Friday, July 6, 2012

Come Fly With Me - Or Perhaps Not

I only have one more day left in my "Teacher as Writer" class and I don't know what I'm going to do when this class is over. I've so enjoyed getting to know my classmates and also being given this amazing gift of time to work on the novel I've always dreamed of writing.

Everyday someone in the class was responsible for presenting a writing prompt for the day. Since yesterday's prompt was to write whatever you were inspired to write from listening to the Frank Sinatra song " Come Fly with Me", I thought I'd share what I wrote since the travel portion of my blog seems to get the most neglected. If I had an abundance of money or a job that afforded me the ability to travel more, I'd probably get to write about it more often, but as for now, we seem to be holding firm at the "lust" in wanderlust.

Come Fly With Me - Or Perhaps Not

The song “Come Fly with Me” hearkens back to the day when flying was considered sexy and glamorous. Now instead of sexy and glamorous, we have security lines, baggage searches, interrogations, and the TSA attitude that “everyone is guilty until proven innocent.”
I used to love to fly and my love for travel began as a child. My dad worked for Delta for 37 years and so flying was a huge part of my childhood, teen years, and young adulthood. But then a little thing called 9/11 happened. Within two weeks of that fateful day, just as I knew it would, the airline offered my dad early retirement. Airlines needed to save their shirts, and long-time loyal employees were the first ones to be suggested to go. Perhaps it's for the best anyway. Certainly my dad would no longer recognize the beloved airline he used to work for. Delta used to be considered one of the best airlines to work for in terms of perks and employee morale. Now the entire airline industry's workforce, not just Delta's, appears to be overworked, underpaid, and ill-equipped to deal with the hoards of angry customers that leash their venom upon them daily.

37 years working for Delta almost always afforded my dad (and his dependents) top seniority on the stand-by list. After the full-fare stand-bys, our name was pretty much always at the top of the list, making flying for free a piece of cake, and often in first class to boot.

Now as a retired employee, his priority is so far down the list that attempting to fly non-revenue stand-by in these days of fewer, fuller flights would be travel suicide. Needless to say, I am a full-fare paying customer now.

I miss those days when we could just say, “Hey, Miami’s nice this time of year”, or “I’d sure love to go back to Greece” and at a moment’s notice, show up at the airport with ID card in hand and jet off to some exotic locale without once having to present any form of payment.

Okay, truth be told, that never really happened, but knowing that you COULD do it if you wanted to was a comfort that has long since vanished. As I continue to listen to the song, Frank Sinatra croons about wanting to get his sweetheart "up there" and that they are both starry-eyed. I miss those days of being starry-eyed over airline travel. Maybe one of these days we'll not just long for enjoyable airline travel, but it will actually exist once again - for everyone, not just the frequent fliers.

1 comment:

  1. My sister was a flight attendent for Delta for about 10 years in the 1980's. She and her husband would fly everywhere and my Mom and Dad would get free fares too. Then they had a baby and she didn't like being away from her daughter so she quit. I know my parents missed those free flights they use to get.