Airline Rage in My Old Age

Posted on June 21, 2008. Filed under: Aging With Attitude | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yes, for women over fifty, or, for that matter, most anyone of any age, modern travel isn’t easy. I just returned from a week’s trip to the heartland visiting my relatives and, although I had a wonderful time, the going wasn’t easy.

To start, I awoke at 3:45 a.m. to give myself enough time to shower and finalize my packing so that I could make my 7:06 plane. There was an earlier flight I could have taken that would have given me more time to make my connection, but that one left at 5:45 a.m. As I opted to luxuriate in a couple of hours extra sleep (a 1 a.m. wake-up is a bit too much at my tender age), I was concerned I might miss it.

Not to worry! When I arrived at the airport the check-in line wound in tight snake-like twists and turns, and then headed halfway up the hallway to the gates. Someone behind me announced that the airlines had cancelled both the 5:45 and the 7:06 and the line was composed of two planeloads of people trying to rebook their reservations.

What fun! It only took two hours to finally get to a reservations agent. I shouldn’t complain, however, because there were people much older than I who were similarly inconvenienced. They even required wheelchairs because that doggone line was so long that they thought they might pass out or crumple to their knees on the hard linoleum floor.

By the time I reached an agent, her likely once obliging smile was frozen in a frustrated grimace… no doubt having been the recipient of numerous angry complaints. And, yes, I added my own to her list. Try as I may, battling both the recorded voice “customer service” computer and the polite but unintelligible folks in India, I was stuck. Lucky me—I only had another seven hours to wait for an outbound flight. Instead of my anticipated 5 p.m. arrival, I got to inconvenience my brother by landing at midnight.

I remember flying with my mother and brother in the 1950s and loving the experience. We’d get all dressed up and settle into our comfy seats waiting for the familiar hum of the propellers to start-up and wend us on our way. The stewardesses were nattily attired in their fashionable uniforms, smiling and ever so helpful. They’d warm my brother’s baby bottles, and then sit next to me to play several hands of Old Maid, keeping me happily occupied and giving my mother a chance to relax.

Ah… the good old days! Do I sound grumpy and judgmental? Am I showing my years with a cantankerous, crotchety attitude? Well, YES, and I stand by all my wrinkled rectitude! As far as the airlines are concerned, a return to yesteryear and the gracious ways of an earlier era wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it would surely prove a boon to the flying public and make one old grumpy gal very, very pleased.

 

 

 

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9 Responses to “Airline Rage in My Old Age”

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I’m right there with you, girlfriend! Flying is not a fun adventure that it once was. They have crammed so many seats into an airplane that you can’t move, plus they don’t even offer a meager snack. Fight delays and cancellations are the norm, as opposed to the exception.

One good thing about being older and crochety is that we were fortunate enough to grow up in a time when everything extra was a very big deal, and we went in style. Our children and grandchildren will never get to experience the 1950’s.

OH Yes! You sound grumpy and judgmental–just like everyone who flies. LOL

But I’m happy because I found your site!

So something good happened today!

Besides wasn’t it nice to trade your brothers baby bottle– for another kind of beverage bottle?

LOL–Oh the perks of being an adult!

Have a GREAT DAY!!

~SpunkyLady~
———————-
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

~Napolean Hill~

I too remember the days when I loved to fly and when the airlines treated you like you were special. I hate the whole security check and taking off my shoes and walking on a cold dirty floor. We just came back from a trip to New York which was not too bad. Every once in a while you get lucky. Glad you are home okay! Love your site!

Can I say “been there…done that?!” My last two flights were like going into a twilight zone—but trust me there was NO LIGHT!!!

Whatever happened to Customer satisfaction?

The first time I flew, I had the rare experience of a new outfit and my whole family dressed up (like you said) and came to the airport to wave and weep at my departure to college. Airlines had begun fee structures that allowed working class people and students to fly. Talk about going backwards: now flying is once again going to be only for the rich.
Sigh,
Thanks for this,
Sue

I travel a great deal within Europe and across the Atlantic. Seats certainly have got narrower (or am I not facing up to my widening rear?) and have seat belts got shorter? I’ve recently had the joy of winning the lottery for the extra special security check at San Francisco – you know the one where you stand in a Dr Who cubicle and air is blown at you from all directions. At 60+ I’ve now discovered the joy of the iPod and Shuffle. I can put myself in my own little private bubble of music a like for a while, it stops my blood pressure rising and I can have a pleasant conversation with people around me when I want – not one that is full of whining.

Wow, is this what I have to look forward to Elieen?? And I DONT mean ‘age’, I am talking of the whole flying fiasco! lol At 47 [almost 48],I have yet to board a plane. I only hope that when I DO, my experience will not be a memory locked in a queue!
Thanks for sharing this trip :)

lol! Eileen! You poor soul! I couldn’t imagine. You have my complete and full permission to be grumpy and judgmental.

Wowza!

I was in the Columbus airport recently picking up a friend that was coming to visit my daughter. As I waited for her plane to land a voice comes over the loud speaker announcing that any unattended luggage would be confiscated.

As she made this announcement my eyes landed on two bags sitting about 10 feet from me that I realized had been unattended for some time.

I quickly got up and sprinted to the other side of the waiting area and buried myself between the wall and a pole. All I could think of were bags blowing up and me trying to duck shrapnel.

Yes, times they have a changed.

Unfortunately, this post reminds me of my recent trip home from North Carolina via American Airlines. Grrr!

I enjoyed it, though, and mentioned it in a blog post over at Vibrant Nation:
http://tinyurl.com/6b2n53

Keep up the good work!


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