Monday, August 22, 2011
How do you sleep on a plane? Do you recline back, way back, doin' the rockaway? Do you deck yourself out in neck donuts and sleeping masks? Or do you tend toward the oh-so-charming open-mouthed, snoring thing (like me)? Do you ever wonder what's the best way to sleep on a plane?
We ought to teach true, serene airplane sleeping in college, with a primer class as a high school elective. A full-dress course in the subject would include the history of aviation from Kitty Hawk to Marquis Jet; the state of immigration by air; the transformation of humankind to a race of nomads; the invention of time zones and datelines; the evolution of aerospace engineering and airplane design; and meditation practices from around the world.
You’d walk away from this wide-ranging exploration with an idea of how and why more than 700 million passengers took planes in America in 2010. You’d learn a lot about what work and family now are, and why so much travel is involved. And you might learn why the airlines are currently benighted, what the consequence of carbon emissions from airplanes might be and whether companies are wasting money on air travel for employees.
But you’d also learn how to sleep when your body is in a seat crammed among other seats installed for maximum profit.