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Certain foods are perfect for taking on planes while others should be ripped out of your hand and thrown in the trash before you wander down the jetway. Rice falls into the latter camp, and I think a lot of Southwest Airlines passengers would agree with me.
A flight out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport last week was delayed after someone spilled a side order of rice right in the aisle.
First and foremost, no, to my knowledge Anthony Bass’ family was not aboard this aircraft.
According to Jennifer Schaper, who documented the incident from onboard the plane, the staff wasn’t happy about the rice spill.
Nor should they be, because as we will get to in a second, rice is not for planes. However, I think they were annoyed by this attempt at cleaning it up which looks like something an 8-year-old would try. I present to you, the ol’ cover it with napkins ruse.
Update: they are still refusing to leave until the rice has been cleaned. They are sending out for a broom. #RiceGate pic.twitter.com/2H8fIQwdsh— Jennifer Schaper (@jenschap) April 15, 2023
Schaper tweeted that the flight was already delayed so the staff was annoyed to begin with. She also said that they didn’t offer beverage service, which is a bummer because everyone probably could’ve used a drink.
While she said the person who spilled the rice should’ve cleaned it up, the Southwest staff was “out of line.”
I get that, but I’m certain this entire crisis could’ve been averted if someone had shown basic etiquette when it comes to plane food.
Rice Doesn’t Belong On Planes
Considering you’re going to be sharing a metal tube 30,000 feet in the sky with 100+ strangers, a non-psychopath is careful about the foods they bring onboard a plane. There may be all kinds of food in the terminal, but most of it should stay in there.
You don’t want to bring anything that smells on the plane. I don’t care how much you love tuna sandwiches, I speak for all passengers when I say we don’t want to smell it as it gets recirculated through our pressurized communal fuselage.
The second type of food that shouldn’t go airborne is anything messy. Given the vast numbers in which rice comes in — as Mitch Hedberg once said. “Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something” — it can be messy. Little grains of rice can end up all over the place if you’re not careful, and that’s if you’re trying to eat it carefully in something like a well-packed burrito. Even then, it’s incredibly dicey.
This person just had an open tub of it. I’m not sure if there was an air marshall on that flight, but if there was they should’ve pounced on this rice offender.
The foods you should bring on a plane are anything you get from the flight attendants or anything you can buy at Hudson News that has no to minimal odor. To this point, salt and vinegar chips are a no-no.
I might start my own airline based on these rules. We’d be on time, all the time (which would be our slogan until someone sued us for false advertising because it’s impossible to actually accomplish), because there’s no way in hell anyone would get on my fleet with an open tub of rice.
Southwest may wish they had adopted my hypothetical airline’s policy
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle