The Lost Art of Air Travel

I remember a time when I loved every aspect of flying, from the early morning drives to the airport (always with pecan spin wheels) to enjoying the ‘altitude food’ that was so entertaining as a child. It seemed like air travel was the only form of transport with any romance left, with glamorous flight attendants and the promise of exotic destinations. Recently though, something I never imagined could happen has. I’ve fallen out of love with flying. With international flights on a monthly basis and a few transatlantics thrown in every year, I’ve gotten disenchanted. 

Maybe it’s because flying seems to bring out the worst in people. It’s a cut throat battle for overhead bin space, now that on most airlines checked bags come with hefty fees. Gone are the days of complimentary snacks and complementary meals in plastic packaging (except on long haul flights!) and free drinks. The seats have gotten smaller, and the fees higher. Even sky mall has disappeared. The cattle call of security is generally an unpleasant experience, only surpassed by boarding. The delays are frequent, and the airlines seem not to care about the average customer. On a recent connection in Philadelphia, my flight was cancelled and a line of over 70 stranded travelers coming off an international flight had to wait for one of two people working at the service desk. Luckily, I was able to iMessage someone at home, who got me on the last flight out for the day, but most were not so lucky. (No phone service with my UK provider, so I couldn’t call). No one told us why the flight was cancelled, and only sporadically were food vouchers given. 

So, what’s the solution? I’m not sure. The industry surely needs work, but I suppose being a less cranky flier would improve my experience. 

What are your thoughts on the state of the airline industry?

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. thegreyeye says:

    I so agree with you Amanda! Now it is only a means of getting to the family faster, that’s all. The airlines just don’t care. They are taking huge service charges for who-knows-what. This time I had a connecting flight from Doha, and transition time was one hour. The plane landed 15 minutes late. There was none to receive the connecting passenger in the gate, and no one bothered to answer correctly the gate no. I ran to a board, saw the gate, stumbled over a girl on escalator, and caught the flight while final call for boarding announced. Since long, I have seen airline employees are calling throughout the airport to pick any of the lastminute passengers even for domestic flights. Here when I reached with the boarding pass at final checking ( it was the same airline’s connecting), he didn’t even know me, a guest arriving from Munich to board the connection. I mean they don’t have the info that how many passengers are coming from other countries to board on the connection !!! In an international airport with thousands of gates, hundreds of flights!! can you imagine, how poor is the condition for us, the passengers!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you made the flight! It is definitely frustrating how much the service had deteriorated.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on Paradise Valley Foreigner and commented:
    I don’t fly as often as this worldly traveler, but I can attest to the wonder and joy that used to accompany air travel, which is now replaced mostly by dread and boredom. Unfortunate, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agree Amanda! We came to Australia from Wales in 1971 on BOAC and that is when air hostesses were beautiful and I always wanted to become one (didn’t) and as children we received a BOAC air wings pin (which I still have) and were treated like royalty…sadly not all airlines treat you well these days. Some still do fortunately!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like those were the days! I’m not sure I’ve seen any airlines give out pins to children recently, though I have a few (delta I think) from when I was a kid.

      Like

  4. Alison says:

    I definitely relate to this – the joy associated with the “Come Fly With Me” Frank Sinatra seems to have dissipated over the last few decades! I never got on to thinking of a solution for it… But it’s just part of the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. I’m not sure there will be a solution, but as long as flight prices stay reasonable, I’ll try not to complain too much!

      Liked by 1 person

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