Down With First Class

I'm on a plane as I write this. Perhaps it's just that I'm seated directly in front of a loud child, but I'm feeling both tired and irritiable. My indigation has fixed itself on the curtain. You know, the drop cloth dividing first class from the prole bin.

My thesis is this: that curtain -- and perhaps even the whole notion of first class -- is a security risk. The hijackers of last September launched their assaults from first class, we've been told, where the seat density is low and the cockpit conveniently close. I have to wonder whether the curtain played a role in hiding their doings from the other passengers for those first few critical seconds. We've all been told by now that in case of a hijacking we're to throw shoes and forks (the forks are metal, the knives plastic, I've noted) at them. Yeah, well how are we supposed to do that exactly if they've established themselves in the first class fortress? Those bulkheads screen more than just our plebeian noises.

Why not stick first class at the back, where that defensible perimiter is less troubling? I know, I know, because then the rich bastards wouldn't be the first ones off of the plane. But this problem is easily solved: planes have rear doors.