Sunday musings: Airplane seat torture, Hitchhiking heat map, Big paper planes

We hear from flight attendants who are now in full-throated agreement with passengers that airlines have gone too far in squeezing passengers together. Will the FAA agree with the rest of the passengers about seat torture? Take a look at a hitchhiking map to find the best places to hitch a ride. Finally, we present a video of a massive paper plane. Enjoy 

Flight attendant union calls a cramped airplane seat torture

After few comments from airline unions about airplane seating, American Airlines’ Association of Professional Flight Attendants, or APFA, has agreed that flying in planes is seat torture.

“It is a torture chamber for our passengers and for us, that also fly on our own airlines,” Lori Bassani, of the APFA, said during a congressional hearing Wednesday.

She called it “almost impossible” to exit some seating configurations in an emergency. Federal regulations require airplanes be capable of being evacuated in fewer than 90 seconds even if some exits are blocked.

“The passengers already — in the normal case of getting on or off the airplane — are having difficult times getting into the aisle to sit down,” Bassani said. “Can you imagine in a stressful situation trying to evacuate in a real life scenario passengers from a plane that is burning or that is half tilted or upside down?”

Thumbs up? This map shows the best places to hitchhike in Europe

I used to hitchhike across Europe when I was a kid. Plus, I hitched from New Hampshire to Florida and got stuck in Canada standing overnight under a blinking yellow light. I could have used a heat map, to say the least.

There’s an entire wiki dedicated to the practice, including a map detailing hitchhiking spots around the world, rating each for ‘hitchability’ and providing a user-generated average waiting time for each spot.

Based on that information, Abel Sulyok has produced this map, showing average waiting times across Europe as experienced by hitchhikers themselves. The map provides a curious overview of the continent’s hitchhiking landscape, indicating where it’s easier to hitch a ride, and where your thumb is going to be sore before you’re picked up.

In areas colored darkest green, you’re off the street in 10 minutes or less. Lightest green: half an hour. Things turn yellowy in areas where you have to wait up to an hour and change to red for times up to 90 minutes. If it’s more, you’re in a deep burgundy.

The most detailed paper plane in the world

Luca Iaconi-Stewart can spend years making a paper plane. That might seem like a long time, but his paper planes aren’t made from a single sheet of paper, and they aren’t your average paper planes. This meticulous designer crafts astonishingly detailed replicas of 777 airplanes using manila folders, glue, and an X-Acto knife. That’s it. It’s a painstaking process—Luca builds everything from the hundreds of seats inside the plane to intricate moving parts, including landing gear. Now boarding Luca’s paper 777.

Featured photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash