created a significant disturbance on this flight.

Synova said...

My bad, Michael. I apologize. The person who complained about swearing in public and people who expect others to raise their children was BDNYC.

You just thought "don't look" was going to work with children, which is stupid, too, but not the same thing as implying that parents shouldn't expect public places to be places that children should be.

So... if you don't mind, just imagine all that ranting about public places from me as directed at BDNYC.

As it should have been.

ErnieG said...

Fred Drinkwater said...

"...I wrote a real letter to the airline to complain."

Did they respond with a bedbug letter?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ritmo: Most flights have a couple of hundred people jammed onto them.

And whose decision was that?

It is axiomatic that everyone must suffer, that there are going to be many many things that you won't like about the experience.

Wasn't always this way (far from it!) and still isn't among our foreign competitors. We're talking about a domestic market that has been conditioned by your board-room cowboys to think of themselves of cattle, until - hey - after three hours human needs start to take over. What a surprise.

I think if you click through and read the linked story and follow through with other links you will conclude that there is more to this than reported.

Already admitted as much. Maybe not the same things that grabbed your attention. Or maybe so. But I noticed.

I would guess the concerned parent made a bigger fuss than he is admitting.

Your guess isn't corroborated by the other commentary but I guess we could always get the opinions of the other passengers.

My point in all of my posts is that a certain stoicism is required when flying and complaining about movie content is way down on the list of things worth complaining about.

Stoicism?

One thing's for certain. If the airline industry from WWII to 1980 were headed by you, it would have consisted of low-altitude gliders with passengers wearing helmets and strapped to a bare aluminum apparatus.

Designing flights around the comfort and leisure of all customers was the entire reason that this industry ever got off the ground.

You're a fan of history, or so you say. Learn it.

Paco Wové said...

"There are a whole lot of movies that I enjoy that I'm glad were made that I wouldn't want a 5 year old to watch."

Yeah, I suppose you have a point. Although in my case, I think most of my few movie favorites would just bore the crap out of young'uns, rather than give them nightmares or weird funny dreams.

Michael said...

Ritmo: Happen to know quite a lot about the history of the airline business and why it has morphed into what it is today. In the olden days it was highly regulated and thus what we paid for fares in the 1970s is equal to or less than what we pay today. Freeing the airlines from regulation had the effect of creating lots of competition and thus lots of failures. We have reached now a point where domestically airlines are a commodity business. It is transportation. Period. Internationally there are still service oriented carriers but they are very expensive. Very. A first class berth in one of the airlines from the Persian gulf might charge 25,000 one way to Australia.

You might start an airline aimed at providing customer service, the field is wide open. Look first at the graveyard of people who have tried that even on a limited basis out of Love Field or on other highly specific routes.

exiledonmainst said...

So the movie was "poorly chosen," but the parents were out of bounds when they objected to it? Oh, my, how declasse. So, what should they have done, oh genius? Said nothing, put paper bags over the kiddies' heads, and written a strongly worded letter to United later on?

I don't know where the hell you get the idea that a concern for what small children are exposed to equates to being a "prog." I think it has something to do with being a mature adult with a slight amount of consideration for others.

Which seems to be beyond your capabilities.

Paco Wové said...

"It is not a "reasonable request" to ask the flight attendants to stop a movie"

...except they didn't ask that, apparently. It is true that what they did ask -- "the flight attendants to fold up the monitor in the boys' line of vision" -- is not possible, it certainly seems worth asking.

You seem weirdly bent out of shape that somebody wouldn't want to expose their kids to crappy violent movies, Michael. Why is that?

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exiledonmainst said...

"Finally, I work or read on planes and never, ever, watch their crappy movies."

You're also not 4 years old.

Kirk Parker said...

Astro,

"My wife and went to see Fargo, thinking it was a comedy. Not prepared for the sex and violence. [emphasis added]"

Dude, it has an R rating.

"... some women dumped her two young boys off in seats a couple rows in front of us..."

Don't theaters enforce the rating restriction? I guess her ploy (come in with them and then slip out) would be pretty hard to guard against.

Inga said...

Exiled, Michael thinks only Progs care about anyone, because he arrogantly thinks greed is good and conservatives all embrace this ideal of his. He has posted numerous comments in which he brags about his elevated status over the little people and how noble it is to aspire to such hights. He spelled it out clearly is original comment, now he's attempting to backtrack, because it makes him look bad.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I'm sure high-speed rail will do wonders for the commoditization of air passengers. If having the option to travel 250 mph to reach a destination less than 600 miles away doesn't force the airlines to consider that longer distance travel should be accompanied by a certain degree of respect then apparently only the government and its regulations (as you objectively note) will.

My requests are not impossible. I'd be fine with an inch and a half more space on either side of me and I'm hardly the fattest of our very obese countrymen.

Kirk Parker said...

Howard,

"Full planes would go down killing all aboard pretty regularly"

In the 80's? Um, no. Unless that's a typo and you meant 50's, or you have a really different definition of "regularly" than the rest of us. (As a point of reference, I just had reason to look up the incident record of Sudan F'n Airways, and even they only had a single loss-of-life incident in the 80's. That time they landed the 707 in the Nile at Khartoum, there were no pax and it was a perfectly nice landing--just not on the runway. The crew walked away... or I guess floated more likely.)

"but it was still considered very safe, especially compared to the turboprop era."

Again, wot????? The first large-size turboprop airliner (Lockheed Electra) was introduced about the same time as the first turbojet airliners, its direct descendants are still in operation today, and turboprops are widespread--if indeed not dominant--in the regional air travel market. So... what "turboprop era" are you talking about?

EMD said...

No one wants that anymore.

We have a built-in DVD in our 2012 Ford Explorer.

Why?

Well,my daughter dropped my iPad 2 days ago and cracked the screen. She can't drop the built-in DVD player. Also doesn't require re-charging.

EMD said...

stewardesses

Sexist.

Michael said...

Ritmo. The government runs Amtrak and even its vaunted Acela Express, even the first class or Quiet Car, is not much and is not cheap. As a nation we are better off with the current cheap airfare than with highly regulated but very expensive carriers. Delta has installed "comfort seats" at the front of coach class that are marginally wider with more leg room than the rest of the cabin for a reasonably small up charge. They are clearly testing the willingness of passengers to pay for a bit more space without paying up for. First class. If they are successful then they will add more of such seats.

Michael said...

Ritmo. The government, to be clear, did not mandate comfort or service or price. What they did was limit which carriers could compete in each market and compelled carriers to service nominally profitable or unprofitable markets, smaller markets. The airlines charged out the ass and thus competed on service, food quality, free drinks, etc rather than price as they do today. .

chickelit said...

If they are successful then they will add more of such seats.

Market driven inequality sounds like a good thing. There's always the Southwest model though. They were/are measurably better than United.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I'm not opposed to paying more, it's just a question of how much - and what I should allow the airline to feel that it could be able to get away with as a norm. I'm inclined to use Delta because I got used to it on a lot of Atlanta flights last year and I like supporting a competitor to United, which is evil. Here's James Fallows effectively describing the economics of United's monopoly on all the MOST major hubs, and hence, its even greater disincentive against upgrading any service, premium or otherwise, there. Pretty cogent.

In any event, whoever runs a rail-line, there is an obvious need for an intermediate-distance travel network and at 250 mph (much faster than the more profitable Acela lines) demand would be obvious. Not as fast as 520 mph but perfectly legitimate for almost any travel distance that would take an airline less than an hour or so to do, while lessening congestion.

chickelit said...

stewardesses

Sexist.


Waitress In The Sky, even more sexist--but amusing.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Fallows' piece also published a letter by someone touting the service on Air France, which is another airline whose superior, cleaner and more attentive service I can vouch for. For some reason I knew that there was a middle way missing in this more extreme than necessary division between Persian Gulf flights and the crappy U.S. domestic market (with some exceptions).

Michael said...

Ritmo. I meant to make a clear distinction between domestic and international flights. Air France, BA, are much better over water than US carriers, but that said the US carriers provide better service on the long hauls than they do domestically . AF and BA, of course, are not permitted to fly domestic US routes. And their in-country flights are more like US carriers than not.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

My AF flight was from Barcelona to CDG. I suppose that constitutes an "international" flight but then, the entire E.U. is becoming more like the U.S. in size and function.

In any event, all this quibbling misses the point. If you read Fallows' letters it seems that United stands shoulders above the rest when it comes to having a clearer record of abusing their authority and their customers for petty and dishonest purposes.

JAL said...

Maybe was the same United pilot that had this guy tossed off a flight.

Gary Rosen said...

Good old Fudd comes through and blames the parents for wanting to protect the kids from this crap. Exactly what you expect from someone who consistently whitewashes molesters and perverts, and yet another reason you know his claim to be a parent is 100% bullshit.

Howard said...

Kirk:

You are right, it was the radial era that flew below the weather.

However, in the US during the 80's, a major went down with significant fatalities (I exaggerated about all killed... I should have said tens to hundreds) every year or so (sometimes a couple per year) and one or two commuters every year. It was very safe then, as I said in my previous.

Even though the risks were very low in the 80's, there was still more of a vibe back then.

The last ~11 years the US has had no major airline fatal crashes. Major airline accidents just don't happen here anymore. That's the kind of service that deserves respect and admiration.

I'm with Michael. Sit down, shut up, do what you are told. I think even Jesus would approve of a little Stoicism once in a while. If you want great service and to avoid TSA, charter your own flight. If you want cheap long-haul transport that is safe and reliable, fly US Major carriers.

I like Jet Blue better than United or American, but they are all great: cheap, reliable (within reason if you are not a whinging crank) and safe.

Howard said...

Gary:

Parents are responsible to protect their own kids psyches and not distract flight crews responsible for the life every soul on board.

rcocean said...

Once again Gary Rosen shows up so C-fudd won't feel lonely. I never see gary without C-fudd, its almost like they were the same person.

Kchiker said...

We really only have one side of the story here. The airline is mum...but there very well could have been circumstances which justified their actions. I bet pilots are trained to consider it a security risk if a passenger demands their presence for any reason or diverts them from their duties. What if the parents did so? They already admit they asked that the PILOT be involved in the discussion.

Nini said...

Erika: When we flew on Qantas years ago, they played Mr. Bean episodes.

I love you Australia, except for your silliness on guns.



Yes, Qantas is one of the world's best airlines.

We have a very strict national gun control in Australia, but most of us are not so bothered about it.

Gary Rosen said...

nice try rc, you're either Fudd's sock puppet or butt boy despite your faux disagreement on this thread. Do you mutually whine about da joooos while he cornholes you?

Dante said...

We have a very strict national gun control in Australia, but most of us are not so bothered about it.

In Oz, there were 366 murders in 2002 for 19 murders per million. In 2009, in the US there were 51. Of those attributable to whites, it was 26 per million whites. Of those attributable to blacks, it was 147 per million blacks.

White murder by gun is about 15 per million, according to a post by Ann earlier.

Glad you can speak for the entire land for your people on how people like the gun restrictions.

In the US, it's pretty clear we have a black murder problem, but (Shh!), no one can know.

Shockingly, black on white murder is 40 per million blacks, vs. 15 per million for white on white, and 1 per million for white on black. And rape is even worse.

So, if you are visiting the US, outside of all other factors, and you are walking down a street, walk down the side with the white guy, not the black guy.

And if you are a woman, and don't want to be raped, that goes double or treble.

The US has a black crime problem. Don't worry, it's just a fallout from the race industry. It isn't that bad. You liberals should always go down the black side.

Gary Rosen said...

Or is rc a self-loathing Jew like C-fudd bwahahaha

Kelly said...

We were flying over Greenland when the Captain came on the intercom and told the stewardess to shut off the movie, open the blinds and everyone had to look out. Passengers in window seats had to share the windows. I thought that was pretty cool.

Thing is, the parents had every right to be concerned with what their kids watch. You don't think this doesn't have an affect on them?? My sister was staying at a hotel with her children. She woke up early and got her shower. In the meantime her five year old son woke up and turned on the tv. When my sister came out she found her kid enjoying some hardcore porn he somehow managed to order. The kid acted out this stuff for maybe a year afterwards to where he had to be supervised with the other kids.

Mary Beth said...

Kids that young have a hard time seeing over the seat in front (at least the 4-year-old would). Depending on how the screens are placed, they probably could have switched seats to make it even harder for them to see.

Rusty said...

Why didn't the parents find out what the movie was BEFORE they booked their flight?

chickelit said...

Why didn't the parents find out what the movie was BEFORE they booked their flight?

Suppose they booked their flight weeks or months in advance and the "entertainment" wasn't planned yet? Maybe they weren't business travelers, able and willing to change at the last minute and pay penalties. As I said up thread, it's hard to find four seats together on United at the last minute.

A better question is, why did they play this movie in the first place?

C Stanley said...

I have no idea how one even goes about finding out what movies the airlines plan on playong during flights. Admittedly I generally plan travel through third party sites like Expedia, but I've never seen any mention of the entertainment.

Even if it is preannounced, it's beyond ridiculous to put the burden of choosing a flight without movies unsuitable for genral audiences, on the customer. It should obviously be a given that a customers shouldn't be forced to be a captive audience to a movie with mature themes and disturbing

Choosing a flight based on entertainment is pretty ridiculous because there are so many other factors that need to be considered- schedule, number of connections, price, etc. plus, I'm betting that all of the United flights of a given route on a given day are probably showing the same movie.

Michael said...

Chicklit. I think they played the movie because they made what is called a "mistake". In other words, they thiought they were playing something that would entertain the vast majority of their customers. Their "mistake" was in failing to realize that this particular customer would not like the movie. No one has polled the thousands or tens of thousands who have had the same movie foisted on them and who have apparently endured without commet or permanant harm to their sensibilities or those of their children. Those customers are not important. In time the solution will be to show no movies at all so that " mistakes" can be avoided.

Freeman Hunt said...

Alex Cross currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 12%, a good indication that it is terrible and most people do not like it. So even absent the age of people on the plane (which is not really absent at all) the choice of movie was very poor.

I didn't realized that there existed a little cadre of airline fascists who think everyone should sit down and shut up no matter what absurdities are foisted on them.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Their "mistake" was in failing to realize that this particular customer would not like the movie.

Um... 12% favorable on Rotten Tomatoes?

Making excuses for United will do no good. In fact, if you want an excuse, here: They suffered traumatic losses to craft, crew and morale (and their business) 12 years ago and haven't gotten over it. Perfectly understandable. Not so understandable: setting the industry low-bar for acting like bitches and calling EVERYTHING a security concern. It's how they handled it after. Read JAL's link. It's from a guy who's flown a million miles and gets treated like shit from them. And then contacted by a "PR" department.

United's ship has sailed. I'd use a different metaphor, but since I'm not the asshole that apparently their entire corporate management and customer service departments are, I'll refrain. You get the picture, Mike. As orange-toupeed Trump says, it's nothing personal - just business.

And who the hell thinks that compulsory movie "selections" are listed on the ticket, or when purchasing it? Fly in airplanes, much?

I see this situation is bringing out from the dark people who live in very particular bubbles of a certain sort.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

In time the solution will be to show no movies at all so that " mistakes" can be avoided.

Oh, bullroar. The "solution" for some supposed need of mandatory entertainment already consists in the individual screens bolted onto the back of every chair or WiFi on every competitor's flight. How much do you even know about this industry? Do you have some over-riding financial interest in United?

I loved reading last summer about when American's CEO told Smisek to take a flying leap and that under no uncertain conditions would he fold, succumb to a hostile takeover, or otherwise endure MonopUlited's attempt to consolidate them borg-like into their empire of shitty service.

C Stanley said...

Yeah you'd think they'd at least stick with movies more popular than Congress.

Michael said...

Ritmo. I have, unfortunately, flown two million miles on Delta, one million on American and more than One million on United. Flew for fifteen years before the introduction of frequent flyer programs. Happily, however, I am prechecked so dont have to take off the shoes,etc.

Michael said...

Ritmo. Every competitor to United decidedly does not have planes equipped with screens on the back of every seat.

Peter said...

" why subject passengers to a movie some person picks for the whole plane to have to see or to have to tape paper over a screen, or figure out how to turn off?"

Why? Because there is often advertising on the screen. And sometimes they sell access to premium channels.

So, yes, the screens seem somewhat like payphones. Payphones went away when they were no longer profitable.

Airplane back-of-the-seat screens and "please pull your window shade down" (why don't they just black out the windows then?) will go away if/when airlines can no longer find ways to make even a little money from them (due to their having a captive audience, of course).