This Can't Go On
Unacceptable and unsustainable. There are simply too many douchebags and idiots that need to fall in line and too many contingencies to make this all work. I decided to do some Coronavirus tourism over Memorial Day weekend and head to Texas to get a drink at a bar. My reward, yet another pitiful travel experience.
Apparently in the 1960’s, flying on an airplane was basically a party in the sky. Traveling, the flight itself, was an experience worthy of envy. Beautiful young women (often referred to as “Trolley Dollies”) serving stiff drinks with a smile. Wide seats, good attitudes, etc. I remember flying in late 1980s and early 90s and people could smoke cigarettes on the plane and sit in comfortable seats. The food was pretty good and the rules were lax. My buddy’s dad used to get hammered at the airport and end up walking on to the wrong plane. I remember he once ended up in Mongolia instead of Cairo. Nobody cared. Party in the sky baby!
Now though, the travel experience is borderline unbearable and it has to be disrupted by a new invention or become significantly cheaper; cheap to the point that I expect massive bullshit. My flight from Austin to Dallas was delayed by 30 minutes so I missed my connecting flight to SoCal by all of 3 minutes. The solution: The airline “accommodated” me by booking me on a flight from Dallas to Chicago the next day at the ass-crack of dawn followed by a massive layover before I embark back west. Of course, the Airline refused to pay for my overnight hotel stay. F ‘em. I booked a new flight with a new airline in the morning and will pursue a refund.
Round two today. At the airport this morning I noticed some Asian, college-looking kid. Even through his coronavirus mask and sunglasses I could tell this guy was extremely hungover. Didn’t think much of it. 45 minutes later, we’re cruising slowly toward the takeoff runway and we stop. The stewardesses start hovering around the bathroom. Something’s up, someone’s clearly in there and won’t get out and we can’t takeoff with someone in the shitter. Ten minutes later they make an announcement: “We have an ill passenger on board, we’re going to have to go back to the gate.” F me. You guessed it, we get back to the gate and that very college kid comes marching out of the bathroom briskly and deplanes. That maggot, that human scum, couldn’t keep his act together for 10 minutes and also didn’t have enough regard for the rest of us to maybe stay home in the first place.
As you well know, the airline experience was in steep decline before the coronavirus pandemic too. I remember flying from NYC to Honolulu a few years ago. Eleven-hour non-stop flight, $1200 dollar round trip. First thing the flight attendants announce: “This is a domestic flight so, in accordance with our policy, there won’t be any complimentary food.” Way to exploit a technicality. Even worse though, they all disappeared after that announcement. Six hours into the flight I go hunting for them in the back of the plane. Four of them, all asleep. I woke them up and asked: “Can I buy some beef jerky or something from you, it’s dinner time”. Daggers, everyone is glaring at me. Such an outrage that you can’t get in quality Zzzzzs at work.
There isn’t even a trace of the party in the sky from the 60s or even the dignity of 80s and 90s. The Trolley Dollies have been replaced with old, surly, fatties that treat you like you’re their enemy. The clientele is largely trashy and exasperated. If you’re on Frontier or Spirit folks aren’t just exasperated, they’re straight up angry which can actually be fun cause occasionally an entertaining fistfight will break out. Airlines today are basically the city bus except with wings. On the bus, I expect bums to scream at me, sporadic violence, and barf of the floor. You know what though, I can stomach it cause I’m paying $1.25 for this. I’m actually one of the few people that pay properly, half the money jar is filled with freaking Pesos.
The airlines need to do one of two things, or maybe both: (1) Price these flights like it’s the city bus – because it basically is. (2) Find a way to rework the entire travel experience drastically so that we go back to plane rides being a classy, sophisticated, Martini-filled affair. Fuck, this flight suuuucckks. I need to take a piss, there’s only one bathroom now (cause they locked down the other one as a biohazard) and someone’s been in it for over 15 minutes! Perhaps that Asian kid David Blained his way back on to the plane somehow to engage in yet another toilet tête-à-tête.