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?