Why I Cannot Take This Parody Seriously: A Button to Let The Pilot Know You Want The Airplane To Go Faster

“A vailable in both first class and coach, the button is as easy to use as the overhead light and can be pressed as many times as desired by any passenger hoping to arrive at their destination a little sooner. What’s more, each button sends its own individual signal directly to the cockpit, alerting the pilot of each request to fly faster with a loud siren and flashing lights on their instrument panel to ensure that they receive passenger wishes as quickly as possible.”

Why I Cannot Take This Parody Seriously: A Button to Let The Pilot Know You Want The Airplane To Go Faster

The above paragraph is from Clickhole in the form of this parody article called Awesome: Delta Is Adding A Button That Lets The Pilot Know You Want The Plane To Go Faster

…but my first thought was: what pilot would not want to go faster?

“Uh — folks. This is your captain speaking…”

Pilots work tirelessly to assure our safety as passengers before, during and after a flight — so why do some pilots sound like they are tired and lazing around in some reclining chair with one hand in their pants while they are giving an announcement in a deep and gravelly yet breathy voice?

“…I just wanted to let you know that the co-pilot and I are in no hurry; so we are slowing our cruising speed to just fast enough to keep this airplane airborne. Thank you for flying with our airline.”

What the parody neglects to address is what typically actually happens in the event that an airplane indeed arrives at the destination airport early — and it is usually not arriving at our meetings, offices, hotels or home early as a result…

…at least, not with me, anyway.

I am one of the lucky ones who gets an impromptu tour of the airport as a bonus feature of the flight — and at no extra charge — when an airplane on which I am a passenger arrives significantly early.

“Uh — folks. This is your captain speaking…”

That is usually not a welcome beginning to an announcement after the airplane has been sitting on the tarmac for a while after it landed.

“We have been advised that there is still an aircraft at our gate. Once it leaves and the gate clears, we will approach the gate. Please do not get out of your seats until the Fasten Seat Belt sign is turned off. Thank you for flying with our airline.”


That passenger in seat 34B needs to get a portable electronic device to keep time. That grandfather clock he is carrying around with him with that “tick tock” sound is so 1880s.

“Uh — folks. This is your captain speaking…”

Does he not know of any other way to begin an announcement? Well, at least the airplane has started moving again.

“The airplane which is at our gate is not leaving anytime soon; so instead of arriving at gate A19, we will be arriving at gate U71. Thank you for flying with our airline.”

That gate is so far away that it is closer to the origination airport than the one we are at now.

The airplane then inches at one foot per hour as the engines do that inexplicable occasional “whir” sound — and so begins the tour of the airport, complete with sitting in a traffic jam where ten airplanes are attempting to cross the same spot simultaneously; and that maneuver around at least one airplane which is in our way.

Hmm…I never noticed that beige color of the concrete which comprises the tarmac. I wonder what is that aggregate of rock embedded in it?

“Uh — folks. This is your captain speaking…”

What now?

“Gate U71 is occupied with an airplane due to a gate change. Our new gate is gate Z284.”

Will I earn more frequent flier miles for all of the traveling we are doing around the airport?

As I am thinking that I will need to catch a flight just to get from the gate to the exit at this point, the pilot does his empathy disclaimer.

“We do not like this any more than you do. Thank you for your patience; and thank you for flying with our airline.”

Yes, I am thinking to myself. Thank you for your empathy; but you are getting paid. I am not.

The long white beard on my face — which was not there when the airplane landed how many years ago — is really starting to itch; but the gate is finally in sight…

…and after waiting a few minutes, the engines power down.

“Uh — folks. This is your captain speaking…”

That is not a good sign.

“…the ground crew is not yet at the gate; so we cannot pull in until they get there. Thank you for your patience; and thank you for flying with our airline.”

What?!? We have been on the ground for who knows how many eons — and the ground crew is not there yet? Where are they coming from — Siberia? Did they sleep late today?

“I am never flying on this airline again!” grumbles one fellow passenger. “I missed the wedding of my daughter, who was born after the flight landed.”

Meanwhile, I am wondering why the pilots need the ground crew in the first place. I mean, they flew how many hundreds of miles and have flown how many thousands of hours in their careers — I trust them to park the airplane. The gate…it is right there. Just pull in! I won’t tell anyone. I promise.

After what seems like another forever moment, there is a flurry of activity from the ground crew. The engines power up again. The airplane lurches forward, embarking on that excruciatingly slow 90-degree angle turn in towards the gate…

…until it stops a few feet short.

“Uh — folks. This is your captain speaking…”

I do not even listen to the reason why this time…

…but once the airplane completes those final few feet of the journey of hundreds of miles, the Fasten Seat Belt sign is deactivated. Passengers lurch up and scramble for their belongings as they form a line in the aisle and wait…

…and wait…

…and wait…

“Uh — folks. This is your captain speaking…”

My eyes hurt from rolling so much.

“We do not have an operator for the jet bridge yet. As soon as one arrives and the jet bridge is securely in place and the forward door is opened, you will then be able to leave the airplane. Thank you for your patience; and thank you for flying with our airline.”

Members of the flight crew are flooded with passengers asking if their connecting flights have departed or if they are still at the gates.

When the jet bridge finally starts moving, it acts like a car being operated by a person who has never parallel parked before. It moves towards the airplane. It backs up a bit. It moves to the right. Then to the left. A little more to the left. Then to the right. Then up a bit. Down. Up. Left. Back. Right.

Either the operator of the jet bridge has never done this before; or he or she is trying out every single one of the functions of operating a jet bridge — as though he or she just received it as a Christmas present.

Finally, the overhead tarp-like thing on the jet bridge covers the area surrounding the front door on the port side of the airplane. The thumbs-up ritual ensues. The door is opened amidst applause from the passengers, who race off of the airplane…

…except for the one in front of me, who is the one whose bag is several rows back. We suddenly collaborate to get that bag to that passenger as soon as possible — only to have the passenger take that moment to sort through the bag in a leisurely manner before finally leaving the airplane.

I am hungry. Is it breakfast, lunch or dinner time?!?


Although I obviously exaggerated on a number of levels in this article, you might have recognized some of the ironies of arriving at your destination early based on your own personal experiences — and please feel free to impart them in the Comments section below. Arriving 45 minutes early at your destination could easily turn into an on-time — or even late — arrival at the gate itself when ground operations do not exactly cooperate.

Yes, there have been times where the airplane on which I have been a passenger has arrived early and allowed me to arrive at my destination early — and I am grateful about that — but that usually happens when I am to meet with someone at a designated time and have to wait for that person anyway once I am out of the airplane.

Of course, none of this includes circling a busy airport before landing; or those times where no announcements are made by any member of the flight crew at all.

Still — although it is wishful thinking — it would be nice to arrive at my actual destination early as often as possible.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

3 thoughts on “Why I Cannot Take This Parody Seriously: A Button to Let The Pilot Know You Want The Airplane To Go Faster”

  1. Doug says:

    Sorry, but your parody of the parody is significantly less amusing than the parody itself.

  2. Carol says:

    Doug I agree with you. My eyes glazed over. No humor in this at all.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      “It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.”

      Gotta take chances. Life is too short.

      Thank you, Carol and Doug.

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