Travel Observations

Observations from a long day’s travelling:

  • Delta’s menu card has two identical sides. Both I and the lady from Microsoft sitting next to me spent 30 seconds trying to see if the two sides were different in any way (and they were, in a tiny and irrelevant fashion). A clear real-world example of the UI principle that giving people two ways to do something slows them down, because it takes longer to choose the method than the time saved by having two options.
  • Apparently, you are disqualified from sitting in an exit row on Delta if you are travelling with an “emotional support animal”, something apparently different to a “family pet” or a guide dog. What is one of these, and who needs one?
  • Delta’s 767 entertainment system keeps running until you get right to the gate, as opposed to being shut down twenty minutes before landing, as seems to have happened on every flight I’ve been on for the past fifteen years. It’s about time. (And it’s widescreen and VOD.)
  • According to United, you shouldn’t use the toilets in other sections of the aircraft for two reasons. The first is to avoid overcrowding (although one would assume people would only try moving to another section for precisely that reason) but the second, and “more important” reason is “for security purposes”. Add this to the long list of impositions companies now have a convenient excuse for.
  • According to the episode of House shown on the plane, Dr. House thinks that airplanes are “flying cesspools” of germs. Great choice, United :-)
  • Taxi drivers on at least two continents encourage dishonesty by offering to hand out uncompleted receipts.

6 thoughts on “Travel Observations

  1. I’ve noticed that some other airlines leave the entertainment system running until you land. althought the only one that I can think of at the moment is Emirates; they also have camera’s pointing down and forward so that you can watch the plane land :)

  2. BA like to turn it off 20 minutes before you land but at least they have Video on Demand, the fast forward / rewind system seems bugged though and jerky.

  3. Yeah, Delta’s UI had bad FF/RW I couldn’t figure out. And if you turned the monitor off, it reset the system. (I suspected it might, so didn’t get caught by this.) A much better choice would have been to pause the video and bring up the controls, so when it was switched back on, there is a clear “Exit” or “Play” button to show the way forward.

    It also took me a minute or two to realise it was a touchscreen.

  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_support_animal says: An emotional support animal is one who provides theraputic benefit to its owner through companionship and affection. Emotional support animals are not specially trained to perform tasks as psychiatric service dogs are. They require only as much training as an ordinary pet requires in order to live peacefully among humans without being a nuisance or a danger to others.

  5. I should think the reasoning re emotional support animals is that if you are the sort of person who needs an emotional support animal, you are not the sort of person who can be relied on to open the exit doors.

  6. An emotional support animal is one who provides theraputic benefit to its owner through companionship and affection.

    So, the thing we used to call a “pet”, then?

    Jen: very good point :-)