“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are approximately five months into our planned six-month trip, and co-pilot Doshi and I have finally made contact with Mars station. As you know, the transmission system has been giving us problems from the outset, but we’re close enough now that contact is possible.
“It turns out we’re traveling a bit slower than anticipated. The W.S.S. Low Prices, as you know, was built in such a way as to offer you the most competitive travel costs to Mars, and we thank you all for your flying with us. But it looks like the engines have been juuuuuuuuust a little less powerful than we’d hoped. As it stand now, it looks like we have another two months or so before we arrive. Our best estimate is actually for about seventy-two days.
“Now, we would try to speed that up for you, folks, but we’ve had to cut the engines to ensure we have enough fuel to land. We’re helped by Mars’s lower gravity, of course, but we’ve actually been traveling on fumes for about three weeks now. Rest assured, we’ve informed mission control in Arkansas, so that future flights will have a little more and not run into this issue. It may mean an increase in the fuel surcharge, and you’ll see this reflected in your future credit statements.
“Anyway, it’s only a small delay, and as I say, by our best estimates, we should be arriving at Mars in seventy-two days. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope you’re having a pleasant flight.”