Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hellish Skies: Or, Why Flying Sucks These Days

Sigh. The heyday of flying; the glory days when stewardesses were allowed to be called stewardesses and not 'flight attendants' or 'mid-air helpers' or 'butlers of the sky.' When skirts were high and inhibitions were low. When the prospect of joining the mile high club seemed pretty damn good. Granted, I wasn't around/alive for any of this, but movies like Catch Me If You Can (mmm, Leo DiCaprio. You can be my Titanic lover anyday) harken young'ens like me back to a better time, a more fabulous time. A time when flying didn't completely blow chunks.

Now, I have just returned from a quick jetset from one coast to the other in this great country of ours. And, being no stranger to flying frequently, on all different airlines, I feel as if I have some credibility in taking the airlines to task for being so godamn awfully painful to fly with.
This is not your parent's Age of Aviation. This is the post-recession age of Fear, Tediousness, and Lines. Not necessarily in that order. Even from starting point at the airline ticket counter, where you meander through rollercoaster-length rides, inching along at the pace of a snail, flashing your ID to every bored and/or angry and/or could-care-less security guard - flying is a chore!

One would only hope that the airline officials get better and more efficient as you move through the airport, but no. Gone are the days of the suave, sleek, much-sought-after, debonaire pilot. Instead we get bozos like this guy, assisted by crews of stewardesses, nay, FLIGHT ATTENDANTS, that seem irritated beyond belief if a passenger dares ask for some bold request, say... a blanket. Or a smile.
Gone are the day of the luxury flight, with airlines plying you with enough booze to knock out a horse. Hell, you can't even get soda on some airlines without paying cash mid-flight for it! (note: when I first encountered this on a domestic flight, I was so enraged I almost opened the emergency door and bailed out mid flight)
And don't even THINK of being fed. Gone are the days of airplane food that one could poke at and mock with glee. "Chicken a la king? More like Chicken a la GROSS!" You're lucky if you even get peanuts anymore ... but of course most airlines don't give out peanuts. Allergies, people! ALLERGIES!

Remember when you could seamlessly glide from parking lot to terminal to gate in under an hour? When you could wear shoes whilst getting scanned for potential weapons? When you could *gasp* bring an outside drink into the airport .... all the way to the terminal? When loved ones could meet you at the gate? When seats had not shrunken to the size of doll chairs? When headphones were complimentary?
I don't. I was just wondering if you did.
Thanks, Osama. I blame you for all of this. Get out of your cave in Afghanistan, or Alabama, or Albania, and come take some responsibility for the destruction of the modern airline. Or else. This is your final warning!


  1. Brilliant.... I was on a train with a pilot from Easyjet yesterday, he would have agreed with all this!

    Anyway, a totally pointless and irrelevant award for u over at mine ;0)

  2. Very funny post, ladies! I'm new here on your site, but I'll be coming back. I had my own airline nightmare this past summer. Not to besmirch them by name but let's just call them "Schlamerican Airlines". Long story short, I sat on the tarmac in 102 degree Dallas heat in a metal tube for about an hour.


  3. Yikes, that pilot is scary (and so is that "thing" in his lap). However, you do prove a point: if you have to travel outside the house to get to it, it probably wasn't worth leaving the house to get to in the first place. Or something like that.