Someone once said, the only things you can count on are death, taxes and change. The first two are pretty much inviolable, but change can either be for the better or worse.
Discovery of fire, the wheel and most certainly sliced bread are a few of the changes that I would call for the better. But one change, happening as we watch, is confounding and definitely for the worse. I’m talking about airline travel.
When I started flying, propeller driven planes were essentially all you could book. It was considered an almost surreal and luxurious experience to travel by air. So much so that people dressed up for the ride, men in coat and tie, women in dresses. Decorum during the flight was an unwritten rule. Wow, so much has changed. I won’t go into the airline dress code of today, suffice it to say that if your seat-mate has their private parts completely covered, you’re relieved.
But that’s not the worst of it. Since the tragedy of 9/11, airlines the world over have pretty much shut down the spate of hi-jacking that plagued us for decades. What we’re dealing with in its place is the myriad nut cases that are looking for their 15 minutes of fame by diverting an aircraft with criminal antics, actions that require either forcible restraining or emergency landings, or both.
It’s at the point now where we will need background checks of all passengers before they are allowed to board a flight. Or maybe we could start with having each passenger fill out a questionnaire before attempting to buy a ticket. I’m thinking it would need to look something like this:
Please note whether the following statements are true or false:
- Showering more than once a year is unnecessary.
- Jim Crow laws should never have been declared unconstitutional.
- Uncontrolled, continuous flatulence does not need to be medicated.
- Having sex with your seat-mate at your seat is acceptable behavior.
- If the restrooms are all occupied, it is OK to urinate on a seat.
- A dispute about the overhead bins justifies trying to kill someone.
- Opening an emergency exit for fresh air during flight is allowed.
- Starting a Donnybrook during flight is OK if someone annoys you.
- Assaulting a flight attendant with a blunt object is not a felony.
- Jumping from the plane to the tarmac is OK if you are running late.
If you answered TRUE to any of these questions, please have a seat in our executive lounge where one of our airline “agents” will speak with you about joining our “freaky fliers” bonus miles and incarceration program.
In case you think I exaggerate, each of these incidents have actually happened in the past several months. Perhaps a much simpler, one question form, would do the trick as well…..True of False: My mother never really loved me as a child.
What do you think?
The Freaky Flier program. Who knew?
Flight has become an exercise in coping, hasn’t it? I cope by not flying very often. My husband copes by falling asleep shortly after take-off and jolting awake on landing…
My wife is the same way. They just don’t understand that the pilots need help flying the plane!
This resonates, of course, although I did not fly in the age of propellers but what I can say is, ever since 9/11 and other incidents, the checks at airports have grown so thorough that the idea of going through one in order to get on a plane is almost more than I can bear. Hence my holiday trips are normally taken by car in which space I can largely behave as I want excepting saluting a passing police-officer with a large scotch enjoyed while I am driving. Cheers ollicer 🙂
We simply must take a road trip together some day. Soda or rocks?
Respect has flown out of the window…no pun intended. I too recall the early BOAC days and it was a luxury and an experience. Alcohol is at the root of a lot of this, but maybe not the flatulence. Great piece my Bro. ❤
Thanks, Jane. You’re excused for the pun. I realize you were just typing on the fly.
Laughing out loud….xXx
I am with you all the way with this Al. I flew a lot when I was a kid in the late 50s early 60s. Everyone was dressed up, respectful and it was an experience of a lifetime to fly by BOAC in Stratocruisers and Britannias. In those days we were allowed to visit the flight deck as I was a member of the Junior Jet Club. What a wow experience for a young kid. Nowadays, it’s a bus ride and goodness knows who or what you are flying with. Only yesterday Easy Jet threw off the passengers as a few treated the plane as a night club. It is more and more becoming a world of crazy ! 😜
Ralph, we are kindred spirits!
Oh yes Al! The worst is when you realize you are sat next to someone with flatulence!! It actually happened to me last week when i was traveling, not by aeroplane, but by Metro, and i got stuck behind someone who continued to (putting it nicely) let out their gas, which floated up towards my nose each time – for 20 minutes!! It’s like some people have no shame! Hope you are well Al.
Best wishes from Spain
Yes, Carly, it’s stories like this that make me wish the instant transporter device in Star Trek was a reality!
Al, is that you in the handcuffs? What’d you do this time?
Of course that’s not me, Vickie, you know I will never be taken alive!
LOLOL. Hey, after you get your bionic hip, maybe it will pick up radio not-so-free ______________ (fill in name of any charming sandy country). You will be an international poster guy!
I flew too in the good old days when it was a luxurious experience. Nowadays just boarding is tortuous.My home is where my heart is.
I’m with you Dorann. Flying has moved right up there with root canals on the pain index.