Come Fly With Me

10 Oct

Oh, yeah

Humorist Robert Benchley voiced his opinion on travel beautifully:  “In America there are two classes of travel – first class, and with children.”

Many miss the glory days of early air travel when flying was downright sexy and adventurous. Even glamorous! People wore “their Sunday Best” and regarded the occasion as if were something important.

Today, there are two classes of air travel: Private jet and commercial. Commercial to most of us, of course, means “coach.”  “Coach” is not to be confused with the company that creates stylish designer leather goods. That would suggest a level of quality not experienced with commercial travel.

Flying coach has become decidedly unpleasant. Forget dubious TSA gropings and medical grade X-rays. Forget exorbitant surcharges, inflated fees, and paying for peanuts. Forget cramped seats and precious little leg room. That’s all expected.

It’s the assault on one’s senses that irks us.  The majority of passengers seem scruffy, smelly, and in sore need of an etiquette manual. Ha, need I remind you there has been urination in the aisles and inappropriate deposits made on the food carts?

Ah, oui!

On a recent coast-to-coast trip, the red-eye flight was like a sleepover from hell with 115 unkempt strangers treating the cabin as if it were their private dorm room. It was Animal House on wings, barreling through the sky at 1500 m.p.h.

Unfortunately, these are often peeps you wouldn’t converse with in a stuck elevator.

The waitresses – sorry, I mean flight attendants – seemed unduly stressed. They were downright grouchy, and understandably so… considering they obviously don’t sleep like normal people. They have what I call “jet nag.”  I’ve had it since 1995. There is no cure.

My attendant (Big Marge) barked at passengers as she hawked reeking fried egg sausage sandwiches at them and resentfully swiped their Visa cards. It was like being at Denny’s – but more expensive, fewer selections on the menu, bad coffee, and no bacon.

After an endless parade of filthy T-shirts , snarly tattoos, and flip-flops – I spotted an urbane, natty dressed fellow strolling down the aisle. Crisp French blue shirt, pressed tie with gold clasp, sharp crease in his suit pants. Hallelujah!  A passenger? No, it was the lovely flight attendant from First Class. God Bless his buffed Bruno Magli loafers.

Photo credits: coachcanada.org and Myopera.com

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6 Responses to “Come Fly With Me”

  1. Sooch October 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Great article!

  2. Dawn@LightenUp! October 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    “Resentfully swiped their Visa cards.” You have just described all modern service workers with one sentence. You rock!

  3. ditchthebun October 12, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    And what is the bet that those feral fried egg sausage sandwiches cost $15 a pop!!! Last time I flew was just a 3 hour flight, but my ears don’t pop naturally with altitude, I need to drink water… they were charging me $7 for a 350ml bottle of water!!! RUDE!! Charged huge prices for water and have travelling conditions similar to the people movers in 3rd world countries. Oh and wait for this, now in Australia you can’t even check in for your flight with a person unless you are flying first class… you have to use a computer check in system which is rife with errors and no one around to help you!

  4. Dana Leipold (@me_randomchick) October 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I am on Virgin American flying from Chicago to San Francisco as I type this…now, I agree with most everything you said in the post. Flying nowadays sucks big time. But, this flight I have to say has been surprisingly pleasant. Okay, so they still make you disrobe at the security check, squeeze all your belongings into a 1″x1″ carry on, make you sit waaay too close to someone who hasn’t discovered deodorant, and pay $20.00 for half a squished ham and Velveta sandwich. BUT, Virgin is trying to do it right. DAMN kid across the aisle just thru his Dora Explorer sippy cup at me! AUGHHHHH!H!HH!H!H!H

    • BARB BEST October 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

      Ha, Dana. I hear Virgin is pretty good… in spite of the Velveeta.

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