I recently took a hop across the country in an airplane.
Well, actually it was two hops, one from Monterey, California to Denver, from there onward to Washington DC.
That opening is enough, probably, to make you think I'm about to lambast the airline for making air travel an enervating, unpleasant, costly experience, right? Nobody ever says anything good about a flying experience.
Well, this is different. Sometimes, the powers that be do stuff that deserves a "well done" and a slap on the fuselage. Here is such a case, involving the plane used for the first leg of my flight, by United Airlines's subcarrier called "Skywest Airways dba United Express."
The airplane, I found by looking at the card in the seat pocket, was a CRJ-200. That stands for "Canadian Regional Jet." Now, I don't usually look at those cards, but I confess I found it a bit cramped to get into my seat, and I wanted to know what aircraft I was in.
So right away, you have to give United and its sub-lines a shout-out for "education while flying," because I would otherwise never have known that - apparently - Canadians are much shorter and skinnier than other people!
"But wait!" (As they say on infomercials), "There's More!"
Maybe it was just because my flight originated in Monterey, where one of the major industries used to be sardine canning, that it hit me: These kind folks who built the plane must be employing the sons and daughters of all those sardine canners who had to go out of business; obviously, their expertise made them shoo-ins for jobs as designers of aircraft passenger compartments.
And when you think about it, don't you suppose they probably found a place also for the Vietnamese families whose trade used to be building those tiger cages where they kept captives like John McCain during the war with the U.S.? But now, all is forgiven, and they're offering the descendants a place where they can use their inherited or learned skills. (Incidentally, have you noticed that people emerging from these flights have the same wild-eyed look that McCain has?)
Well, enough. I don't want my praise to seem fulsome or fawning, but let's give credit where credit is due: We may be discomfited a bit by the CRJ-200, but I say, hooray for United and Bombardier for helping to keep people employed.