Flying was something you did very infrequently when I was young. By the time I joined the workforce as a junior civil servant it had become quite common for the engineering set. By the time I left deregulation had made it cheap enough for folks to go places several times a year, even fly to Vegas for the weekend.
Those too young to remember should be assured that flying in ‘the good ole days’ really was a different experience, you have to deal with it in a metal tube at 30,000 ft know how horrid cigarette smoke really is, and I even smoked at the time! But they did really feed you and they gave you the whole damn can unless you didn’t want it. People where polite and seemed happy enough. You didn’t often have a full flight. The xray machine was a formality and you didn’t have to undergo the equivalent of a strip search every other flight just to appease the god of a little more security.
These days the only joy I get are the occasional extra special views out the window. A few months ago flying out of Cleveland between storms, looking into the side of a thunder cell at eyeball level and seeing the strokes of lightning lashing down. Flying out over the hot coal orange symmetry of Chicago at night and seeing it end in the moon silvered black of lake Michigan.
But other than that I might as well be on a inter prison subway train with a politer than average set of inmates.
Sometimes I miss that wheezy after flight cough!
Written from an undisclosed location far from the bosom of my family on my trusty iPad.