As I sit here in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on the 400,000th leg of my “vacation” trip, watching a GIGANTIC thunderstorm outside and waiting for the delayed plane to board, I can’t help but remember the old ads for Greyhound Bus: “Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us…”
Travel used to be such an adventure. Back in the early days of mass transit people would get dressed up in their “Sunday best” to catch a ride. This is certainly no treatise on the early days of mass travel, but those vintage ads always make it look like it was such a grand event, an exploration, something new and exciting to be looked forward to.
Then buses gave way to planes as the preferred mode of transport. For a while, air travel was a luxury, strictly for the “jet set.” It was an elegant affair with leather seats and real flatwear and fine china.
Now both air and bus travel have reached a nadir; passengers are treated like cattle, complete with prods at the security gates. Legroom is either non-existent or you get the privilege of paying another $40 for an “extra” inch. Seats are crammed so close together you can feel your neighbor’s appendages…and believe me, you do NOT want to be feeling any of those appendages.
And meal-wise, airlines don’t even provide a “free” meal anymore, even on 6+ hour, cross-country flights. And, of course, the prices in the airports themselves are beyond exorbitant, to say the least. Well, we are a captive audience after all.
I haven’t been on Greyhound for quite some time, but I’m pretty sure on the the last trip I can recall the guy sitting behind me had just gotten out of prison, and I think there may have been a chicken on board. But that was a while back. Perhaps that’s where air travel is heading. I’ll keep an eye out for the poultry.
Meanwhile, I know I’m whining. But travel isn’t so much an adventure anymore; it’s an ordeal. We’ve got three more flights to go before we make it home Sunday. Here’s hoping the skies will get at least a LITTLE friendlier.
Oy vey! Oh, and cock-a-doodle-dooooo! 😉