Californians, and people from LA in particular, have a bit of a bum rap in the Pacific Northwest. A lot of native Oregonians are bitter about them selling off their overpriced Californian property and coming up here to pay cash for big estates, inflating our housing prices and pushing many natives out of the market at the same time that previously sleepy towns like Bend explode in population and lose a lot of their charm in the process. While proudly announcing that you're a LA transplant probably won't provoke any verbal insult, many a Northwesterner is thinking: "Big house. BMW Z4 owner. Trophy wife. Spoiled kids. Loopy. Self-absorbed. Bad driver. Go home!"
I have nothing against Angelenos myself. I lived there for a few years and generally enjoyed it. Everybody I met there was pretty laid back and friendly, even if they needed the occasional reminder that there is life outside LA. In the aviation blogosphere, we have several Angelenos including Ron and GC, both of whom have written about some of the factors that have prompted the northward migration. But I do have one bone to pick with the fine citizens of Los Angeles. Ya'll are a bunch of freaking slobs.
After each flight, I usually help the flight attendants pick up and cross seatbelts. On most flights, there will be a few pieces of uncollected trash and newspapers to pick up, and maybe a little Bisseling to do. On any flight that originates or arrives in LA, though, you can pretty much count on heavy duty cleanup. We're talking plastic cups and food wrappers in seatback pockets, snotty kleenixes on the seats, newspapers everywhere, three unfolded blankets per occupant, scattered food trampled into the floor. We're talking utter destruction. To get the cabin really clean again would require every minute of our 40 minute turn.
We're not talking LA-Guadalajara flights here. These routes are LA-Sun Valley, LA-Arcata, LA-Bend; the seats are filled with well groomed people wearing stylish clothes and expensive sunglasses. I suspect many of these people are well off - many have second homes in Sun Valley or Bend - and probably have the education to match their salaries. Yet, these people have apparently never in their lives been taught to freaking pick up after themselves! That, or they've become too used to having a maid to pick up after them.
It's really quite simple, folks. Every flight we operate into LA is over an hour long. Our flight attendents finish their snack and beverage service early, and then make numerous passes with the trash bag. Rather than wedge that snotty napkin into the seatback pocket for me to pick up (or the next passenger to find!), it's very easy to reach over to the aisle and deposit it in the flight attendent's trash bag. Ditto for the Big Mac wrapper. And we'll be more than happy to recycle that newspaper for you. Also, please use caution when shoveling that snack mix into your mouth to ensure that half of it doesn't end up on the floor to be ground into the carpet.
Come on, people. Would you trash somebody's house this way after they invited you over? I realize you paid good money to fly on us - and I'm grateful, I really am - but that doesn't mean that the rules of etiquette suddenly no longer apply. I've held my tongue for a long time but the destruction you visited upon the cabin of aircraft 401 last night put me over the edge. I'm not asking for much. It's really no more than a Kindergarten teacher expects of her five year old students. Just extend us the common courtesy of picking up after yourselves.