New Orleans Over the last couple of weeks I have flown to England, Scotland, and Canada, and as I write this I’m packing for twelve days in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, India. I don’t fly as much as I once did, when sometimes I was on the road 60% of the time. I get to drive more in a circular route from New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Little Rock, Shreveport, Memphis, Baton Rouge and home, which seems like old times. Nonetheless, when I fly with ACORN International, it’s often a big jump across borders and sometimes, like this bounce to India, it’s over the “stan” countries, like Pakistan, Afghanistan and the rest of them. All of which has led me to read and watch the wild and ambiguous developments around this missing Malaysian Air flight and its 239 passengers with riveting compassion and personal interest.
Where the heck is that plane? Is there any chance someone landed this $250 million dollar bird and the passengers are alive? If so, what could the motives be? You can’t just chop shop a 777 or throw on a new coat of paint and sell it hot for $50 million can you? Or, if mayhem is in their mind, filling up the tank and finding a runway to land or take off with something like that is not a backyard job either, is it? It’s about the families of the passengers for sure, but I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that when my turn comes, I’ve got some questions and concerns.
I also don’t like some of the stuff I’m learning.
I’ve flown Malaysian Airlines and have thought of them as a great airline, but are you telling me an airline can just not pay some satellite charges and the “pingers” are not monitored and the company doesn’t step up to help for a week? And, worse, who knew that you can just about pull a plug and potentially disconnect those devices and essentially, and literally, drop off the edge of the world or so it seems.
I didn’t know that if a pilot or plane climbed to 45,000 feet that it was like administering knockout drops to the passengers and crew either. Worse, I really didn’t know that if you were in a depressurized cabin at that height for a couple of minutes, then you were d-e-a-d, dead. I mean it makes sense that you would be, but, honestly, I’d never put myself in that place for the millions of miles I’ve flown within a couple of thousand feet of that. Now, the Malaysian flight now seems to have only been at that level for 9 seconds, but still, this is way too much information.
I’m confused about the whole cellphone thing as well. Telecommunications experts are now concerned about why there were no cell calls or any efforts from the passengers to communicate. That just seems wrong to me. What cell towers are built over the water? Where do people get those phones?
I want so desperately for there to a happy ending to this story or at least one that is rational and told by living passengers as a story of a lifetime. I’m not surprised when CNN says its audience has gone up 100% during this real life mystery, but meanwhile I hope for the best, fear for the worse, and can’t be the only one getting ready for 17 hours in the air who finds that I now have way too much information about flying without any good way to sort it out and sleep well on a plane for quite some time in the future.