Persuasive Reasoning For Congressional Passengers

I think we all know what to do if we’re sitting on a plane next to a congressman when the cabin pressure fails and the oxygen masks drop down.

That’s right. Put your own mask on first, then take the congressman’s mask away and refuse to give it back until the congressman promises to support a passenger bill of rights.

I don’t know whether anyone tried that with the seven Texas congressmen aboard a Continental flight from Houston to Washington that lost cabin pressure and made an emergency pit stop in New Orleans on Tuesday. But it would have been worth a try.

Oh, and the real irony here: the congressmen missed a vote on the The Aviation Safety Enhancement Act of 2008. It passed unanimously, without them.

The news coverage of this incident does leave me with several questions, however:

– Did anyone actually put the masks on? Because those things look kind of silly and they don’t really look as if they would work.

– Isn’t there some kind of rule about congressmen flying together? Or does Texas just have so many that it can spare a few?

– Why is the word “enhancement” so creepy? This act, which closes a revolving door between the FAA and the airlines, seems quite commendable. Yet I suspect that if Congress passed a bill confiscating one kidney from each citizen it would be called The Kidney Enhancement Act.

– What’s with the whole airliners losing cabin pressure thing?


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