Uncle Jimbo got me thinking with this post.
All of us, from time to time, fly on Airlines. It blows goat. Between the "go deep"cavity searches, the poor service, exorbitant cost, absolute minimum amount of space provided to do anything other than sit with your hands in your lap, (which includes the potty--ever try changing an infant in there?) and the spread of airborne disease from breathing dry, recycled air for however long it takes to get where you're going, flying today is a royal pain in the ass, and needs fixed.
How's this sound:
EVERYONE comes to the airport and goes to the SafeAir security area. Once in, you don't leave. (but you don't need to be there hours ahead, because you won't be there very long)
Everyone changes into a tyvek painter's type suit. If you can't wear one because we don't have size XXXXXL, too bad. Go get on Orca Airlines, lunchbox.
All of your belongings, All of them, are put in secure bags, and YOU put them in the flight's cargo container, along with your already x-rayed luggage. (More on that later)
You will get two low-level xrays, one when you change, and a second one as you go down the people tube to the plane, to ensure you ain't got no sharp pokey/pointy things or guns. The only thing between you and your tyvek suit is air.
The plane also carries the best available anti-missile defenses, including flares, chaff, and jamming equipment, and since there's probably a lot of out-of-work RIOs from F-14s,l they would work the countermeasures package.
Every seat on the plane is made about the same size and with the same function as your average barcalounger. The seats still float, so we can find the seats after the plane crashes in the water and you all drown. Those seats are expensive!
But the seats are comfy and recline.
Each seat has a 15" LCD screen, where you can surf the web, watch satellite TV, or a movie. Headphones are provided, or you can use your own. There's no USB port, because you can't have any of that crap on the plane. If you need to use work stuff, you'd better plan ahead and email it to yourself. You'll have a keyboard as well, and also have access to NaturallySpeaking, with (of course) a $5 donation to Project ValourIT, unless you gots no hands.
If you take up two seats, you pay for two seats. If the flight is booked and you can't just pay for the next seat, you de-plane and get a free transfer over to OrcaAir.
Babies need things like formula and diapers, and sometimes medicine. Moms need to coordinate prior (say, three days) to ensure we'll have the food/formula/medecine on hand. And the airline will supply it. You can bring nothing on the plane (except of course, the baby.) Sudafed and benadryl (the extremely drowsy formula) are also available, free of charge, as a gift from (and for) the other passengers.
Food is good, as are beverages. These are provided, and you can still have real forks and knives. Food is not "catered" by the same folks whoprovide the equivalent of KFC Bowls (leftovers) the food is restaurant-quality. It's included in the price of the ticket, and if you're paying $10 for a meal, you get a $10 meal.
The potty is the same size as a normal bathroom, sans the bathtub. There's a crapper and sink, and an exhaust fan that doesn't allow the smell of your last meal to seep out the door into the cabin. There's two in the front, and two in the back. If you occupy one for the majority of the flight because you decided to eat the worm or that the $2.99 all-you-can-eat chili and tex-mex buffet was a good idea the night before you fly home, you can pay for two seats--the one you purchased and the one you used.
Booze is free, good quality, and plentiful, but if you can't handle yourself or your liquor, you're going to find yourself in the drunk tank--a part of the renovated cargo area. The drunk tank is just that. A cold, dark prison cell, where you'll stew for the rest of your flight. If we have to subdue you, when we land, the cage is offloaded and you are sent through the airport in the cage straight to the police, who put you in another cage. Being subdued is not fun. It starts with being tazered and maced by the security guys, and then billy clubbed, sapped, and beaten, then cuffed and stuffed down the hole that leads to the tank. You can sober up there, while you wait for the mace to wear off. Hope you don't have to pee, as you'll be cuffed and tyvek is waterproof.
Servicemembers are always welcome, and fly free when on Emergency leave, and steeply discounted fares if they are on mid-tour leave, not on their way home (i.e. the guy has made it home, now wants to go on vacation to Detroit... I mean Vegas..)
Air: The air we breathe is way too important to leave in the hands of the sick person next to us. All of the air is filtered through HEPA filters, and humidity levels are kept at about 30-40%.
Sexy stews: Okay, we won't hire only sexy women as stewardesses, we'll also hire sexy nurses as stewardesses. That is to say, all of our stewardesses (and no, they aren't flight attendants) will be physically fit and LPN trained. They will be instructed in martial arts, and required to increse proficiency in their martial arts throughout their career. One nurse/stew will also be an RN, able to dispense meds and IVs, should the need arise. We'll keep a couple of Docs on call, and they can give instructions as needed. Helps a lot in those heart attack/stroke/gunshot wound cases.
There will be a smoking area down in the hold. Air in here is also filtered, and fresh air in cycled in from outside, and O2 is added. There is an airlock between the cargo hold and the seating area. This area will not look like the 3rd world smoking lounges in some airports. Any of you "pink lungers" who still bitch about secondhand smoke/healthy living/can still smell it are treated as disruptive passengers and go in the tank with the drunks.
All security personnel are prior military combat-arms types, carry large, scary handguns, and have no qualms about killing anyone who threatens other people.
The person scanning the luggage and bags flies with the luggage and bags. Not in a cargo hold, mind you, but on the cargo plane that flies behind the passenger plane. (Kinda negates the whole bomb in the luggage thing, right?)
The person screening the people getting on the flight also flies on the plane. (Think they'll just wave people through when the machine beeps, because they think it's acting funny?)
The pilots enter the cockpit through a separate door, and the cockpit isn't connected to the passenger area at all. There is simply no way to get to them.
Each plane is equipped with an anti-terrorist button in the cockpit, in the security areas, and the sexy stews station. This button immediately depressurizes the cabin, and leaves it without oxygen for a couple minutes. This'll allow a second security person, who flies in a separate (pressurized) compartment to put on his oxygen mask and come out into the unconscious passengers and kill the hijacker. (No questions asked.)
This is an extreme security precaution, but given the above security protocalls, its use seems incredibly remote.
Security folks also have two secure areas, one at the very front of the plane, another in the very back, which are built like armored cars. And yes Virginia, they even have them little firing ports.
Finally, the last security precaution: The are no Arabs or Muslims allowed on the planes. They make up the largest majority of terrorists, so therefore, they're out. SafeAir reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, at anytime, simply because we want to, or for any reason we need. Muslims can fly on the cargo plane if it's really that big a deal, and if everyone in the passenger plane agrees not to get in a tizzy if their baggage gets all blown up.
What about Muslim Servicemembers? They are Servicemembers. And they are treated as such, period. Besides, odds are they are not wahabbi, so it's cool.
It's racial profiling, plain and simple, and I don't care. Given the thought of flying without worry from terrorists, and idea of actually being comfortable, and able to conduct business/entertain yourself/eat a decent meal, I think SafeAir would not only do quite well, but people would be willing to pay a bit more for safe and secure passage, without the worry of lost luggage.
At your destination, when you get to the arrival gate (NOT a dual use gate) you receive your personal effects bag, change back into your clothing, and about that time the luggage container should be unloaded and you get your bags there too. (You can keep the tyvek suit, our compliments.)
Overall, I think it'd be a bit more expensive than SouthWorst's $1.99 cattlecar fares, but you'd be safe, secure, comfortable, and surrounded by people who you absolutely know are not looking to kill you. You'd also never lose your luggage. And you'd get a free waterproof jumpsuit in case it's raining when you get there. How cool is that?