Sit Back and Relax, Have a Nice Flight

Every passenger aircraft pilot says it: “Sit back, relax and have a nice flight” but everyone, save those in first or business class, knows that is impossible.

It is not the airplane that makes a flight bad, nor the carrier.  Mostly it is not the crew either.  Fact is, most of the time it is the number of passengers that makes the difference.

Fill a plane to the point that there is no seating space left and you have a crowded and often hot and smelly aircraft.  You have an overworked crew mostly barely able to cope with so many people and as a result service, is sloppy and careless.

This was proved recently when we flew to Seoul with Korean Air aboard one of their Boeing 777s, a splendid airline and aircraft when not full. Outward bound the 11 hour flight was at best half full.  Passengers had room to stretch, staff had time to be attentive, and we got off the plane feeling well towards the carrier.

Homeward bound the story was very different.  The same aircraft was full to bursting, the cabin temperature was hot and sweaty and the service, strained.  Get two flights like that in a row on any carrier and chances are you are very unlikely to return to that airline.

The moral of the story is choose a flight likely not to be full, travel in off peak times and then hopefully you can sit back and relax.

Then maybe Have a nice flight will not be such an oxymoron!

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