Thursday, December 28, 2006

A matter of time

Alcohol is going to be banned on all flights going into, out of or over The New Amerika and the United States of Europe. We are already clearly headed in that direction.

Remember the good old days of trans-Atlantic travel? You would leave LA, let’s say, early in the evening. Once the plane had reached cruising altitude, the service would begin. The waitresses would bring round the drinks trolley and you could have whatever you wanted and it was all free.

“I’d like a gin and tonic, please.”

“Here you are, miss. Why don’t I just give you two drinks now so you won’t have to wait for me to come round again.”

Then they would serve dinner, which always came with wine.

“Would you like red or white? Here, have two bottles – they’re only little.”

Then they would come round again with coffee and liqueurs.

“A brandy? Here, let me give you two, they’ll help you sleep.”

And then they would come round again and again, and whenever you pressed the “drinks, please” button. Or you could go to the galley and ask for something. You were never asked to return to your seat “for security reasons.”

Gradually things started to change. The waitresses got less generous. Sometimes wine was not offered with dinner so you had to ask for it. The practice of serving a digestif was completely forgotten. And then the American carriers started making you pay cash for booze – the ultimate incivility of air travel.

Drunk = unruly = security risk. Apparently.

And then today – one step too far. The Czechs are sensationalising the incident and calling it an attempted hijacking. The Russians are calling it what it more likely was – a drunk passenger raising a ruckus.

And the civil aviation authorities will eventually call it this: a reason to ban the booze. It’s only a matter of time.

The story of the incident in Czech and in English.

1 comment:

Adrien said...

They should hand out hash cookies on flights. Much better idea. Unless you're sitting next to someone whose actually interesting.

Then they should give you some red wine and chocolate to go with the hash cookies. :)