Air Travel in 2021: a mini rant.

bgmacaw

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I hear that! I went to Nashville in 2017 and like three years later there was a Tornado. Won't be doing that again.

I was on my way to Seattle when the Nisqually earthquake hit. The flight diverted to Denver because the earthquake took out the control tower at SeaTac. I was stuck in the Denver airport for about 18 hours trying to get a flight back home to Atlanta since the conference I was going to attend in Seattle was canceled. I bought a Denver souvenir coffee cup to have as a reminder of why I don't want to fly on a commercial airline ever again.
 

BigDaddyLH

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Haven't had to endure air travel yet, but the current lodging situation on driving trips is...not great. We stayed 2 nights at a Marriott (brand new) in Allentown, PA this weekend. Due to current conditions, they did not have daily housekeeping, but you could come down to the desk if you needed towels and so forth. I noticed some things that gave me the suspicion that our rooms were merely tidied up rather than actually cleaned before checking in. I did not see a housekeeping cart the entire time...like not even out in the hallway when we were coming and going. The free (well...included in the rate whether you want it or not) breakfast buffet had been reduced to a mound of individually wrapped Jimmy Dean biscuit sandwiches that you could pop in the microwave.

More seriously, I've given up on the free breakfast. If I'm on the cheap, I bring with me some harder-to-bruise fruit and a bag of muesli. I'll grab milk and go back to my room. I know I should say something nice about mankind, but I don't want to be in that breakfast room before I've had my coffee.
 

Nubs

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I had a similar situation recently. Company flew me to FL for an interview. After all of the time preparing, getting a new suit, taking a day off work, the delays missing connecting flights and having to stay overnight in hotels, getting up at the ass crack of dawn to catch the early flight the next day to get to the interview on time, they decided on another candidate.

The worst part of it all...IT COULD HAVE AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN A ZOOM MEETING. The interview consisted of myself and 2 other people in a conference room. That was it. It was a total waste of time for me to be there, especially since they picked someone else.

This recent escapade reminded me of how much I have grown to despise air travel.
 

Junkyard Dog

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More seriously, I've given up on the free breakfast. If I'm on the cheap, I bring with me some harder-to-bruise fruit and a bag of muesli. I'll grab milk and go back to my room. I know I should say something nice about mankind, but I don't want to be in that breakfast room before I've had my coffee.

Yeah, I don't eat it anymore either, but this chain doesn't give you any sort of a discount if you opt out...I don't think. I will drink their free coffee though...which thankfully was actually pretty good!
 

Informal

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Trying hard not to sound elitist..

But oh well.

I'm old enough to remember when air travel was cost prohibitive to the Greyhound crowd, and it was a good run. :p
 

Jupiter

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Travel is fun if you aren't in a hurry. When I traveled all the time, the second I was out of control of the time and circumstance, I relaxed. Once you see the flight is delayed or you have an overtime crew or (insert crazy stuff that makes you super late) if there was a 'major' problem, then I actually enjoyed the sport of dickering for seats or getting the best vouchers (I never needed them) but, I'd spot amateurs and help them out and they would get absolutely giddy over their misfortune... pretty fun.
I swear gb you are like a wizard or a swami or something.

I fly internationally a couple times a year (in normal years) and I never enjoy it. It’s definitely easier now that our kids are all 12 and up, but jeez the whole crowd control/security/cattle class/cost cutting/overbooking/plus the new thing—for me it’s like purgatory except even praying won’t shorten it.
 

HappyMangle

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Between 2013 and 2018 i had around 40 flights every year. It was like a routine for me. Some people drive a car to work, some people use subway, i was always on the planes. There where few airports where i honestly felt almost like at home. The waiter at the restaurant knew my name and what kind of sandwich and drink i like to drink. Then everything change and i barely make few flights a year (normal vacation/visiting family things). My last trip was with the very cheap airlines called spirit. That was my first trip with them and if i would read their reviews before https://spirit-airlines.pissedconsumer.com/customer-service.html, i honestly would change my mind about the whole trip thing. Everything turned out to be ok. The only one unpleasant thing - i had to register online for the covid locator form and the internet at the airport was very slow. Took some time until i finally made it.
 

tah1962

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Sorry to hear about your hassle flying. I can’t imagine flying in today’s madness. My last flight was my last week of work, (retired 3/29/19) and it was no fun then. Between two jobs in 31 years, I flew 3 out of 4 weeks a month. I don’t think I’ll ever fly again. Best of luck with the job.
 

aging_rocker

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I don't fly very often, but when I do...it seems to involve 2 x 12 hour-ish flights to get back from here to the UK and vice versa.

You quickly learn a zen-like acceptance of tribulations, like @getbent.

The fun part is choosing where to spend a couple of hours between flights - China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Qatar, or anywhere other than the US - which these days involves being herded into a transit lounge virtually at gunpoint, no, not doing that again, sorry.

Last UK trip was 3 years ago, and we're overdue for a visit now. New grandchild to meet and all that.

Our last flight was to Vanuatu for a holiday, 2 years ago. Right now, I honestly have no idea when we'll fly again.

Edited to add: Right now, I honestly have no idea when we'll leave the house again.
 
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getbent

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I swear gb you are like a wizard or a swami or something.

I fly internationally a couple times a year (in normal years) and I never enjoy it. It’s definitely easier now that our kids are all 12 and up, but jeez the whole crowd control/security/cattle class/cost cutting/overbooking/plus the new thing—for me it’s like purgatory except even praying won’t shorten it.

one huge advantage i USED to have... the minute the voice came over the pa and said, 'canceled' people would mutter and rush the gate and be running around super pissed. I would call the travel people at my company and tell them what was going on and they would say, 'sit tight, we'll call you in a few minutes' and typically, they'd call and say, 'you need to go to gate XX, the agent there will get you rerouted.' That was super cool. OR, they would call and say, 'you are hosed, it looks like you can get X for voucher etc or y for recompense or whatever.... and with that knowledge, I could go hook up my fellow passengers (big fun) and while it wasn't that big of a deal, it would go on my miles or on my card, so, you could make money traveling sometimes for being tortured... AND if you were late, everyone waiting knew what was up, so they were all sympathetic.

I had someone tell me that today, when the wifi in their room went down for 20 minutes.... it created 'complete chaos' and was asking how I can 'make sure that NEVER happens again.'

There are people who are going to have life happen and it isn't gonna make'em happy.
 

Timbresmith1

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I find the whole thing easier if I pretend to be a cattle.
However, as a giant, I try to be helpful. Overhead bin help? No problem.
People trying to rush past to get off the plane? Not happening. You’re not getting past me once I’m standing in the aisle. You can wait for the lady in the row in front of me to get out of her seat.
I try to be courteous. Usually flight staff will notice if you greet them when boarding. It pays off in little ways. They’ll move me to an aisle seat or near the door where there’s extra leg room.

Moving thru airports is a skill. Walk with purpose like the Pilots/ airport staff do, and you’ll get where you’re going. I carry earplugs and breathmints.
 

ricknbaker

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These guys seem to have got a handle on comfortable air travel.

keith-richards-mick-jagger-rolling-stones.jpg
 

esseff

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I used to work at N'Dolo, Zaire's second airport and one day I was sent to N'Djili, which is international departure airport, to look at a South African-registered 9-passenger Beechcraft KingAir that had suffered a 'ground incident'. The tail cone and ventral strake were both bent and cracked. I checked the primary structure and everything was OK so I straightened and speed-taped the superficial damage and off it went to South Africa. Apparently the local ground handler on the apron had told the passengers to board and everyone dashed up the airstairs at the same time to make sure they got a seat and the aircraft sat on its a$$!
African travel can have its interesting moments.

Who remembers the 'bad' days when smoking was allowed in rear passenger areas ... You could see the cabin crew walking through an eye-watering head-high strata of blue cigarette smoke. :eek: The nicotine used to gum up the pressurisation outflow valves too.
 

David C

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After 40 years of working, 30 of which involved heavy travel and more airplane rides than I can possibly remember. I have ended my days on planes. My last flight was to Ft. Lauderdale the week before the Covid panic began. I never minded air travel, figured out how to make it enjoyable, and frankly, the more you travel, the less your experience is like the average person. You get first in line, get upgraded, learn which airports to avoid, and know that if you are going somewhere you leave first thing in the morning. Flight trouble most often comes later in the day. Never take the last plane out if you can avoid it. But my time for flying is pretty much over. I'm going to drive places, not fly.
 




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