Airlines and Headphones

As I start to do my mental prep for trip over the next few weeks I’m trying to figure out how I pack for said airline experience with my headphones.

I’ve come to believe that every flight is an experiment in human responses to changing stimuli in a metal tin can hurtling through the skies at thousands of feet in the air at many miles per second.

For example;

Almost 3 years ago, I took a flight on one carrier, where they gleefully told us we could put our headphones on from take-off to touchdown – wahoo – what a great experience, as long as they were ear buds.

Last year on a flight I was informed that we could not use them when taking off, but could keep them in when landing.

When taking connecting flights, I have noticed that the same carrier can have different rules per route and plane type – because that matters.

On another flight I was informed we could connect to the in-house entertainment system, but not our own devices – even though you don’t pay for it.

On my last flight we were informed that we could not wear our earbuds on take-off or landing and only while we were in the air.

And beyond all of this, for some reason the $3 Airline headphones are much more safer then the $100 BOSE headphones that are on the market  – if only we knew the secret to WHY.

Looking back, I wish I had recorded these findings, because really, the data would have been magnificently absurd.  Had I kept track – I would have based it on geography, flight-path, timezones, etc – what is the metric that keeps it constantly changing and why?  Is it an internal collusion to by airplane headphones?

I watch as others get discouraged, angered even,  as they try to argue with the flight attendants (who are not the authority, but I believe to be part of the experiment as well) perhaps monitored from within the blackbox of each plane and finally give up exasperated.

Mental note: If I start to record said occurrences, record the characters and response of the arguer at hand – it usually ends with trying to rally their fellow unknown passengers to rise up and demand that all can use their headphones

I find this amusing, if only because I don’t like to fly and it makes me chuckle each time before the flight takes off.  But even more so because I have transitioned back to bringing books with me on flights, the ones I can get completely 100% engrossed in – whether on a plane or in the line at customs.

After all, if you’re going to keep changing the game on me in ways where only you can benefit, I will choose to change the game in its entirety.  And perhaps that is how we need to understand to redefine the unknowns, the absurdities and inconsistencies around us completely.

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