I always fly Jet Blue when I come east. No muss, no fuss. TVs at your seats. Enough trail mix and plane wine to last the six-hour flight. No need to fly out of or into LAX but rather the much-easier-to-navigate Burbank Airport. And the Jet Blue flight crews are so friendly and helpful.
Well, they used to be.
First, there was the flight attendant who snapped and took off down the chute of the plane.
Now, via the NYT and elsewhere, we learn that the captain – yes, the guy in charge of flying the plane – had a breakdown at 30,000 feet. Talk about turbulence.
Fortunately, there was a sane co-pilot in the cockpit, as well as an off-duty pilot who took the wheel, not to mention a flight full of security types on their way to a convention – lots of able bodied men and women trained to take somebody down.
Isn’t it amazing how calm everybody looks in the video? The disturbance is quelled and everybody stays in their seat and continues watching their TVs or reading their Kindles or whatever they were doing. I, on the other hand, would have been freaking out. I mean, the last thing you expect when you fly is that the Captain will go stir bugs. An unruly passenger? Sure. A screaming child? No biggie. But the captain?
The good news, I guess, is that the plane was diverted to Texas, landed safely and everybody survived the incident. The bad news is that people seem to be doing a lot of snapping and breaking down lately. Take the guy who gained all that attention after his Kony video. He seemed pretty normal until he was standing naked in a street in San Diego screaming at the demons in his own head.
Metal detectors at airports aren’t designed to screen crazy people. Maybe there should be shrinks at airports having quick sessions with the flight crews before allowing them on board. I don’t want my Jet Blue pilot going nuts on my next flight, I really don’t.