How many times did you hear your grandparents say, “The world is going to hell in a handbasket?” If you are a baby boomer like me, you probably heard this phrase at least once.
At the time I heard these words, I attributed it to the cynical world view of the elderly. As far as I could see, there wasn’t that much wrong with the world. It looked pretty much the same as I had always seen it.
30 years later, I catch myself telling people the world has gone to shit. So many things have changed and not for the better. People are more spun up today; they walk less, talk to each other face-to-face less and spend less time learning through first hand experience. At least that’s what it looks like to me.
Certainly the airlines have gone downhill since the 70’s when meals were served on every flight over an hour and the only people you saw getting frisked in the airport were being arrested.
Yes, airline travel pretty much sucks these days. I’m not sure if it is the natural consequence of placing profits before common sense or a twisted plot to keep Americans from leaving the country.
Our latest air travel experience featured a free movie and beverage. This fact was heralded in large posters throughout the airport. We were happy to discover that a safe take off and landing are still part of the package deal. I wonder how long this will last. All the signs point to a continued downward trend in service, which at some point surely will ripple into the pre-flight mechanical checks.
Oh sure, the old time amenities were still available for a price. For $2 a person could purchase a set of head phones to hear the sound track of that free movie, for instance.
Never mind that the flight crew felt free to talk over the movie dialogue, just when they had gotten to the juicy part. This is what I heard over my headphones:
[leading man to leading lady] “But, I really love you
[enter the pilot: “WE HAVE TURNED THE SEATBELT LIGHT ON AND ARE NOW CRUISING AT 35,000 FEET BLAH DE BLAH DE BLAH AND HOPE YOU HAVE A ENJOYABLE FLIGHT”
[leading man to leading lady] “it just wasn’t meant to be, how can you ever forgive me?”
I was dying to know what the leading lady said while the pilot was talking over the soundtrack.
For $3 you can get what used to fall under the “short hop snack” category, basically cheese and crackers and for $5 you can buy a Budweiser. Which is what I did. Because if you are going to miss your lunch and parts of the movie and it makes you wonder which parts of the pre-flight check may have been cut out of the budget, you might as well start drinking, no matter what you have to pay.