The Decline Of Air Travel – Who’s To Blame
Although The Rugged Male is predisposed to travel by horseback or vintage Mustang, there are times he finds himself in an airport concourse, surely one of Dante’s nine circles of hell. Many consider the point when air travel began its rapid decline to a date somewhere in the late 70’s when stewardesses became flight attendants and were allowed to marry, get older and become Nurse Ratched. Since The Rugged Male supports equality in the workplace, we would pinpoint the date of air travel’s decline, instead to the year Samsonite added wheels to luggage.
Already subjected to the indignities of being herded through security without a belt and in bare feet, (why do we have to remove our shoes because of one shoe bomber? We don’t remove our underwear because of one underwear bomber), we must now run with the bulls wheeling oversized luggage (and derrières) to their gate. Navigating through these personal U-Hauls is like trying to cross Colorado Blvd during the Rose Parade, and the USC Trojan Marching Band is no louder than the cacophony of clickety-clacks as they are wheeled over the tiled floor.
The advent of wheels made it possible to carry every damn thing you own onto an airplane. This also contributed to the overblown security concerns and lines. Before wheels, you had to carry your bags. No matter how many bowls of Wheaties you ate that morning, you carried them the absolute minimum distance, which meant you checked them at the curb as Tony Jannus intended. You then sauntered through the airport carrying a good book and your overcoat, or perhaps escorting a lovely lady. This allowed concourse travel to be calm and classy and would have contributed to much shorter security lines in this post 9/11 era.
Imagine popping into your terminal’s cocktail lounge for a pre-flight beverage and actually finding a seat without asking someone to move their massive carryon bag that they are protecting like a newborn due to the fear mongering PSA announcements playing overhead every 10 minutes. Imagine walking on (and off) the plane without having to wait for seat 9A to rearrange everyone’s luggage so he can wedge his wheel-aboard into the overhead cabin. It would be easier to get skinny jeans on a Kardashian.
Because The Rugged Male is devoted to improving air travel, he always carries his bag. Real men do not wheel their luggage, nor do they pack six days of clothing for a weekend trip. If your bag is getting too heavy, then you are packing like a chick. Not only is it good exercise to carry your bag, it’s stylish and appreciated by your fellow travelers. Consider this the next time you see Hans wheeling his luggage like Flight Attendant Barbie.
Progress has not always made our lives better and it’s certainly the case with air travel. The next time you get frustrated in a security line or can’t get a seat in the lounge, remember it is our own selfishness & gluttony that is to blame for the decline of air travel … and wheels!
Thanks For Reading!
Special Thanks to David Churchill our travel correspondent for his always insightful and witty contributions.