Remember when they used to board the plane from back to front? There were no boarding zones, no abhorrently long lines. The plane was boarded efficiently and only a few (those in first class) were given any special attention. Granted, that was also the era of smoking sections, but that’s not my point.
I was often guilty of waiting until everyone else boarded because I certainly didn’t want to sit on a cramped plane for longer than I had to, especially with children. But people flowed on board with friendly smiles and mostly courteous manners, ushered by flight attendants (stewardesses back then) that didn’t have to body slam or limbo their way around haphazardly boarding passengers to help folks out. And that’s not my point either.
My point is that travel is now like our culture, it’s all about your money and how much you’re willing to pay. Cheapest tickets? You can’t choose seats unless you pay a fee. Cheapest tickets? No carry on. The more you pay the earlier you can board. The more you pay the better the seat you get (Row 35 Window, instead of 36 center). The more you pay, the more you can bring on board, making even someone with only a “personal item” have to carry that thing in their “personal space” (i.e., lap) for the entire flight. And don’t forget you have to pay for your checked bags, your food, your WIFI. I’m surprised that the toilets aren’t coin operated. Everything is measured by how much you can or are willing to pay. And, as in our culture, those with least get body slammed, crammed, shut out and always come in last.
We are so money obsessed. In SoCal last week, one of my charming Uber drivers told me that all he wanted was a lot of money. He was going to work hard all his life to make a lot of money so he could have nice things. As we passed the hilltop, oceanfront mansions of the OC, he was sure that those places cost about 1.2 million. Ever watch House Hunters? Those houses have to be worth tens of millions. But regardless, Mr. Ubers’ only goal was lots of money.
I hope that Mr. Uber wants to travel, and I really hope that he makes enough money not to be in boarding zone 5.