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If I only had a plane

Kathy Werner
Posted 9/8/23

Hi there, fellow travelers.   It sure has been a swell summer of traveling, hasn’t it?

I fear that the glamour of travel is rapidly showing its age for most of the traveling public.

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If I only had a plane


Hi there, fellow travelers.  It sure has been a swell summer of traveling, hasn’t it?

I fear that the glamour of travel is rapidly showing its age for most of the traveling public.

I’m obviously not talking about those lucky people who get to fly in the front of the plane with fully flat seats and free champagne when boarding. Oh my, no.

I’m talking about those of us in steerage who don’t get the white glove treatment. I had my flight to Florida outright canceled this summer, which was a real bummer.

Then my daughter Liz and her family went to California last weekend to visit friends and had a bit of a hiccup. On the way there, they discovered that all the screens had been removed from the back of the seats in economy.  Seriously? No screens for a 5+ hour flight?

I did some online research after hearing this and discovered that United claimed they had removed the screens because they were “too heavy.” Riiiight. They also said that since most people bring their own electronics, there was no need for the screens. 

I say it all comes down to money--as it always does.  The screens are expensive to install and maintain, and the airlines are pinching every penny and then charging us for everything they can think of. Have you heard about the folks who are wearing fishing vests on airplanes so they can stow all their stuff in them and avoid paying for a checked or carry-on bag?  Oh, yes, it’s happening!

But back to my kids. Minus the screens, they played charades on their way out. But their flight home had its own challenges. First their flight was delayed. They were finally allowed to board, only to be informed that “we are waiting for a crew member.”  After sitting on the plane for an hour, a chirpy flight attendant told them that the crew member they were waiting for was…wait for it…the pilot! I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t there such a thing as autopilot? You are correct, but I believe that the plane must be airborne for that system to kick in. Because airlines are no longer allowed to hold passengers hostage on non-moving planes for hours on end, the travelers disembarked while they continued to wait, in vain, for a pilot to appear.  The airline finally gave up and had to get them a hotel. The next morning, they began their quest for a flight once again. I volunteered to look for wagon trains headed back east, but they demurred.

They did succeed in finding a flight home, but even then, they couldn’t get three seats together, though my daughter was able to sit next to my granddaughter. Ah, the glamour of air travel! Makes you wonder why we dismantled the once-extensive railroads we had. By Amtrak, it would take nearly 4 days to make it cross country. But in Europe, you could have hopped on a high-speed train and been there in a mere 15 hours. I know, I know, you obviously can’t beat the five-and-a-half hour flight.

But you do need a pilot.


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