First came Teddy Ruxpin. Then Tickle Me Elmo. And now the iPad. Or are we the only ones who think the new fad gadget from Steve Jobs is just another overpriced toy? OK. It’s kind of cool. And it’s good for games and movies. And maybe for travel, because it is smaller than a laptop. But when is the last time you sat at a departure gate and said to yourself, “Gee, I really wish I could look like a teenage geek right now and play World of Warcraft or watch an episode of Star Trek Next Generation.” Yeah, us neither. But perhaps you’re one of those people who likes to make all your fellow passengers feel guilty by actually doing work while waiting for your plane. In that case you might as well bring a real laptop with a real keyboard. We’ll be in the bar. And, yeah, we’ll probably walk out with a tab around the same price as your iPad. But at least we’ll enjoy the flight. (Or, as our next item suggests, maybe we won’t.)
The next airline fee: pay to spray? There has been a lot of hairpulling lately over Spirit Airlines and its new $45 fee for each carry-on you put in the overhead bin. Many industry observers are calling this the last straw. To which European discount maverick Ryanair says: “Oh really?” Ryanair recently unveiled a plan to charge up to $1.50 to use the lavatory. “By charging for the toilets we’re hoping to change passenger behavior so they use the bathroom before or after the flight,” says Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara. “That will enable us to remove two out of three of the toilets and make way for at least six extra seats.” (And this from an airline founded by an Irishman. What’s the world coming to?)
The other underwear bomber. Since we’re on the topic of airplane lavatories (and since we’re throwing around ethnic stereotypes), we’ll take this opportunity to raise the issue of in-flight etiquette in the toilette. Frequent fliers that we are, we’ve noticed passengers from some nations they…they…Well just what the heck are they doing in there? Seriously. It looks as if someone just detonated a urine bomb. Are these guys drunk? Suffering from vertigo? Who knows. Just remember to put your shoes back on if you follow one of these fellows into the lav. And hope there are a few paper towels left so you can mop up the mess. Or else that attractive young lady in row 37 will think you’re the one who hosed down the toilet.