Thursday, May 15, 2008

What happened to airlines?

Question: which do I dread most: surgery to implant a new pacemaker/defibrillator into my chest, or flying from between Austin and Minneapolis?

Without question, the airplane trip is worse -- even though the surgeons will stop my heart and reboot by firing off the new defibrillator to determine if it works. Not a comfy thought. But I dread the airline experience more.

I’ve come to hate flying and I used to love putting on a tie, paying three bucks for a Scotch and floating between destinations. I don’t fear flying.
I fear I may get so frustrated that I punch someone.

The glamor is gone. Flying used to be fun. Now it is a chore.
What happened?


Anonymous said...

The answer to your question is: "deregulation." Deborah.

Anonymous said...

I have the perfect solution: Take the train to Milwaukee then to Chicago and then the Texas Eagle to Dallas. It will be could read a couple of books...have a and a wonderful few days. Thinking of you. Bill

Ken Martin said...

George you're a monument to the miracles of modern technology, our own bionic geezer. Good luck on the jumpstart.

The South Plainsman said...

Try flying from DFW to Tokyo in economy class.

Actually, I have noticed the same phenomenum. I suspect some of it is age...I really don't like to leave home anymore.

A good part of it is the TSA.

Another is that a lot more folks are flying than 35 years ago.

At age 35, I loved it when Herb Kelleher was "spreading Love all over Texas" with the cute young flight attendants in hot pants and "T" shirts.

Now look at what we get. Somehow, the Scotch doesn't taste as good as it did then.

Anonymous said...

I think one reason for your hesitation to fly is that you don't
like being treated like cattle. I share your feeling. Once upon a time, flying made us feel special. The airlines were providing a service and we felt served. Perhaps even cared for, a pillow or blanket. Real food, instead of peanuts or cholesterol-filled
luggage or when our various titanium implants that keep us mobile set off the alarms.

We are no longer treated as if we are "special," but rather "suspect." Moreover, most folks are frustrated and that collective angst or negative energy is palpable in the terminal and on the plane.

And at least on the operating table, you know that the surgeon is focused on your welfare and well being. That does not always appear to be true on an airplane. It may just be that a combination of post-911 precautions and
millions of travelers are the reason for the change from earlier days, and we may have to put up with it. BUT, we don't have to like it.


George Phenix said...

Actually, the trek through security doesn't bother me. Because of the hardware in my chest, TSA shunts me through a more personalized exam and I am always patted down.

It's the plane, the plane as the diminutive actor cried out on "Fantasy Island." The plane has grown too crowded. Not enough room for anybody. The migration to smaller, regional jets is proving to me a mistake.

But still, we are paying a helluva lot for expensive tickets in sardine cans. Remember when only the rich could afford to fly?

The Whinging Geezer said...

I agree. I can remember when people used to get dressed up like they were going to the theatre. Flying was a big deal back then. You weren't sitting next to someone in shorts, sandals and a dirty t-shirt,

Anonymous said...

If you can find an airline that sells any drink for $3, please let me know.

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