You have to admit that flying is magic.
First of all, there’s the ability to launch a mega-ton object made of metal, plastic, and faux leather, chock full of jet fuel, into the air and sustain its position. That alone is pretty damned amazing.
Flying is also a time machine, right up there with contraptions like the transporter on the Starship Enterprise. Where else can you start off in one place at one time, and end up a couple thousand miles away – or more – in another time?
Unlike some people, I love flying. I love the takeoffs, the landings, and flying over familiar monuments and cities. I love the airport ambiance. I love escaping from Rust Belt Detroit. I love watching the green of the Midwest fade into the golden plains and then rise to the Rockies, fading back to the Pacific. In fact, I loved flying so much I spent my youth trying to secure a position as a flight attendant.
I don’t know what the application process is like now, but back then the “interview” was a cattle call. You had roughly two minutes to sell yourself in a room full of 200 other wannabes trying to impress a half dozen airline recruiters. It was a thrilling, mind-blowing, and frustrating exercise. I made it to the second interview twice, once for Northwest and then for Frontier.
However, modern day flying is a drag. You can’t bring your own water, the peanuts cost much more than peanuts and sometimes the staff is unhelpful or downright surly. Being trapped in a metal tube for five hours – or more – is beyond uncomfortable. There is the pat-down at security, now amplified thanks to a certain failed underwear bomber (yes, Virginia, underwire bras do set off the metal detector and I picked today to wear a bra). Let’s see, back in August I made it successfully through the metal detector even though I had a contraband cell phone in my jeans pocket. (So sue me. I forgot.)