Friday, August 5, 2011

#52: Plane Insanity by Elliott Hester

New York, St. Martin's Press: 2001. 236 pages

Elliott Hester is a flight attendant. He does not name which airline, but seems he was based on mostly Caribbean and South American routes. This book is mildly entertaining, but I expected a little more. I expected to be shocked by the rudeness of people, fistfights between passengers and the factory like food. What shocked me most is that celebrity animals are seated in first class and do not need to be in kennels. (37)

Hester's honesty, that flying in coach is like being on an Amtrak with wings, is refreshing. He does write that "we too ask whether or not that piece of gristle was once part of a cow" (119) and that well fed passengers are happy passengers. What I did not know is that the flight attendants actually eat the leftover food, partly because the airlines make no arrangements to feed them on the job. Usually, "this amounts to what is called a Snack Attack, which includes a main course of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich". (121) Airlines suck, and this book proved it in spades.

It is much like the government; the people who make decisions that we deal with everyday are not accountable, as we never get to talk to them. Or beat their collective asses with chairs. This was the high point of Hester's text, that you can almost feel the anger underneath his polyester uniform whenever his ass is chewed because someone in corporate fucked up. There are multiple instances of this, but then the book devolves into tawdry tale telling of sex in the bathrooms, sex in first class, blow jobs in darkened coach seats. Which is what sells the book, obviously, that and the tales of people with body odor so strong they can be asked to leave the plane. Yes, the airlines can ask you to leave if you are too stank. And, good. Take a bath you smelly bastard.

Meh, I've read better. Good for a few laughs, especially if you work in any customer service capacity.

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