Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 2:30 am

Everyone it this forum is a aviation nut including me i assume. So, I wonder why some of us aviation nuts complain about service, on time reliability, etc.? The way I figure it is, if I get to fly I'm happy. I don't give a shit how the service or on-time is or how clean the plane looks or whatnot. Why can't you just enjoy flying! Figuring we're all aviation nuts, just enjoy the time you get to spend flying, complaining isn't gonna change anything.
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RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 2:58 am

Yes Ual1636, I agree with you. Good service and punctuality are icing on the cake. Ultimately, flying is the best. Whenever, I go on vacation, I'm not sure if I'm more excited about the trip itself or just flying on an airplane! Just put me on a plane and I'll be happy.
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RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 3:07 am

I don't think people complain because they don't enjoy it. Well for instance, it is great to fly, but isn't it greater when you hop aboard a brand new 777. The smell of the new interior, and the gleam of the new paint, IT'S GREAT! I agree we shouldn't complain, but what else would people complain about if it wasn't about getting stuck on a rickety 737-200 "Shuttle" service that was 45 min late due to a clogged toilet or something like that!!! Let's enjoy flying!
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RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 3:11 am

The entire flight from purchasing the ticket, to boarding the plane, to taking off, being in the air, landing and debarking is the experience of a flight for me. There isn't much that detracts from it seriously, unless, for example, the flight is very long and there is little service, or there are problems with the airline personnel.

So...having a nice glass of wine at 35,000 feet, enjoying a nice meal more than enhances the experience for me.   It just depends on the airline and the flight. Overall, I love flying, no matter what.

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RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 3:11 am

That's fine and dandy if you're flying on a company pass, which is *free*. But when I'm spending $400-$1000 on a single damn ticket, I want some *value* for my money, not just a joyride. If I wanted to just fly, I'd rent a 172 for a couple of hours.

Truth be told, a trip is a product, and when airlines treat you like dirt, give you barely-edible mush food particles as a "meal", cut back on service to pad their bottom line, gouge you on little things like headphones*AND* charge you ridiculously high prices to boot, consumers have a right to be mad. And on top of being an aviation enthusiast that loves flying, I'm a consumer paying for a ticket. I'll be damned if I pay that much money and I'm not treated with a modicum of respect for my business.

That's why we get mad.

RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 3:28 am

I understand the sentiment, but am guessing that the originator of this thread (5-15 age group) doesn't "get" to fly 2-4 times a week. You do that for a couple of years, and the sold out 737-200 with a five hour delay and 3 flight attendants gets a little old. But you're right, we probably appreciate it more than, say, my coworkers, who look at ALL flights as a chore.
American B757
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RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 3:35 am

I do not think that we should say "oh the poster was in the 5-15 category and he doesnt get to fly!" We love to fly and we love to fly, bottom line, its fun! I dont mind not having a meal, but having one is nice!

American B757

RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 3:38 am

I also agree about the meal. I bring a snack on board, as most airline food doesn't fill me up.

RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 3:38 am

I also agree about the meal. I bring a snack on board, as most airline food doesn't fill me up.

RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 3:40 am

I don't know why it's not relevant that he's in the 5-15 age group and doesn't fly routinely. He asked why the frequent fliers complained about poor service, delays, crappy planes, etc, and I told him - I know that when you don't fly all the time (again, 2-4 times weekly) it seems like every flight would be a pleasure, but after a while it's not. That's all; nothing wrong with being in that age group. I'm only 26 and I remember very clearly flying only once or twice a year and looking forward to flights for months. I'm just pointing out that your perspective changes.

RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 4:03 am

Enjoy it we should, I do agree with this sentiment completly, BUT, if you go, for instance, to a restaurant do u not expect good service and value for your money what ever the cost. I do think people should complain if the product is not upto standard. If we did not complaine we would not have such a wide variety of choice and service on offer to us. I am addicted to flying and I am lucky enough to have a job where flying as a courier is a part of my responsibliit. I flyto various cities around world on average once month, mostly in Biz Class and I can tell you it matters a lot when your stuck on something like a transaero 737200 from LGW to SVO and knowing that your are coming back on the same flight the next day, improved standards really come into play. European & Asian airlines in my experience offer the best servise throughout the world. American nationality airlines I consider cheap, tacky and crass and for a nation like the US the service offered pails to the standart you get on Euroepan carriers. My favourites in europe are Swissair, Lufthansa and SAS, Asia is Singapore airlines and Cathay pacific...and in the States best of a bad lot would be Continental or Delta. WORST AIRLINE OF THE YEAR - AMERICAN WEST AIRLINES- So with out the complaints we would not get to enjoy the like of a raffles class seat on an SQ 777 doing SIN-NRT.

RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 5:07 am

...yeah see this is what I have been saying about US airlines all along....
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RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 5:31 am

What is really interesting is how everybody thinks that service abord the aircraft is the product, but it isn't, the real product is getting a person from A to B in a timely efficent manner. Service abord the aircraft is like getting free breadstix at a resturant, you dont expect it but it is a nice supprise when you do get it. Just remember that the airlines business is to transport people not be a 5 star resturant in the sky. I just wish people can undersand that it is just a merical that you are even flying in the first place, so take every flight and chairish it and thank god you dont have to take the bus>


I Really Enjoy Flying!

Wed Jul 19, 2000 5:43 am

At one time, I was scared of flying. But in April, 1999, I flew Southwest Airlines from Kansas City to Manchester. Now, I like flying. I like taking off, the best.
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RE: Enjoying Flying

Wed Jul 19, 2000 11:39 pm

The good service and the timeliness is just a pleasant extra.
As far as I am concerned, the delays just allow you more time on the plane.  
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!

RE: Enjoying Flying

Thu Jul 20, 2000 1:57 am

I totally agree with AerLingus!!! good service is a good extra, i also agree on him with the delay part. I love it, more time to go spotting, plus a chance you might get to fly on a different type of plane! I enjoy flying if the service is bad but when you pay 900 dollars for a flight from ORD-LHR you expect good service!!!

B r i t A i r 7 7 7
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RE: Enjoying Flying

Thu Jul 20, 2000 8:58 am

I love delays. I love older planes (no different thatn classic cars, they're built better in my opinion). The airport or on the plane is either the first or second place I'd like to be. I won't say the other one. Yes, perspective does change if you fly 2/3 times a week. However, at the rate I fly 2/3x a year, I treasure the whole experience and never complain.
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RE: Article Sums It Up//

Thu Jul 20, 2000 8:40 pm

While I love seems like the whole air travel experience has become no more fun than standing in line with your backpack at the bus terminal. I started a thread about this a few weeks ago. It was much more fun and glamorous when I was a kid in the 60's & 70's. I still love the actual flight though and I don't mind a few delays here and there. Here's an article from the Washington Post today. See what you think...
The Dismal Days of Down-to-Earth Air Travel

By Joel Achenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 20, 2000; Page C01

I was in the Denver airport, on a hellish trip to the West Coast, when I saw the madman.

He came lurching toward the check-in counter, lugging a duffel bag. His face was flushed, his words incoherent. He was bellowing something about being very late for a flight. This was a day of massive systemic problems, of cancellations, delays, cascading failures, and this man obviously had been swept up in the nightmare. He looked as though he were about to start chewing on people, or perhaps, with a final, despairing scream, hurl himself through the plate-glass window onto the tarmac below.

Eventually he stumbled away, cursing the airline.

"Is he a crazy person," I asked the traveler next to me, "or did he just have a really bad day flying?"

This is the kind of distinction that is getting harder to make. Flying has become such an unpleasant, awful, degrading experience that it can turn a sane person into a ranting, babbling fool.

There was a time when we all griped about bad airline food. What a trivial complaint, in retrospect. Now there is no food, other than perhaps some miniature pretzels, which become prized commodities--sustenance!--when we're trapped in an inexplicable holding situation on some tarmac or taxiway, unable to take off, unable to return to the gate, the whole cabin heating up, the kids getting fussy, the adults growing unruly, the situation inexorably turning into something that feels like a hostage crisis.

There is talk in the press of a new trend called "airplane rage." This may be one of those phony trends that journalists invent based on three random incidents, but at the very least there may be some serious airplane despair brewing out there. The extreme cases get press: In March a passenger tried to grab the controls in the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines flight, and two weeks ago a Continental passenger bit the first officer. The more common reaction is a slow burn, eventually fading to resignation. Sometimes we dig deep within ourselves and muster the courage to ask the flight attendant for another pretzel snack.

I don't want to romanticize the past, but I have a dim memory that there was a time when flying was a classy form of transportation. It was special. People dressed up for it. Hollywood loved to show its heroes getting on jets, dashing off to Rio or Rome. Movies had lingering images of big aircraft taking off and landing. So dramatic! So . . . powerful. Flying wasn't just transportation, it was a lifestyle option.

And it was sexy. Yeah, baby. There arose this myth of the Mile High Club. Or maybe it was the Seven Mile High Club. Whatever it was, the premise was that flying was so groovy, so intoxicating, that total strangers found themselves fornicating in the lavatories. That was the whole concept. An entire section of an airplane was set aside for people who wanted to have a cigarette after copulation.

Today, flying is gross and repulsive, in the main. Passengers don't even talk to one another if they can help it--because they've gone into a protective psychological bubble, the way house cats become subdued in a pet carrier. You have to save your strength for when you're trapped overnight in O'Hare. Flying is, potentially, an extremely dirty and grubby thing to do. It's unclean. All those hours waiting on a plane, you start to feel stewed in germs. Everyone is drinking from the same trough of air. By the end of a day of flying you can feel the airplane slime all over you, and when you look in the mirror you recoil in horror; your eyes are puffy and your hair has jelled into a solid mass.

Airports have become bus terminals. I mean no disrespect to bus travel or to any "motor coach" corporation. I'm just saying that US Airways has no right to look down on Trailways. The average airline passenger is just a piece of moving meat. When you fly you turn yourself over to the meat processors.

Partly this is a numbers game. Flying is relatively cheaper than it was before deregulation in the 1970s. We jam the planes. In 1965, when commercial flying was still a snazzy thing to do, the industry carried 84 million passengers on domestic flights in the United States. By 1980 the number had risen to 272 million. Last year, there were 582 million. Every year there's more meat on the move.

Some days, everything works great. Let's stipulate that it's not a nonstop horror show. Industry statistics show that the vast majority of flights leave on time. This has been a particularly bad summer. We've had an unusual number of thunderstorms combining with reluctance by pilots to follow certain landing instructions they think are unsafe. Plus there are situations like the one in Chicago on Monday, when air traffic controllers caused a slowdown to protest their job conditions.

The system is vulnerable--something goes wrong in one place, it has a ripple effect everywhere. It's like chaos theory: A butterfly beats its wings in China and suddenly all the flights from Atlanta are delayed. The worst thing is when you look for your flight on the monitor and see that its status is CANCELED. No explanation. The word is merciless and irreversible. Canceled. Defunct. Deleted. The only worse word you could see on the status screen is CRASHED.

When we fly now we find ourselves trapped in lines, inching forward, kicking our luggage along the carpet, hoping to get on a flight to Dallas, so we can get on the rental car shuttle and go to the rental car lot and get into another line and then get into a car and get stuck in traffic. Lines are our lives. We have become a slightly upscale version of the Soviet Union.

Personally, I'm through with it. I think the purchase of a private jet is the only sane option. Obviously this will put a serious crimp in the family budget. We may have to eat nothing but rice and beans and the occasional packet of ramen noodles. The kids may need to spend a few years without shoes, but they'll survive. I'm sure they'll understand the problem.

Daddy has standards, and he can no longer fly coach.

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