Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Became Of The Friendly Skies

I remember a jingle for an airline from many years ago that went "Fly The Friendly Skies...of United".

Time was when it was more important to beat the competition.

Apparently, times change.

I used to travel for business in the late '80s and early '90s.  I had remarkably few negative experiences with that travel by air.  I traveled with Continental.  American.  Delta.  Eastern a few times.  A couple-three commuter lines.

Only once did I fly with United.

It was far from the friendliest airline I ever set foot in, but it wasn't quite like the above, at least in my day.

In my few years as a business traveler, I recall twice being on flights that were overbooked, resulting in gate announcements seeking volunteers to take a later flight; they offered seemingly generous incentives, like cash and travel vouchers, to any volunteers.

They always seemed to get their volunteers and no more stringent methods were needed, such as "volunteered by force".

The times, they are a changin'.

I can almost imagine a United pre-flight announcement today:  Welcome to United, unless we volunteer your ass off the plane.  In such event, the fight attendants will direct you to the nearest aid station after removal...

I haven't set foot in a plane since '04.  I foresee no air travel in my immediate or upcoming future.  I've found that road trips via car are satisfactory.  No long lines.  No baggage fees.  No pre-flight groping by TSA.  No stale peanuts.  No idiots with excess carry on luggage.  No arm rest hawgs.

No overbooking.

And no beat downs when no one volunteers to be bumped, and the incompetently overbooked airline ground/flight crew makes the choice of who gets bumped -- figuratively and literally -- themselves.

That said, there is always that possibility that circumstances might require me to fly again.  If so, I don't like the idea of having to prepare, physically, to fly United:

Nawp...if the "no more friendly skies" carrier now requires this kind of pre-flight prep, I know where my aging ass is NOT going to book. case of overbookage, I'd rather fly where you get laughs, not lumps.


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Blogger Sandee said...

Yep, this was something else. Could have been a non story if the guy just got up and left as he was asked to do. That's not going to get you money though is it?

Have a fabulous day, Mike. My best to Seymour and Element. ☺

12 April, 2017 08:05  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Personally, had it been me -- and I didn't absolutely positively have to be where I was flying to the next day -- I would have volunteered for the $800 cash option.

But I haven't cared to fly, period, regardless of 9/11/01, after ending my business traveling days. I'm the automobile/road trip type ;-)

12 April, 2017 11:31  

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