Saturday, July 19, 2008

Well, I'm back. We're back. Jason and I flew out for my grandmother's funeral Thursday and came back tonight.

I hate flying, by the way. Even when everything goes as smoothly as possible, as it did during our travels, there's nothing pleasant about air travel.

I'm 6'5", and Jason is slightly taller. I wear something like a 52 long jacket thanks both to girth and shoulders that occasionally scrape when I walk through the right doorway, jumping into airplane seats is something I do with a terrific amount of caution. Likewise my brother. So the standard coach seating, which is designed for someone of lilliputian proportions, makes flying a literally painful experience. Jason referred to our seating as "CIA approved stress positions" at one point, and I can't argue.

Add in the the rumor that airlines want to weigh you and charge you for your seat by your weight (something I both can and cannot do anything about), and that some airlines, such as Southwest, want to charge you for two seats if you're a certain width (something i quite literally can do nothing about. Sorry. The bones are what the bones are), I'm beginning to think I've had it with the privilege of flying.

And, really, that's increasingly how the older carriers treat their service. $15 for a checked bag (we paid it). $4 for a bag of trail mix (we declined). Ever decreasing leg space to jam in more seats. Flight attendants who treat you as an inconvenience. Intentionally over booked flights. Overscheduled airports.

The folks who fly, and fly a lot... as well as folks with influence (ie: dough) might not notice all of this in First Class. I've sat in First Class, and it is a vey, very different experience. And you pay for that different experience. 2-4x what the plebes in coach are paying. Plus, your bathroom to passenger ratio is so, so much better up front.

And, mostly, I don't fly. But there are the times like a family funeral where two days on the road isn't really an option (plus the cost of gas at $4.00 per gallon). And that's when I'm going to have to get coach seats and cram my fat butt between the little aluminum rails that they have on the exit row (yeah, we landed exit row. We were really lucky). But, seriously, the flight was only 2.5 hours long from Tampa to Dallas, and 30+ minutes from Dallas to Austin, and I can feel it in my back and legs still, five hours later.

It seems like American Airlines, in particular, has issues with their seats. I'm not sure if its too many other airlines. It seems like Northwest had good seats. And maybe Southwest.

FYI: The family is doing pretty well, all things considered.

Anyhow, I'm tired.

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