Up in the Air

Flight Attendant (five minutes before takeoff): We’re getting ready to leave the gate, ladies and gentlemen, so we need you all to be seated with your seatbelts fastened. We’d like to thank you for choosing Starling Airways, the number-two deep-discount, no-frills airline in the country. Right now we will be coming through the cabin inviting you to sign up for our Starling Airways Rewards Credit Card. The Rewards card will give you 10,000 bonus miles immediately upon approval.  If you’d like to hear more, just ask one of our flight attendants for information.

(15 minutes after takeoff ): Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached our cruising altitude of 27,000 feet and the captain has turned off the seatbelt sign. Just to remind you, we are a no-frills airline and we do not have drinking water or beverages of any kind on the plane, nor do we have blankets, pillows, or peanuts. The location of our one restroom for our 387 passengers is for you to find out. But we do still have applications available for our Rewards card and we encourage you to sign up and get those bonus miles, so that your next flight on Starling will be practically free. Some of you have asked about reports in the press that Starling is rumored to be declaring Chapter 11 soon, with the likelihood that our planes will be sold for parts. We just want to assure you that that won’t affect your bonus reward of 10,000 non-transferable miles on Starling Airways. All you have to do is sign.

(90 minutes before landing): Ladies and gentlemen, the captain asks that you return to your seats as we might be hitting some choppy air in the next few minutes. Please buckle up for this turbulence, which the captain says should calm down as soon as I show him two more signed Rewards card applications.

(50 minutes before landing) Ladies and Gentlemen, we have less than an hour before reaching Chicago O’Hare, and I have to say that this little pile of signed Rewards card applications is pretty light. Please. They have my son!

(20 minutes before landing): Ladies and gentlemen, we are 20 minutes outside of O’Hare, and the captain has informed me that he has been ordered to continue to circle the airport until he gets five more signed applications in his hands. The captain has also indicated that we are low on fuel and he’s asked me to suggest to you that you think of your families. Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of Starling Airways, and my firstborn, please, don’t be a hero.

        Bob Powers is the author of several humor books, including The Werewolf’s Guide To Life and Happy Cruelty Day. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.