I'm writing this from the passenger cabin of Northwest Flight 345 bound from Detroit, Mich. to San Francisco, Calif., more for general novelty value than anything else. The plane is a 757 with 42 rows of seats and six seats to a row here in cattle class, but of this total of approximately 250 seats I bet not more than 75 are occupied. I have this entire row to myself and the three rows ahead of me are entirely unoccupied.
Ooh, the captain's just turned off the fasten-seatbelts sign. Exciting! Well, it's about as exciting as things normally get on a flight, I guess.
In light of last Sept. 11, I've been thinking about what I'd do if someone were to try to do something untoward on a flight. It's no longer allowed to carry knives, but anyone trying to take over a flight is likely to have some kind of weapon—a distinct advantage that they'd have over passengers. On the other hand, the seat cushion floatation devices might make good shields, and I wonder whether it is practical to rip one of the plastic trays off its supports and use it as a weapon. Of course, if a meal's been served, there's the fork and knife from that, but they are sometimes flimsy plastic.
This morning when I checked in at Lansing airport (see my previous diary entry) I anticipated the possibility of checking in my bag full of fencing and stage combat swords. But there wasn't any problem with that, and I made it to Detroit uneventfully. The actual problem came up soon after boarding this flight to SFO. A guy came up to me and asked if I was Mr. Pfaff and would I please come with him. Seems that one of my bags was vibrating. So I went on out to the front of the plane, just outside the door, and looked through my bag. Neither of the electric razors were on, and I didn't have anything else electric in the bag. Bizarre. I should have taped their switches down or kept them in my carry-on bag, in hindsight. I hope that the bag made it into the luggage compartment before takeoff; otherwise I won't have any clothes or toiletries when I get to San Francisco.
I think I'm going to try to find something more interesting to do now. Maybe I'll try to work on GNU libavl.