Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Supervising

The flight from Minneapolis to Appleton, WI takes about an hour via turboprop plane. Coming back takes less time (not sure why as that seems opposite of the jetstream), only about 55 minutes or so. On Friday when I flew back it was on a regional jet, which cut the time even further, down to about 44 minutes.

On the hour, and the 55 minute flight they make an attempt to have a beverage service, but between take off, getting to cruising altitude, descending, and landing the actual time for serving drinks is pretty short. They basically run up the aisle serving drinks and then almost instantly turn around and collect the empty cups. On the larger, and fast regional jet, however they didn't even make that effort. They just announced no drink service due to the length of the flight and left it at that.

Interestingly, however, the flight still had a stewardess. Her sole job appeared to be sitting in her jumpseat facing the back of the plane, keeping an eye on the passengers. She read a paper and would periodically look up and make sure everyone was behaving, and then would go back to reading. It looked like an extremely boring way to spend 8-10 hours flying back and forth to Appleton.

When I was in college I flew back and forth from Minneapolis and Duluth a few times, which is even shorter (~160 miles versus 235). For some reason I remember getting a drink service on one of the flights. So, I was wondering whether 44 minutes with a full regional jet is actually the minimum bar in terms of time or whether it comes down to a cost cutting measure.

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