Bill Ferris | The Omaha Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. – Hoping to offset rising fuel prices and flagging profits, Southwest Airlines announced it will institute festival seating on all flights beginning in 2010. “Southwest is committed to providing a festival like in-flight experience for our passengers,” said Southwest Airlines CEO Gary C. Kelly. “You are now free to mosh, crowd-surf, or noodle-dance about the country.”
The largest carrier in the U.S. by passenger count has discovered that by removing all permanent seating more tickets can be sold per flight thereby increasing profits. The idea was conceived at a corporate team building meeting held in New Orleans during Mardis Gras; subsequent research at Carnaval in Brazil and Bonnaroo music festival confirmed the hypothesis that people are glad to be uncomfortably close to one another given a threshold amount of liquor and plastic beads.
To accommodate the new seating format, a chill-out area will be installed in the tail section with bean bags and Wii gaming consoles. Complimentary hacky-sacks, rhythm sticks, and beach balls will be passed out as passengers board with instructions to refrain from use until overhead lights in the shape of each object are turned off.
Beverage and snack service will reflect the festival atmosphere; fruity concoctions will be served in yard increments; southwest employees dressed like fellow passengers, but with one dyed braid standing out like a milk thistle growing amongst priaire grass, will sell an array of craft beers from Igloo coolers with their name, say “Tricky Steve” for example, written in permanent marker on masking tape stuck to the handle. In flight snacks promise to be totally tasty: kettle corn, wasabi peas, shelled pistachios, and skittles. For those in search of something more substantial, that guy with the dreadlocks in the parking lot selling vegetarian burritos is actually your co-pilot.
Flight procedure will change slightly to accomdate a new set of safety hazards. A leader will be appointed from each party; he or she must carry a tall flag bearing a family crest, sports team mascot, or alien so as to provide a point of contact for wayward family and friends. Rather than initiate new precautions in the case of turbulence, air disturbances will be re-branded as the equivalent to performing the wave at 30,000 feet. Finally, in the case of a loss of cabin pressure one very large oxygen unit will descend from the middle of the plane with numerous tubes with mask attachments. Flight attendent directions for use: puff, puff, give.
Family rights advocates have expressed concern that Southwest’s new Festival Flights do not create children friendly environments; not true says the CEO. “We have gone out of our way to provide a place to drop off kids so parents can party without guilt.” Right fucking on!
As a promotion for the inaugural Festival Flight from Denver to Cancun, Southwest is giving away the prize of 4-person round trip flights plus accommodations. To be eligible send a photo of you and your friends sucking on pacifiers waving glowsticks in geometric patterns, or wearing wizard costumes at Burning Man. Lawn seats can be purchased at the airline’s website, southwest.com, or via Ticketmaster.