Sunday, March 29, 2009

That's just plane crazy!

On last week's flight to Los Angeles, I settled into the seat I'd inhabit for the next six hours and read something disturbing:

These were the prices my airline (which will remain nameless) was charging for certain on-demand programming on the small TV screen on the back of every seat in my jumbo jet. That's just plain crazy, I thought (notice the pun in this post's title), before happily thinking of all the money I'd saved by loading my iPod with hours of videos — between episodes of a 1990 cartoon based on my favorite group of all-time, to numerous music videos and even the episode of "Good Eats" that taught me how to make this delicious drink.

As it turns out, though, it was a moot point, as I was still able to spend the flight watching hours of free entertainment on those same seat-back TV screens.

Even though the sleeping aid I'd taken to help me with a cross-country nap never kicked in, it was OK, since everything from Nickelodeon (seen here) and A&E, to ESPN and the Food Network was available gratis from coast to coast. I even got to watch the local NBC news from New York City, starting at 5 p.m. Eastern, as I was flying over such locales as Indiana and Nevada.

What a boon! I only turned on my iPod once throughout the entire flight, and that was just for the final 45 minutes or so. Sweet, right?!

One of the onboard features was a moving map, which showed all us passengers our route, where we were at any given moment, how long we'd been in the air, how long we had left til we reached LAX, our altitude, blah, blah, blah... It was amazing! You didn't even realize you were cooped up in a plane, until the mouth-breather next to you kept nudging you when he turned in his sleep.

Being a sports reporter, I was even able to catch up on the first day of the NCAA tournament.

Thanks to the good folks at ESPN, I was able to keep up with the Big Dance games across the country with live stats staring right in front of me. And, considering that my team (Go, 'Cuse!) didn't even open the tournament til the next day, I didn't mind one bit that the plane didn't get CBS as part of the free satellite TV package on our flight.

Oh, yeah ... and we took off and landed without incident. I'm just sayin'.

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