March 15, 2004

Airline on A&E

A REAL reality show.

I'm seeing now that there are (at least) two classifications of reality show. There are contrived reality shows, built on the Survivor model, like Mad Mad House, the SciFi show that I've taken to watching. And, there are what I will call real reality shows, which record actual reality. An example of this second genre is Airline on A&E. A better name for this second type is, of course, documentary.

Airline follows Southwest Airlines employees and documents what they go through with the passengers. I don't know if Southwest underwrites the show or not, but it definitely illustrates how they will bend way over backwards to accomodate passengers. And it shows even better some of the complete retard shithead losers that try to get on airplanes, and sometimes succeed.

The show is willing to document some screwups by the airline; lost luggage, equipment breakdowns, even a jerk ticket-taker once. But mostly the employees appear saintly in their patience and determination to help the passengers.

One of the more bizarre stories was tonight where they showed a woman putting on a full face of makeup and changing her clothes, right in the terminal, with the help of another passenger whom she'd never met before, all in anticipation of the arrival of her mother. She was so involved in getting ready that she missed the arrival and had to freak out all over the airport trying to find her. Mom turned up in the baggage area sitting in a wheel chair that she didn't need.

In showing how far the SWA people will go, a show I saw a while back had a fellow who was the subject of complaints in the waiting area about his body odor. The woman from SWA who helped him sent him into the bathroom to wash, found him some different clothes to wear, and ultimately managed to get him on the plane with his smell at a tolerable level. The guy did not get upset, he was just embarrassed.

I think all the shows I've seen so far have had at least one incidence of passengers getting too drunk and either not being allowed on the plane, or getting kicked off once boarded. The first show I saw a few weeks ago had a guy get trashed in the LAX airport bar at seven o'clock in the morning, and they wouldn't let him on the flight to Kansas City. If he is from Missouri then I would expect that behavior.

Posted by Wayne at March 15, 2004 10:05 PM
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