Dear American: Silent in-flight movies are way past their prime

American Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-82

Image by Deanster1983 via Flickr

So I can understand in this age of terror alerts and wanna be bombers lighting up their underwear that safety in commercial air travel must come first.

I can understand why American Airlines Flight 197, after boarding all passengers and keeping them sitting for 40 minutes Wednesday night in Boston, ordered us all to disembark because, inexplicably, no one had done the daily safety inspection in the morning (or so we were told, oddly, just past 6:30 p.m.).

I can even accept that it was for our own good that we left one hour and 45 minutes late for San Francisco.

But American, please: It’s time to bring the Talkies back to cross-country flights. That’s right, movies. The ones with sound. You already charge for drinks, for meals, and for luggage. Starting May 1, pillows and blankets will come with an $8 pricetag, too. Come on. Are you setting us up to charge for sound?

I don’t mean to be paranoid, truly I don’t. But we had no movie flying west Wednesday on Flight 197. No music either. Just a buzz. And we had no movie Sunday heading east on Fight 194 back to Boston. No music either. Just the same buzz.

I did appreciate the free drinks after our nearly two-hour delay taking off Wednesday. Given your problems with the T-V, maybe next time you should hand out bottles. Or hire a technician. In-flight sound just can’t be that difficult to master.

“Why,” I asked our flight attendant on the way home Sunday, “do you keep on the picture on when you have no sound?”

“Because,” she explained, “it’s a visual movie.”

Now why didn’t I think of that?


About jerrylanson

I teach, write, coach and sing, though you're not required to listen to the latter. I'm a journalism professor at Emerson College in Boston. My third book, "Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves," was published in November by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. You can read a sample chapter at My passions are politics (generally liberal in outlook), music, mountains, golden retrievers and my grandchildren, though not in that order. Please stop by and mix it up with me. I always answer those who post.
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4 Responses to Dear American: Silent in-flight movies are way past their prime

  1. Just PARANOIA! Jerry you live in a Contadictory country… Democracy and fundamentalism live together, can this be called Hypocrisy?

  2. Caitlin Kelly says:

    Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, you are SO demanding! Don’t you read Rachel King at T/S, who months ago swore never to fly American as long as she lives?

  3. Jerry Lanson says:

    Yes, I did. See my problem is all my miles are on American. And the more I try to escape the airlines the more my miles lure me back … for more misery.

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