It’s been a long time since air travel was fun and exciting. For those of you under 40 it really was a treat at one time. Passengers were really appreciated and treated with respect. Yes all of them, not just the frequent fliers.
I remember my first commercial flight. A friend and I went from Boston to Portland Maine on a Yellow Bird. Even though it was a short flight, we were served a beverage and snack for free. The seats were large and comfortable, the flight attendants were friendly and the round trip was around $100. It was a lot for a couple of high school kids, but worth it.
Today there are only two airlines that I will fly, Jet Blue and Air Lingus. These companies still give you room to sit and a modicum of service. My last flight on another airline was a trip to the UK. I flew Delta from Boston the Heathrow and it was one of the worst flights ever. The trip cost over $2,000 and there was not enough leg room to get my knees in behind the seat in front of me. With one knee in the aisle the flight attendants ran into me with the food cart twice. Instead of any apology, all I got was a grunt that was more of a “get the F out of the way” than any sympathy for my pain. I have subjected myself to the cattle treatment on American and United as well, but nothing this bad.
The recent articles about the United passenger that was dragged from the plain refreshed my ire at the airlines. One article on CNN.com stated that 46,000 passengers annually are removed from flights. What other industry will sell you a product and then take it away just as your about to use it?
It’s time to end the shameless abuse of customers that these businesses practice as standard operating procedures. I stopped flying all but two airlines, but my few flights a year will not be noticed. However, if a large number of people stop flying the majors, then perhaps they will get the message and change their procedures. Or perhaps we will make the airlines that treat us with a little dignity more successful. Either way the passenger abuse will stop. We have the power to fix this if we work together.