Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Dear Richard


Dear Richard,

I know it has been awhile since I last wrote, but I have been backpacking the Himalayas and I am sure you were trying to make yourself useful to the royal couple prior to their wedding. I trust they had the good sense to refrain from hiring your airline's catering company for their food. They must have, otherwise I would have already seen the reports of an epidemic of sick wedding guests and gales of laughter of the quality of the food.

Alas, as much as I would like to stop writing you, I just had to drop you a line after what happened to me on my most recent flight. I was transiting through the US on my way to Ghana for a bit of bird watching, and the most remarkable thing happened. I had just rested my weary head and was watching the inflight video system which, you might want to take note, actually works, when right before my eyes, two men suddenly broke into a fistfight. I do enjoy a good round of boxing. I did a little boxing back in my school days Richard. Well, this was new. I had no idea that United Airlines offered live boxing on their flights. Novel idea Richard if I do say so myself. However, one of the men must have broken the rules of the fight because the next thing you know, they are being restrained and the fight is making an emergency landing. As it turns out, the boxing match was not part of the inflight program, although I do think it is a marvelous idea, it seems that one of the men reclined back, and the other man took offense to it. So, a fight ensued and the plane had to make an emergency landing while being escorted by fighter jets. That is a few million dollars down the drain paid for by the American taxpayer.

24 comments:

Ida Blankenship said...

Are you addressing (Sir) Richard Branson? Because that's the dude who runs Virgin Airlines, not United. United SUCKS, and from my experience, Virgin isn't nearly as bad.

I'm guessing that you're talking about the man who bitchslapped the head of the guy in front of him who chose to recline his seat soon after takeoff. To which I say: get one of the seats in the very front of the cabin if you don't want someone in front of you. There's a good reason why I always request an aisle seat in the very front of the plane if at all possible.

I wouldn't have blamed the guy for saying something snide (because, really, leaning your seat all the way back IS a dick move), but there's no excuse for a physical altercation. Jeez.

I can only imagine that there were also at least twelve screaming children on that flight. That seems to be MY luck.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Dear Ent

This is played...so played.

RocketQueen said...

I think he just addresses anything related to an airline incident to Richard, Ida ;) In this case, he implies that the inflight system on Virgin doesn't work?

mikey said...

Ida, were you on the flight with me that had a woman flying solo, with 2 month old twins, to visit her mother? I thought the man next to me was going to have a stroke when those babies started crying. I even gave in and walked/bounced a baby up and down the aisle.

Nan said...

I still like the Dear Richard letters.

Patty said...

Ida,
This is a take-off on an acutal letter that was written to Richard Branson a couple years ago from a passenger who, very creatively, complained about the quality of food on his flights. Every so often Enty recreates the style to post a story about an airline incident.

nichole said...

I love the Dear Richard letters

timebob said...

flying sucks. I am long legged and when the person reclines in front of me it always jams my knees. Which I always pay the 20 bucks (ripoff) extra to get the exit or bulkhead seats.

Stacey Charter said...

Oh Enty - how I love the Dear Richard letters!

Anonymous said...

Really?

There was nothing funny to this post. Nothing.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Thank you. I thought I was losing my damn mind.

Stacey Charter said...

This has been an Enty thing since the original letter in Jan of 2009 - here is a link to it-http://www.monkeyreview.co.uk/2009/01/26/dear-mr-richard-branson-the-best-passenger-complaint-letter-in-the-world/

Then search CDAN for Dear Richard letters and you'll see the others. We asked for old school Enty postings and we are getting them. Tho I admit - I am a fan of pretty much all the stuff here on CDAN old school or 2011.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I know exactly what the context is of this Dear Richard thing, and yeah, 2009...we get it.

Played.


*I had to edit. Sorry

RocketQueen said...

Some of us still enjoy the letters. To each his or her own.

Ida Blankenship said...

I love the Dear Richard posts! But I'd rather read the ones which describe heinous flight food in hilarious detail. Oh! And the pictures! The pics were GREAT. So gross.

I just think it's funny how Enty addresses ALL airline-related concerns to Richard Branson, regardless of whatever carrier caused all his indignation. It's adorable, really. C'mon.

@mikey -- see, if the kids are infants, I try REALLY hard to just stare straight ahead and not toss dirty looks to the parents. Mom and Dad can't do much before the kid reaches a certain age. But once those kids are old enough to understand the words "be quiet," "sit still," and "shut the hell up," I will toss a billion icy glares. I know that most parents just sit there and flip through magazines while their kids scream, though. It doesn't really do any good to get pissed.

I'd rather sit next to a hollering brat on a flight from here to New Zealand (that's really far) than sit anywhere NEAR a gum-popper, though. *shudder*

God, flying BLOWS. Thanks for reminding me exactly how much, Enty.

KellyLynn said...

If air travel is annoying, just be thankful those trips no longer have to be traversed by boat. Can you imagine spending weeks with the same idiots who you now only have to endure for a few hours?

RocketQueen said...

@Ida - I was born in Australia, and my parents and I moved to Canada when I was just under the age of 1. According to a story I've heard a million times, *I* was that screaming brat all the way from Perth to Saskatoon, and I believe three different flights were involved. My mom still describes the humiliation and dirty looks. Because of that, I try really hard to not be annoyed as fuck when kids scream on the plane, but I found earplugs work so much better :)

Ida Blankenship said...

@Rocket Queen -- OOOOHHHHHH, I have BEEN on a flight from North America to Oz (well, technically, it was NYC to LA to Auckland to Brisbane) and that is a SUCKY, SUCKY journey. SUCKY SUCKY SUCKY. That shit is looooooong. On the way over, I had a bunch of percocet (I had gotten all four of my wisdom teeth out about a week beforehand. Score!), so I barely remember the flight at all. It was rad. On the way back, I was so overcome with sadness about leaving Australia that I cried myself into a stupor. When I got back to the States, I ended up having to spend New Year's Eve in the L.A. airport, and they wouldn't let me check my bag because it was too ginormous. Fun times. Yeah, not like I wouldn't have preferred to be sitting on Bondi Beach in a bikini drinking awesome beer again.

But see, you were under the age of one when you were on that flight, so I don't blame you OR your parents. I've always looked at infants and imagined their frustration at not being able to fully express themselves. It would suck to get strapped into some weird seat and endure air pressure for a few hours and not comprehend WHY. But, like I said, once kids get old enough to understand the severity of a adult in your face telling you to SHUT THE HELL UP, you'd better do it. And if you're a GOOD kid, you'll be quiet and polite and not have some sort of gaming device that bleeps and blips for hours on end. Sorry. Another pet peeve!

I should just sell my car, get a horse, and travel everywhere *that* way, really.

Ida Blankenship said...

P.S. And if you have dual Canadian/Australian citizenship, I can assure you that no one could possibly be more jealous of you than I am right now.

RocketQueen said...

And NZ, because my Dad was a Maori - triple!

Ida Blankenship said...

Oh my GOD. The COVETING! The COVETING!

Way to have the ability to dwell in three of the best countries on Earth, dude. Lemme know if you ever want a ladybride. ;-)

MCH said...

^LOL.

I like the Dear Richard letters. Flying is horrific.

Char said...

I think the Dear Richard letters are funny... when they are actually about VIRGIN airlines. This is United, so it's a little stupid.

And I fly V Australia (which is a Virgin airline) almost every time I go between Australia and North America, and I LOVE the inflight entertainment system. It's the best one I've seen on long haul, and being a Canadian living in Australia, I fly long haul a lot. The food is terrible though. Just the worst, completely inedible. Once I couldn't tell if what was put in front of me was meat, potatoes, some other kind of vegetable or some sort of combination. I really had no idea.

I also have a lot of sympathy for parents flying with their children... my husband is Aussie, and I am Canadian, and due to families being on opposite sides of the world, when we have kids we will undoubtable HAVE to travel between countries with them. Just the way it is. And kids cry. People just need to invest in some good noise reducing headphones. I wore them on my last trip across the Pacific and didn't notice ANYTHING around me. Slept like a baby. And we had TWO school groups on our flight, as well as at least 10 babies (I counted - it was school holidays, lots of families flying).

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