Airline Adventures


Brent CannonA few thoughts on my recent air travel. As we all know, times are tough. Airlines have cut back on the goodies we take for granted – like those free mini bags of pretzels. You might not get that anymore – depending on the airline. In fact, you probably won’t get one of those tasty airline meals – unless you pay. You can’t check two bags – unless you pay.

It has become difficult to find cheap tickets. Prices are on the rise, and they have invented new ways to collect your cash. On United you can buy a whole five inches of extra leg room. Five inches? That’s hardly enough to even notice. And where are these seats? I did not notice a roped off section of the plane. Had I elected to get the extra legroom, would they have whisked me away to a special area? How do they measure the five inches? Is that from your toes? From your knee cap? Do they slide the person in front of me forward?

You can buy a tasty airline meal for about seven bucks. Wow – that’s kind of steep. And all of this has lead to new terminology too. On my flight they said it was a “meal purchase opportunity flight.” What the heck is that? Oh – you mean I have to pay for the meal now.

In the old days you could check two bags – bring one carry on – and one personal bag. Now you get one checked bag. But I have an idea. Since you have to supply your own food now – you should get one carry on – one personal bag – and one “picnic item.” That means you can have some sort of bag or box or sack full of food.

And another thing – can we take peanut butter off the list of banned items due to terror concerns? If I am allowed to bring a small jar of peanut butter onboard, I can make sandwiches, or have some with crackers. But peanut butter – and jelly by the way – are banned items. And how shall I spread my peanut butter? Knives – plastic or otherwise – are also banned. This could lead to a whole new term too. We could have some sort of TSA approved “spread smoothing and application tool.”

Is the free enterprise system allowed at 35,000 feet? If they sell their meals for seven bucks each, can I make a sack full of sandwiches and offer them to fellow flyers for five bucks each? I bet a couple of those monster tubs of animal crackers from Costco would just about handle the entire economy class on a regional flight.

I must say that the crew on my most recent flight was exceptionally friendly. In fact – one flight attendant mentioned via the overhead that it was her birthday. My mom spilled the beans to them that it was also my birthday. I guess two other passengers were also celebrating birthdays that day. They gave each of us a free bottle of champagne! So, in this day and age of going cheap and cutting back – there was room for a little generosity and good old-fashioned friendly service.

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

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