Dec 11, 2016 by

plane interior with chairsB9T11R plane interior with chairs
‘Airlines become more unbearable every year, and every year, people like me write fist-shaking essays about the madness of it all.’ Photograph: Alamy


For all of the mind-numbing comforts of modern American life, there must be an associated cost. A piping hot pizza delivered to your door costs $20 and a few extra pounds in the midsection. That Gilmore Girls binge session will cost you precious hours of your life you’ll never get back.

A shower of Christmas presents, trays full of desserts and your parents’ overflowing liquor cabinet requires that you spend hours in the fiery hellscape we call air travel. I hate to be the one to reveal this, but that whole experience is only going to get worse.

Headroom on airplanes is shrinking. And next year, United Airlines is going to start a new ticket tier that “saves” people money by charging for more than one carry-on. Weather-related delays will continue to be rampant during the winter. If you’re lucky enough to find an outlet to plug in your smartphone or tablet, you can use the airport’s substandard complimentary wifi, which will allow you to watch Netflix for a few minutes before it spirals into an endless buffering loop, assuming the airport hasn’t blocked video streaming sites.

Airlines become more unbearable every year, and every year, people like me write fist-shaking essays about the madness of it all. I’d rather get rolled down a hill in a tire at this point than fly during Christmas. At least the inside of the tire doesn’t smell as bad as the men’s bathroom at LAX.

The only air travel service getting more resources pumped into it is Air Force One, the personal plane of the President of the United States. This week, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his displeasure at the $4bn price tag for Boeing’s new additions to the First Fleet. For once, the Orange Goblin and I can agree on something. Why can’t the commander-in-chief settle for more cost-sensitive convenience when the rest of us have to suffer being squeezed next to each other like a vacuum-sealed package of Farmer John hot dogs?

In fact, let’s scrap Air Force One all together. If you’re going to drain the swamp, why not start with the fat cats in the airline industry? I call on our Blessed Dealmaker to make a strong statement this holiday season. It’s time for Donald Trump to fly commercial – in coach.

For a nominal fee, President Trump can sit in economy class, receive a complimentary moist towelette, and access the airline’s extensive library of blockbuster (commercial-interrupted) Hollywood (well, technically Sherman Oaks) films (starring Chris O’Donnell, Burt Reynolds and/or that McLovin kid from Superbad). He can enjoy those in-flight amenities after the 35-minute wait for the plane’s interior to be hosed down with industrial-grade hand sanitizer.

If the president would like to upgrade, we have a very special package for world leaders like himself called “official business class.” Luxuriate in the extra legroom, unlimited cups of ice (cubed, not crushed), up to two carry-on items under three pounds, and priority boarding (after our Diamond, Gold and Silver Select passengers and all families with children). He can also watch all the McLovin movies he wants, commercial-free. Plus, a refrigerator full of your own blood, an armed Secret Service detail and free headphones.

Speaking of headphones, we offer a wide assortment of audio options for every type of listener: Matisyahu’s Live at Stubb’s album; the audiobook of Piers Paul Read’s 1974 tome, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors; and a secret recording of your pilots’ conversations, for the curious passenger. All of this can be yours for an extra $200. We should mention that if you want seatbelts, that’s extra, and to save on overhead, we’ve only printed one copy of the safety instruction booklet, which must be passed around from passenger to passenger until everyone has read it in full before we take off.

This might just be the most efficient way to revamp the entire airline industry.

Bill Clinton used to say that he felt our pain. Well, this is Donald Trump’s chance to truly feel all of our pain this holiday season. Mr President-elect, I hope you will join me in the Delta Sky Lounge on Christmas Eve. Please be sure to observe all the lighted safety placards. Remember that your seat doubles as a floatation device. And yes, the no-groping light is still on.

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