Duty-free oxygen

Back at work today, we met with a few aircraft maintenance technicians and got talking about the passenger oxygen system. Now, during an emergency, oxygen is supplied free to all passengers with the help of drop-down masks. However, if you’re an ailing passenger and need a continuous O2 fix, you’ve got to pay! Never mind if you didn’t know this…some technicians in our group didn’t either.

So here’s how I see a conversation developing between an oxygen-starved passenger and a flight attendant:

Pass: “Excuse me, could I have some oxygen please?”

Flt Atndnt: “That’ll be 80 dollars a bottle ma’m. Plus tax.”

Pass (about to pass out): “You mean there’s a charge for it?!”

Flt Atndnt (beaming): “Yes ma’m. You could also try our economy package…that’ll be 50 cents for every breath.”

Pass: Ummm…well…I have about 4 dollars.”

Flt Atndnt (moving on): “Stacy, 31A will have eight breaths. Could you please…”

I didn’t make this up. At least, not the pay-per-use passenger oxygen service. I’m not sure if it’s the same with all airlines. Has anyone ever had the experience? We had fun making up these scenarios, though.

Oh, and I just caught this on the History Channel. An average American drinks approximately 555 cans of soda every year. That’s about a gallon a week. Well, by that token, I know quite a few ‘average’ Americans at work. (I have never understood the use of the word ‘average’ by survey firms. It’s always ‘an average American’, ‘an average citizen’, etc. Souldn’t it be more like ‘On average, Americans drink…’? More humane?

2 Comments so far

  1. Erica (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

    Are you for real? They charge for oxygen? I would think if you need oxygen you’re probably already carrying your own.

    A la carte oxygen. How ’bout that.

  2. Rohan Kohli (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    No jokes.

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