September 16, 2020
I found a stack of old vacation photos recently. As I looked through them, I reminisced on my international travel adventures as a boy in the 70s & 80s. A magical kind of romance popularized air travel forty years ago. The feeling I'd get walking through an airport was the stuff of paparazzi hype and movie star legend fanfare. Everybody dressed to the nines and showed out at the airport. Long leisurely lunches were followed by friends and family, seeing people off or welcoming them home right at the gate. Since the long collapsible jetway ramps were in short supply and only serviced the luxuriously sexy 747s, most flights boarded on the tarmac. Passengers would be escorted through a set of double doors and walked to a large rolling staircase, set flush against the open fuselage door.
Adventure in the Air
Once aboard the plane, flight attendants brought paper menus listing entree selections. Snacks of all kinds made the rounds throughout the flight, and meals arrived on real china, with metal flatware. My parents sipped cocktails, and wine served in glass stemware. Pillows and earphones and blankets were complimentary.
A feature-length movie, projected on a large screen, was always a highlight at the front of each cabin section. I can remember the announcement coming over the speakers informing the passengers interested in watching the movie to turn their headphone channel selector to number 9. Some flights had popcorn! If I felt too much pressure in my ears, gum was available to chew for relief. There were even a few times, mid-flight when I visited the cockpit, by way of invitation, to see the airplane's controls, and received a pin in the likeness of a pair of captain's wings, by the captain! Every flight I ever experienced as a kid was something of a Hollywood movie.
Airport security was so lax compared to today's odd personal space challenge, but the upside to flying back then was the ever-flowing drinks and party atmosphere!
Travel the Expedia Way
I know what you're thinking. Air travel has lost that magic. Events beyond our control have made air travel more of an added convenience than an extravagant bonus. We've had to adjust to new ways of traveling, and for excellent reasons. Your safety is paramount on each end-to-end journey. It may not seem possible, but there are ways to make a flight more enjoyable. Forbes magazine finance contributor, David Rae, suggests considering the following tips, so you avoid getting all worked upon arrival at the airport.
- Fly direct - take an early without any interruptions, like deplaning, boarding a second time, or even worse, missing a connection.
- Pick a seat - if possible, pay a little extra for a seat up and out of the masses' way. If you can splurge on a business class seat or even first class, you'll never look back at Coach again.
- Flyer's Rights - like you should read the owner's manual when you buy a new toaster, READ the airline's protections in the event of a canceled flight.
- Food - It's very simple: bring your own.
- Noise-canceling headphones - WHAT? Exactly.
Okay, there are some pro tips. Now, if you plan your trip right, and use Expedia for any combination of your hotel, flight, car, and activities, you're in for a roaring good time! Don't forget to read over the information about using Expedia for travel during COVID-19.
Here's a 20% coupon to use on your next adventure. There's nothing more exciting than hearing your flight number being called followed by the words "Now Boarding!" Air travel may be reduced to seemingly endless long lines and nothing more than a bumpy hurl across the sky in a pressurized tube. Change that impression. Find your new romantic way to travel.
"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
-Leonardo Da Vinci
"12 Ways To Make Your Flight More Enjoyable - Forbes." 11 Sep. 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidrae/2019/09/11/flying-more-enjoyable/. Accessed 10 Sep. 2020.