Since When is Flying No Longer a Big Deal?

Complete honesty. I LOVE FLYING! I have treasured it since I was a kid when my mom worked in the Reservations Department at United Airlines. Our family of six flew out to California twice on her Sky Miles, or whatever they used to call them back then. For me, the feeling of takeoff is one of the biggest rushes you can experience, legally. These days, my wife knocks on the fuselage for good luck and my face still breaks into a broad grin when I feel us leaving the earth. I loved it as a kid, and I still do!

However, over the past few years, flying has become less special and more of an unpleasant chore to be endured. Much of the blame for this falls on the airlines. In an effort to occupy every seat on every flight, they overbook. Then you wind up with the unpleasant scene when United dragged a guy off a plane who refused to surrender his seat. What happened to the “Friendly Skies”? Not only do they fill every seat, the amount of space allowed to each passenger is always shrinking. Anything to fit in another row. For people like me, who are above 6 feet tall, it has gone a long way to take any of the remaining joy out of flying. Some airlines have gone so far as to charge their passengers for anything outside of water and a bag of pretzels. Sheesh!

Now, about the passengers. Since when has flying become an airborne slumber party? People show up to fly with pajamas, pillows, and blankies. Dear Lord! I admit I have been guilty of trading comfort for style. I typically travel in cargo shorts, simply for convenience. The days of people “Dressing Up” to fly are long over. Much of the fault lies with the airlines. Back in the early days of air travel, the legroom and comfortable seats were legendary. Today, it’s not surprising we have reacted to this scrunching of personal space with generally sloppy clothing and attitudes. Let’s make a deal airlines. You give us a little more room and we won’t dress like we’re prepared for nap time in Kindergarten. What do you say?

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