Your Air Travel Advisor

Wondering why you’re always served last when the complimentary beverage cart comes around?  Think it’s time the FAA cracked down on people who fully recline the seat in front of you?  Ask Your Air Travel Advisor–maybe she can help!

Dear Air Travel Advisor:

We just pulled away from the gate (there’s only one) at Porter Wagoner International Airport in West Plains, Missouri, and a horrible thought just occurred to me: airplanes can go backwards!  I had not previously realized that modern-day jets had a “reverse” gear, which raises the question, could a plane ever go backwards in the air because of “pilot error” or mechanical failure?

I ask because my first husband, the late Bob Batcher, Jr., once ruined a perfectly good driveway gnome when he “accidentally” threw our Dodge Valiant into reverse instead of first gear making a three-point turn in our driveway on South Lamine.

Thank you,


Mrs. Eloise Batcher Fidler
Grimmet, MO

Wheels up!


Dear Mrs. Batcher Fidler–

No need to worry–modern passenger aircraft have an “autolock” system that goes into effect as soon as it’s “wheel’s up!” on a plane: all doors are locked, and the only operable gears move the plane in a forward direction.  “Reverse” gear can only be activated by an aborted take-off if your pilot runs the plane into the sorghum field adjacent to the airport.

Historic downtown Chillicothe, Ohio.


Dear Ms./Mrs. Air Travel Advisor:

We have begun our descent into the greater Chillicothe, Ohio, area, and the pilot has called for passengers to return both tray tables and seats to the upright position, and to turn off all electronic devices.  There is a woman across the aisle from me who is completely disregarding that last instruction, and is continuing to “text” her friends and check her “Instagram”–whatever that is.

I have half a mind to tell her to follow the captain’s orders for her safety and mine, but I do not want to start a “donnybrook” that will appear in USA Today tomorrow–I mean tomorrow’s edition of USA Today.  Which overhead button do I push?  I don’t want the woman to know that I’m the one who reported her, and if a bell rings she’ll be all over me like a duck on a June bug.

Yours truly,


Verna Hubbardston, Xenia, Ohio

“Mom, do FAA rules apply to fashionable people like us, or just schlubs?”


Dear Ms. Hubbardston:

I have one word for you:  Busted!  How are you able to communicate with Ms. Air Travel Advisor unless your phone is on, in violation of FAA regulations?  A $2.50 surcharge will be added to your airfare for the complimentary bag of pizza-flavored goldfish you were given from the snack cart, and Federal Air Marshalls will take you into custody when your plane touches down.

Thinking deeply about it.


Dear Ms. Air Travel Advisor:

The woman in front of me on the “red-eye” from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Missoula, Montana has been sleeping with her seat all the way back since we took off.  I have taken just about all I can stand, but I am not a vindictive guy– I’m a successful pneumatic fastener salesman and am required to have a pleasant personality at all times.  I’m also a “frequent flyer” with a lot of points, so I feel that I am entitled to better treatment than I’m getting.

I was wondering if you thought it would be okay if I just slipped my hand gently under her seatbelt as if I was gonna tap her on the shoulder but instead “copped a feel.”  It seems to me I’ve suffered enough, and she probably won’t even wake up, she had two little bottles of rosé wine right after we took off.  I checked the “SkyMall” section of the in-flight magazine and there’s nothing in there I can’t do without.

Thanks for any help you can give,


Darrell Kohammer
Truth-or-Consequences, New Mexico

“We have a report of passenger flatulence in Row 27.”


Dear Darrell–

I’m afraid you are seriously confused.  No matter how many “frequent flyer” miles you have accumulated, these represent an obligation of the airlines you have flown, and not your fellow passengers.  I would suggest you flip through the SkyMall catalog again and see if there is a “throwback” Pan Am stewardess inflatable love doll you can take out for dinner and a movie when you reach your destination.

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