A suggestion for American Airlines.

I recently traveled on a spacious (who are we kidding?), make that NOT so spacious American Airlines jet for a trans-America flight.

As we scrambled to put our tray tables in the upright and locked positions, the standard ‘safety’ video appeared on the overhead monitors. For those of us listening, (I looked around the airplane and found no one to be listening) we learned about the plane’s safety features and what to do in case of an emergency.

The video itself was slicked produced. It was your typical corporate video (think Pfizer, American Express, or Wal-Mart), but one piece of this video ‘experience’ startled me. In fact, it caused my face to crinkle into spasms. All videos must have audio if they want to be effective.
Why is it that any audio announcements on airplanes — (we will be coming around with our beverage service; this is your Captain Jones speaking; we will be showing the movie ‘The Astronaut Farmer in five minutes) comes across in such a shrill, treble tone that I want to reflexively cover my ears in pain?

I know. Airlines aren’t exactly ‘soaring’ on all cylinders this point from an economic standpoint. But you think they could ‘update’ their audio technology/speaker systems just a tad from the 1970s. Any announcement in an airplane sounds like it is coming from someone talking into a transitor radio while traveling through a tunnel.

Dear airline industry. You took away my peanuts. You slammed me into a seat that is too small. And you force me to listen to announcements that are completely indecipherable. Don’t get me wrong; I love the convenience and freedom of airline travel.

I’ve got one problem: My ears are still ringing from this announcement:
‘Welcome to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.’

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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