If all had gone as planned, I would have left Ithaca at 3 p.m. on Friday on way to Chicago for my best friend's wedding shower. If you caught any of the news about the airline industry this weekend, you know that many, many flights did not go as planned - including mine. Suffice to say that I spent 22 hours "traveling" - including 16 hours in LaGuardia airport - and never made it to Chicago. Over that time period, I was scheduled to be on six flights on two different airlines.
The many hours I sat around musing about my situation made me think: The airline industry has really tanked over the past few decades. When I was a little kid, I remember flying as a really special experience. You got dressed up, you were treated really nicely, you hardly ever got stuck in an airport. I know all the reasons why flying is different now - there are twice as many flights in the air using the same airports and runways, the issue of security is TOTALLY different, and flights are much, much more affordable (leaving less revenue for carriers). But, darn it, I would pay a little more for some better service. I know FAA decisions and fog are factors beyond airline's control. But when you have to sleep on the floor in the airport, a pillow and blanket would be a nice gesture.
Outside magazine had a similar thought recently. Read it here.