I really don’t care for the Emirates Foundation, duty free shopping or the number of languages spoken by the crew, nor do I enjoy announcements that belch through the headphones at a pain inducing volume, override my preferences and pause my show.
I care little for local time, the outside air temperature or that some woman named Melanie sitting further back has her 18th birthday today. Honestly, when most people are already sleeping, I doubt anyone but Melanie enjoyed the announcement.
The frequent traveler wants peace and quiet and relative calm. We’ve no need to relearn the intricacies of the entertainment system or be reminded that the 100 TV channels come in four vernaculars.
And why bother to mention the emergency exits when many of your passengers struggle to board and find their seats? Who honestly believes that an evacuation, a time of stress and chaos, will be any different or via the closest exit?
There was a time, a while back I admit, where the crew pointed to the exits by hand. Now they just stand like red-capped dolls while the spatially challenged passengers try to make sense of the tiny animated maps on their personal screens.
And when you absolutely must make that announcement, at least have the decency of holding the push to talk (PTT) button for the full duration of your speech, rather than pausing and playing and pausing and playing and pausing and playing my movie over the course of what should have been a single sentence.
Please Emirates; I’d rather go deaf because of my own stupidity than as a result of being forced to endure the volume of your announcements simply because some bozo-technician hasn’t figured out how to normalize the audio to humanly acceptable levels.
Surely, an airline is capable of making the distinction between informational, safety and emergency announcements, and so, shouldn’t have a problem classifying and filtering out the unimportant ones.
I’d appreciate a button that could forever silence these annoying announcements — an opt-out facility to turn down the noise. I don’t ask for much and it doesn’t even have to be a real button, I’ll settle for one that’s integrated into the inflight entertainment system I know so well, right there next to the “Movies” icon.
Let’s dispense with interruptions except those related to safety — the bare essentials at a volume of my choice.
And while you contemplate on whether to break the record of 23 announcements on a 55 minute flight, between Harare and Lusaka, know that your faithful passengers must still endure your PTT fetish for another 8 hours before reaching Dubai.
I would encourage you to have a policy of automatic opt-out — a policy that requires passengers to opt-in before they are interrupted. You could name this button: “Please interrupt me whenever you feel like it”. Although, I’m fairly sure that only the illiterate would be tempted to press it.
All I really want is to relax in my own little space, read my book, listen to music, watch a film and pretend that the sardine can I share with 300 equally annoyed passengers, was less like a Twitter feed and more like sleep.
So, shove your Hello Tomorrow and give me my Quiet Today.