August 28, 2005
United Airlines, um, humor
Posted by Victor Fleischer

I flew in to National Airport today on United.  I usually enjoy the approach over the Potomac, with the view of the monuments on the left ... this time, though, right before we would have touched down, the pilot gunned the engines and pulled up.  Sure got my adrenaline going.  We climbed up back into the pattern, circled around, did the Potomac approach again, and landed.  Phew.

The guy next to me swears he didn't hear them put the landing gear down the first time.  Somehow I doubt that, but who knows.  It seems more likely that there was a plane taxi-ing on the runway, or maybe we weren't lined up quite right.  It didn't seem particularly windy or bumpy.  Do pilots get the yips, like golfers do with putting?

After the second (actual) landing, the flight attendant tried to cheer us with some Southwest / Jet Blue style humor:  "We have now definitely landed at Washington Reagan National Airport.  The local time is approximately 4 pm ... Even with our abort landing, we have arrived more or less on time ... We understand that you have many, many bankrupt airlines to choose from, and we appreciate your choosing United ..."

Ha ha.  Is "abort landing" sort of like a "water landing"?  Next time, maybe they'll joke about pension-less maintenance workers throwing sand in the landing gear. 

No matter how funny they try to make it, flying is not a pleasant experience these days.  When it comes to flying, I'll start looking for the humorless, competent airline. 

I was reading earlier about the mindset of the class of 2009.  It just occurred to me that none of my law students would remember this. I find it hard to forget.

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