Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Boy, the romance has gone out of flying, hasn't it?

When I was a kid, growing up in the 60s and 70s, my idea of airline travel was something like Eastern's Wings of Man ride at Disneyworld. All glamour and grace, meals served on china with linen napkins, roomy planes, the Yankee Clipper (the plane not Joe DiMaggio), and so on. All those James Bond movies with him riding in those planes that looked like your living room with wings. *sigh*

Now it's more like a city bus with wings.

I flew out to California to visit my son and his family last week. Took Southwest Airlines for the round trip. They're a great company, very reasonable rates, nice friendly folks on staff. They managed to shoehorn me into another flight when my original got delayed out of Tampa. The operative word there being shoehorn. Out and back, 5-6 hours in those tiny seats on that 737. Man, that's tough ride on these old knees.

And there's the whole TSA security bit too, that keeps family and friends from watching your flight depart from the airside. I remember watching my mom go off on business trips. There was something magical about being able to watch the plane taxi out and take off. It gave you a sense of closure, if that's the right way to phrase it. Now you get a hug in the parking lot and that's about it.

I was lucky one of the times my son was flying out of here, because he's in the Army, he had to fly in uniform. The ticket gal printed up a bland boarding pass so I could accompany him to the gate. That was nice. But the average traveler doesn't get that kind of stuff. I wonder if it will ever calm down enough to have some civility in airline travel again.

I find the term bucket list to be a bit tedious and overused these days, but if I had one, I think one wish would be to travel somewhere on a plane in style. You know, where there's only two seats on each side of the aisle, and the seats are like Barcaloungers. Where you get a decent meal, not a packet of 13 - 17 salted peanuts. Where a glass of Coke is a glass of Coke, not a little plastic thing with 1.2 oz of soda and bunch of ice cubes.

Just one time, to see what it's like.

And in the same vein, a little vintage Flight Attendant hotness:

flight attendant hotness
flight attendant hotness
flight attendant hotness

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