Line ups in the sky

Has this happened to you? You are on a flight and are anxiously waiting for the drinks trolley to be rolled away so you can go to the washroom. But by the time you struggle out of your window seat with “sorry” “thank you” etc etc to the two people you have to climb over – lo and behold – there is a line up from here to Nagasaki – all waiting for the washroom. 😦

But now there is a plan underway. At least a plan to monitor these line ups so that the airlines can analyse the data and improve things. So how is this going to work? How about cameras outside the toilet.

Hang on – I said OUTSIDE …. not inside – so calm down!

But yes – the plan is to have cameras posted outside the toilets so that the airline can see how many people are lined up during a flight and at what time during the flight. They say that the camera will be visible and will not be positioned in such a way it can see your face. Not sure how they are going to accomplish that. If you don’t like the idea and are worried about facial recognition then I guess you could always use a face mask like those brave demonstrators in Hong Kong …. but hang on – I have become distracted. Let’s get back to the fact that airlines are looking at using technology to monitor our behaviour on flights – including line ups for the toilet.

But it gets worse!

They are also goint to collect data as to how long we spend in that tiny little cubbyhole once we finally get to slide that bolt across the inside of the door and all the lights come on. Hmmm – it will all be anonymous of course (of course!) but thinking in terms of a Brave New World thing imagine if that popped up on your frequent flyer profile – seen only by the airlines.

Look, it’s not all bad. They are also going to monitor how much toilet paper we use !!!! YIKES as well as soap (you did wash your hands didn’t you???)

No really – it’s not that bad. They are also talking about some sort of sign so that the flight attendant can easily see if someone has their belt fastened or not. Well I think that is a really good thing. How many times haven’t you fallen asleep on a long overseas flight with your blankie all tucked up around you only to go through turbulence and the flight attendant has to wake you up to check if your belt is fastened. I always try to put my belt over the blanket so she can see. But this does sound like a good option. While we are on the subject of seat belts why ON EARTH would you not have your seat belt fastened the whole duration of the flight (except of course when you are in the line up for the loo). You never know when you are going to hit that turbulence – just makes sense to me.

None of this has happened yet….. but Airbus VP Marketing at a recent industry conference in LA said that this not a concept. It is not a dream. It will happen.

Better go out and buy your face mask now!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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