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Why Fly?
Old 09-03-2014, 03:33 PM   #1
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Why Fly?

Not in the travel forum, because the question is much broader than that.

Maybe the survivalist mentality, or jealousy, possibly because of being out of touch with 'Today', but in the interests of the long term survival of the world...


Hmmm... list the reasons...

. Family visits
. Business requires flying to clients/subsidaries/corporate locations
. Travel for pleasure
. Live in more than one place... too far away
. You are a pilot or an airline employee
. Government business
. Warring

Yeah... surely there are a thousand other reasons, but what has happened since (let's say) the 1950's that makes you, us, them spend the money to fly? ... and how did we get along before the airline industry grew so large.

Better still... question... How would your life be affected is you couldn't fly?

BTW... The question involves airplanes... not personal physical abilities.

Pour moi... just 3 years of my life flying on a 2-3 times a week basis, back when you could smoke, drink @ $3 Martini... the stewardess were young and pretty and were always smiling. Regulars were invited into 1st class for free when empty seats were available. And... believe this or not when checking in at the desk... late... the pilot would hold the take off 'til I got to the door of the plane.

It was when the redeye from San Francisco to Chicago had a comic steward who was a budding Johnny Carson... and used a hand puppet to interview flyers.

And so... If all airline flights were grounded, would life go on?

Just asking

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Old 09-03-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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So I can cross the Atlantic ocean without taking a week?

Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:39 PM   #3
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I can actually remember when airlines didn't hate their "cargo with an attitude".
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:44 PM   #4
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Back then there were not even fax machines, and even the WATS lines were expensive for long distance, never mind the electronic communication we "enjoy" in business today. So yes, it could easily be business as usual except for the on-site consultants.
Go Cubs
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:57 PM   #5
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I see flying as a necessary evil.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:10 PM   #6
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It used to be air travel. Now it's buses with wings. Costs a lot less now, we all benefit from that.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:14 PM   #7
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If I never have to fly again it will be too soon. I absolutely hate it.
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
I see flying as a necessary evil.
Same here.

I crossed the Atlantic in 2012 (Ireland) and 2013 (Scotland) and even though I retired in July of this year I have planned no flying vacations. My cousin/travel partner keeps talking about New Zealand and Africa, etc. but I think I will let her go if she wants and just do a few car trips here on the Eastern seaboard this fall. All the getting to the airport and screening and scanning and tight flights packed in like cattle is not my idea of fun. In coach I aways try to get an aisle seat, and I think I will not fly anymore unless I can get a direct flight. If I fly less, I might even spring for business class from here on out if the trip is more than 3 hours. I am also thinking about taking "The Pennsylvanian" Amtrak to Philly for a few days of museum going. Imoldernu, I heartily concur that the Friendly Skies are a lot less enjoyable. I would go so far as to call them an ordeal.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:18 PM   #9
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I used to see a woman who had been a flight attendant based out of California. When she was with the airline, her boyfriend was a pilot but sadly he died in a crash. That ended her career in the air.

But to this day, she makes sure to dress up and look sharp for plane travel.

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Old 09-03-2014, 04:30 PM   #10
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The airlines more than any business I can think of seems to have the attitude they are there for you not the customer, and they could care less if you like them or not. I absolutely hate to fly and will avoid it at all cost. If I do have to fly, Southwest, is my first choice, and United/American last choice. Unfortunately I need to go to NYC at the end of the week and United was the only logical choice. Not looking forward to it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:32 PM   #11
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I have flown a lot over the years in big planes and small, but I am a nervous flyer when there is bad turbulence. Flying is certainly less glamorous and more hassle than it used to be, but I really appreciate the nonsmoking rules. I have no family in my immediate area so the only way I can get to see them is to fly. I still think it worth while to drag myself on a plane to travel for pleasure. What I enjoy about retirement is that I fly only when and where I want to.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:43 PM   #12
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Believe it or not, I spent so much time in military cargo aircraft (both USAF and other nations) that normal commercial flying generally seems pretty pleasant.

The only thing that has changed is that since I would far rather drive than fly, I'm more apt to spring for business class these days on my occasional trips.

One thing that has made me happy is the relatively recent innovation of "Economy Comfort" class on some flights. More legroom and often better seating than regular (cattle class) seats, at a relatively small price premium.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:50 PM   #13
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I have never been in a plane as an adult and have no intention of ever being on a plane again. I never took a vacation out of state until I was 32 years old so no need to fly then. Now i'm self employed and while I could fly to some job sites I prefer to drive. I have no need to be in a hurry. When I travel for leisure I travel for extended periods of time and driving is so much better if you have the time. Only reason to fly in the continental US is if you have a very tight schedule IMO. I avoid ever having a tight schedule.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:35 PM   #14
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I gave up flying when I retired and time became far less of a concern than in the past. Yes it does mean giving up leaving North America, but there is a lot to see in the US and Canada. Driving means going thru lots of small towns and seeing the country (if you stay off the interstates which have become a land of sameness at most populated exits, same fast food, same motels...).
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:57 PM   #15
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Flying to me is a fact of life . I fly several times a year to see either my daughter , son in law & grandsons or my Mother . I have learned to make it easy on myself . What drives me nuts is all the crap people drag onto planes . My last trip was on two small airplanes that were strict about carry on size & it was so pleasant .
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:22 PM   #16
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Would life go on? Yes. Remember September 11, US civilian aircraft were grounded till the 13th. The world didn't end, but a lot of people were stranded.

I used to fly all the time for business, most of the time little warning. Once we had 4 of us on a Learjet, as we'd get there 2 hours earlier. Way home a week later was in coach.

Were trying our first driving vacation in 5 years, looking forward to it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:27 PM   #17
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I'm flying in Sept to Boston and in Oct to CT. My first year into ER I decided to drive to Chicago from San Francisco because I had the time and I wanted to see the scenery. The next year I took a road trip to Seattle. I learned that there are costs to driving so flying east is probably cheaper than driving. So I fly if my destination is east of the Mississippi and if I'm just going to see people. When I'm in the mood to see scenery then I drive.

I'm not perturbed by the state of flying one way or the other. I easily sleep on planes and I bring my own food and entertainment.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:34 PM   #18
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I'm fortunate in that my son flies in to PIT to see me a couple of times a year. My sister and her husband drove out for a visit from CA 2 years ago. The only person I fly to see every couple of years is my cousin on Cape Cod and JetBlue has very reasonable direct flights to Boston. I used to fly to FL a lot and I took AirTran as they had direct flights to Ft. Myers.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:45 PM   #19
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I love to fly and do so whenever the opportunity arises.

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

'High Flight' by John G. Magee.

An American flying with the RCAF in England. Killed in a mid-air collision in 1941 while flying a Spitfire.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:51 PM   #20
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Daughter, SIL and 4 grandkids in London, DS, DIL with one on the way in Tanzania. We log average of two flights a year catching both. DS had recent medical emergency (collapsed lung) and was medivaced to South Africa, wife is already in US for delivery, so we flew to SA only a month after one of those long journeys. Lemme tell ya, that 16 hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesberg is really at the limit of endurance. Tix were ~$2100 each, for giggles checked the price of business...over $10k. I don't light my grill with hundred dollar bills either.

Certainly do not like flying; were it not for the kids wouldn't do it often. But given their locations it's a necessary evil. I'll say one thing, after the transatlantics when we do have to do a 2-3 hour flight in US it's like ... pshaw...dis is nutting'!!!

I can't really say anything too negative about the service for the prices other than the obvious spatial crowding. Our experiences have been OK other than delays from weather, which is why for our winter trips we try to avoid northern connections. Yeah, compared to several decades ago it's minimalist, but compare time adjusted costs. We can't recall seeing a vacant seat on any of the flights last several years.

I'm a turbulence hater; self medication works well.

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