Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Trivia at 20,000 feet

"I was told (by the flight attendant) the only option was to wake the lady in front but she looked fast asleep so she didn't want to do that.

"So I climbed onto my seat and onto the arm rest and jumped into the aisle."

Mrs Perez said she was concerned she would lose her footing in the dark cabin after the flight had experienced turbulence earlier on.

"What if I had caught my foot and fallen face-first into the aisle?"

The experience left Mr and Mrs Perez, who are Air New Zealand frequent fliers, questioning the airline's reputation as "Airline of the year".

They believe in-flight staff should have offered greater assistance rather than leaving it to Mr Perez to hold his wife's hand to make sure she exited safely.

More from Katherine Irvine, whom we met whining about her car-towing nightmare. The author of Christmas kitten rush arrives early for SPCA has been hand-picked to fill the role of Trivial Issues Correspondent, having proved her mettle with such works as Two weddings a world apart - "the future King and Queen of England will be fast asleep when Anna and Sean make their vows in front of friends and family" - and Celebrity snapper adds Beyonce to album.

However, now she is covering real-life human drama, Ms Irvine will have to up her game. Ms Irvine should be contacting experts in airline safety for statistical advice on the likelihood of falling face-first into the aisle and, more importantly, trawling the archives for stories of celebrity flight trauma.

I think we also should have been told of the reasons why Mr Perez finds holding his wife's hand to be so problematic. Clearly there are issues here which Ms Irvine needs to uncover before the weekly magazines get hold of the story. Similarly, Ms Irvine missed an opportunity with the Two Weddings story, when the Kiwi bride-to-be said "I have my mum's dress that I would like to use - either rip it to shreds or use parts of it." A more experienced correspondent would have been probing the family trauma and consulting pop psychologists about that one.

Still, the plane story is a good start. As Tanita Tikaram reminds us, there is a world outside your window, and Ms Irvine is ready to explore that world, bringing us all the news that is too unimportant to ignore

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