There are things that belong in a business jet cabin. Things like high-speed Internet, a shower and on-demand high-definition video. There are also things that do not belong there. In the interest of launching 2012 with sound advice, I offer the following list of those things that do not belong:
1. Any catering order that includes boiled cabbage or Brussels sprouts, and any dish that begins with the word garlic. The scented aftermath clings to all it touches, lingering for hours after you leave the airplane, like culinary bad karma. Good luck at that private investors meeting.
2. Children armed with crayons, magic markers, chewing gum or sharp objects of any kind. Does anyone really need an explanation?
3. Perfume or cologne. There are individuals who are allergic to such scents. There are also individuals who are simply sensitive—even overly sensitive—to them. I refer to the flight attendant who took a pop-up trip with little notice. In her rush to get out the door, she did something she rarely did (and has never done since). She added a touch of her favorite perfume, which was also the favorite of the aircraft owner’s ex-wife. It was not the favorite of the owner’s new wife. This ended badly for the flight attendant.
4. Any flight attendant even remotely more attractive than the owner’s wife. This will exclude most of the flight attendant community, but on the other hand, it will reduce the cabin stress level considerably.
5. Any live animal. Dogs and cats alike will pee pretty much anywhere, but typically on the most expensive item in the cabin. Both will shed. And both will barf at least once during the flight, which is particularly noxious if anyone slipped them some of the boiled cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
6. Never under any circumstances bring a Woody Allen “chick flick” on a charter flight carrying six of your closest friends on a hunting trip. It is best not to annoy men carrying guns.
7. Anything that you would not want a customs officer to confiscate at your next destination. For example, in Japan, personal weapons are easier to explain than the latest copy of Playboy magazine. Customs officers will take great delight holding the magazine up for all to see, as they thumb ever so slowly through the entire magazine before declaring in a loud voice to you and everyone in the hall, “Confiscate! You understand confiscate?”
8. Anything that comes in a squirt bottle. Especially if the color contrasts with the cabin décor. (See number 2.)
9. Anyone who cannot allow more than 30 seconds of silence to pass without filling it with inane, senseless and annoying chatter about Kim Kardashian, or the string theory of particle physics and how it may reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity.
10. Balloons and inflatable toys that were inflated at sea level. As most business jet cabins are pressurized to about 8,000 feet, such toys may subsequently explode with a loud bang, which alarms the other passengers and scares the hell out of the pilots.
I’m sure there are other items that do not belong in a business jet cabin. Feel free to pass them along for a future blog, when I’m feeling in a particularly surly mood.
If you’ve had one of those flights from hell yourself, perhaps you might feel better hearing the story related by radio host and political pundit Laura Ingraham. On one of her radio shows, she recalled having a man seated next to her who, shortly after takeoff, promptly removed his shoes and began cutting his toenails. That, folks, is someone who should be on everyone’s no-fly list, and certainly doesn’t belong in a business jet cabin.
Have a pleasant and safe flight, and all the best in 2012.