Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stupid Corporate Messages


I don't mind flying on small planes. I don't really get why they freak some people out.  What I do mind is flying on poorly designed planes.

I have no window in my row. I have no idea why, but it is the only row without  a window. I thought I had made a good seat choice, 3A, but a window seat without a window isn't quite as nice as you might think.  I can. however, look over my right shoulder at the seat behind me's window.  This affords me the stellar view of the engine on the wing, which is painted the exact pink of Bubblicious raspberry flavor bubble gum. 

Now, I don't object to the weirdly colored paint job, but what I do object to is the stupid company promotion painted on the side:


Our aircraft makes it 10 dB quieter where you are sitting.

Well, duh. Sitting inside an aircraft is a lot quieter than sitting on the wing, I'd imagine. I recognize that they are trying to make me feel better about how incredibly loud it is in my seat (small planes generally offer lots of engine noise to accompany the cramped seating) but this is not the best way to do it, in my opinion.  I know it is louder outside the aircraft.  

Perhaps they meant the aircraft's design aids in noise reduction, or the soundproofing material does, but they didn't say that, and I think, probably, the only honest thing they could say was "Sitting inside an aircraft is quieter than sitting on the wing," which they basically did.  I think what they wanted to say was, "it's loud, we're sorry, but we want you to feel like we care without actually listening to your complaints to our flight crew," or something like that.

Now, the engine on the other side of the plane had an even stupider message, "This aircraft uses 60% less fuel than a jet seating 70 passengers."  Well, good.  Aren't we all touchy-feely-environmentalist today? Except for one thing; this aircraft seats 36 passengers. If you were transporting 70 passengers, you would have to make two trips, which would use 20% more fuel than a plane that seated 70 passengers.  It's a good thing I'm taking Math for the Humanites right now, or I might have been fooled.  I do understand that a half-full jet seating 70 passengers would be wasting fuel, however, I have never flown on a plane from the snow belt to Florida in January that had any seats available, let alone 36. 

If they are going to give us feel good messages, I'd prefer they give us accurate ones.

"By flying this aircraft, you will have more spending money on your vacation!" Isn't that the only reason I booked this flight? Because it was the cheapest?

"We won't give you any beverages because we have no working bathroom" would make you grateful for their foresight.

"It's loud, we get it, but it's only 50 minutes so suck it up."

"Let's be honest, as long as you make it there alive and with your luggage, do you really care what we paint on the engine?"

If you want to be more professional, I'd even go with "90% on-time flights" or something like that. Actually, I'd pick one day when they had a phenomenal performance rate, like 98% on-time, then paint that on the side.  It would have been true on the day it was painted, so it's not lying that much. Then never paint it again. It's like weighing yourself; once you get a good weight, avoid all scales  so you can think about yourself as being your target weight.

Now I like to fly JetBlue (I think that's the one) that has cute animals on their planes.  If you are going to paint things to pacify your flying public, make it a cute animal.    

1 comment:

  1. Lara L., you may be misunderstanding the message saying "This aircraft uses 60% less fuel than a jet seating 70 passengers." What this means is that the aircraft uses 40% of the fuel used in a 70 passenger craft. It's REDUCED by 60%. So, using your example, two flights would only use 80% of the fuel on the larger flight. So, you save 20% and transport an additional 2 people... Given this, their boast of 60% fuel savings is a thumbs up from the point of view of the "touchy-feely-environmentalist" :)

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