Before August 31st, more than 200 million Americans will fly on a plane. Unless their name is Edward Snowden. The airline trade group, Airlines For America, predicts 2013 will be the busiest summer for air travel since 2008. Passengers can expect higher prices, longer lines at check in and security, full flights and even worse, the only inflight movie is Burt Wonderstone.
However, before you start searching for deals and thinking about getaways, you should check out these five incredibly true things you must know before you buy an airplane ticket.
1. Those Seats You "Confirmed" Will Be Given To Someone Prettier. Or Richer.
If you book travel through Travelocity or Expedia (among other third party travel sites), the seats you choose during the final phase of your ticket purchase most likely won't be the seats you sit in. Surprise! According to a Travelocity spokesman, "We will share your seating requests with the airlines, but we cannot guarantee your request will be honored." Yup! Your seat choice is just an indication to the airline of where you'd like to sit -- not where you'll actually sit. It's like that old Seinfeld episode. They're "taking" your reservation, just not "holding" it.
2. Surprise! Your Seat Sucks Even Worse Than You Imagined.
What's the worst seat on an airplane? The one by the bathroom? The one next to the crying baby? Or the one next to the guy who finds out you work in TV and then proceeds to tell you every idea he has for an awesome new reality show? Actually, none of those are the worst. Although, "reality show guy" comes in a close second. The worst seat on the plane is the one you thought was gonna be just fine... but turns out not to recline. Did you know the seats in front of the exit rows have either limited recline or none at all? It makes sense now when you discover that in an emergency those seats could impede your egress... however, when you're picking seats during purchase, emergency egress isn't one of the options like a Kosher meal. Which reminds me... Airline food sucks.
3. You Don't Want Something So Close To Your Face That's Been SO Close to So Many Asses
Since 1952, there have been 14 airplane ditchings -- think US Air Flight 1549 which touched down in New York's Hudson River. A ditching is a controlled landing in water... as opposed to a crash. Anyway, 834 people were on those 14 flights. 573 of them survived. Many more would have survived were it not for one thing: hypothermia. Hypothermia can set in in less than three minutes in freezing water and if your flotation device is the seat cushion, in three minutes or so, you'll lose your strength, your mobility, your grip and your ability to hold onto it. You'll drown quickly there after. If you survive a crash in freezing water, you'll want to have a life vest.
4. You Will NEVER Get a Warm Cookie. Ever.
As of min-June, 2013, Delta Airlines stopped supplying flight attendants with extra chocolate chip cookies. Before the flight, the airline determines the precise number of people in first and business class and now only provides enough chocolate chip cookies so each customer gets only one. Previously, flight attendants were given several extra cookies to make 40 minutes or so prior to touchdown... which they could give away to cute kids or people who weren't a pain in the ass in coach, or eat themselves. Not any more. Damn economy!
5. Your Life Jacket Can Kill You, Too! Ta-Dah!
Assuming you survive a plane crash, your life vest could kill you. Yup. It's very easy to use the life vest improperly. And if you do, you could end up dead. If you put the life vest on backwards it will force your head into the water, as opposed to keeping it out of the water. If you inflate the vest inside the plane, before you exit, it will impede your ability to move, make you bulkier and can even block your vision. In the water, a person might grab onto it and if it's not properly secured, could easily choke you to death.