Friday, December 04, 2009

Southwest baby

One reason I don't fly on airplanes is because I don't believe it's physically possible to keep something that weighs that much up in the air. Like the Monty Python hypnotist sketch, I think it's nothing more than the faith of the passengers that keeps the things up there. If everyone stopped believing in Bernoulli's Principle at the same time, I believe we'd see a spate of aluminum showers.

But never mind that. Let's talk about Southwest airlines.

Ever fly on one of their jets? I haven't, but there was a time in my life when I was privvy to many conversations held by people who'd just de-planed from a Southwest flight, or were on their way to board one at Midway. These were not happy people.

"But their TV commercials are great. Why do you people hate Southwest so much?"

"I'm flying to Indianapolis, but first we're stopping in fucking KC, and then Moline, and then Omaha, and then Minneapolis, and then back here to Midway, and then to St. Louis, and then we get to Indy probably by Wednesday."

"I can drive you there in under 3 hours and there's an open bar."

"For $19?"

"Oh. not for $19. They charge $19 to take you to Indy?"

"And KC, and Moline, and....did you say this is an open bar?"

"It is if we're on a charter to Indy. But since you're paying $16 to ride in a limo from Oak Brook to Midway, you should be glad I didn't toss you in the trunk with the friggin' luggage."

"There's no pre-assigned seating, they jam us in like we're damned sardines, the goofy-ass flight attendants put on these stupid little skits while they're giving the safety instructions, the..."


"What what?"


"Oh yeah, they sing the things sometimes. The emergency exits are dum di dee dummmm back there and lah di dah over there, if we have a water landing then lah di dee dah. Dancing around."

"You're kidding me. Seems like they'd take that shit a little more seriously. Those things have landed on water you know. Might be helpful to know about the Mae Wests and shit."

"They don't care. We're cattle. There's no room to move. The guy next to you smells from being on the plane for 2 days before you got on. Kid next to you is picking his nose, while the little monster behind you is kicking the back of your seat. It's like a flying Greyhound bus."

Now that was a long time ago, and I heard Southwest gave up on the summer stock safety instructions bit about 8 years ago , but I imagine with the current lull in the industry they're still trying to squeeze as many people into their fleet of 737s as is humanly possible. I still picture them as "Flying Greyhound buses."
I saw this come across the "Breaking news" feed from the Tribune's website earlier today.

A baby was born today on a flight from Chicago's Midway Airport to Salt Lake City, according to Southwest Airlines.

The flight, Southwest Airlines 441, has landed safely at Salt Lake City International Airport, according to Chris Mainz, a Southwest spokesman.

The flight originated in Columbus, Ohio with scheduled stops at Midway, Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho before ending at Spokane, Wash.

The flight landed safely in Salt Lake City?

Why wouldn't it have landed safely for God's sake? It's not like the baby was flying the plane.

Never mind the damned routine landing in Utah. Please dear god tell me the baby was getting off in Utah. Tell me they didn't make a 2 hour old human being stop in SLC and then Boise before continuing on to Spokane.

And I don't even want to know how many people on that flight have that unforgettable miracle moment captured on their phone cams.


A baby was born today on a flight from Chicago's Midway Airport, and officials said mother and child "were doing fine" at a hospital after the flight was diverted to Denver.

The woman went into labor after Southwest Airlines 441 took off from Midway bound for Salt Lake City, according to an airline spokesman. The flight was diverted to Denver, the nearest airport, at about 11:30 a.m. Central time but the baby was born before the plane could land, officials said.

Paramedics rushed mom and baby to the Medical Center of Aurora outside of Denver, where a spokeswoman said "they are both doing fine."
"It went smooth," said Charles E. McMillan, a division chief for the Denver Fire Department. "There wasn't anything out of the ordinary -- well, except that the baby was born on the plane."

The plane was at about 30,000 feet, and 100 miles north of Denver, when the pilot asked if anyone had medical training, according to airline officials. The flight was then diverted to Denver .

Flight attendants threw down a blanket in the back of the Boeing 737 and a doctor on the flight delivered the baby boy with the help of Med Link, which allows flight attendants to call medical personnel on the ground for assistance, airline and airport officials said.

"We now have a new passenger," said a flight attendant on the jet's public address system after the quick delivery, Channel 7 in Denver station reported.

The father and the couple's other kids were also on the flight, the station said.

The flight originated in Columbus, Ohio with scheduled stops at Midway, Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho before ending at Spokane, Wash.

The family's identity and their hometown were not released. But passengers on the flight told a television station in Salt Lake City that the couple was from North Carolina and the doctor who helped deliver the baby was from Spokane, Wash.

The hospital spokeswoman said the mother did not want to speak with the media.

Personally, I found Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz's version earlier today much funnier.


artandsoul said...

So glad Southwest was able to squeeze in a stop to Denver before the Spokane passengers finally got to their destination.

El oh el!

Keifus said...

Wonder if they charged Junior for a ticket.

Southwest is annoying in a lot of ways (the whole line up by your number thing is just so infantilizing), but their seats aren't as cramped and uncomfortable as most of 'em.