Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Flight of fancy

There's an advert running on television at the moment that attempts to glamorise air travel as it depicts a bevy of beautiful air hostesses wandering through an airport terminal along with a handsome captain.

The advert is, I think, mimicking the scene from the film "Catch Me If You Can" where Leonardo Di Caprio strides through a similar airport terminal dressed as a pilot accompanied by beautiful Pan Am stewardesses. The advert fails - in my opinion - for two reasons. Firstly, the women in the advert - although beautiful - look like models rather than genuine air hostesses, which makes the whole thing look fake right from the start.

The other problem with it is that I remember what air travel was like in the eighties and it was nothing like that. The scene it attempts to copy was set in the 1960's when air travel really was glamorous and before the blight of terrorism affected it for ever. By the mid eighties - when the advert is set - not only did airport security already mean that you had to arrive at the terminal well before your flight was set to depart, but that you had to endure searches and queues that would try the patience of a saint even then.

But that was nothing to what it must be like today. I don't fly any more for that reason. It's not that I don't like flying - I don't mind it in the least (although it is rather boring) - but I despise being herded around like cattle and treated like an inconvenience rather than a paying customer.

The days of air travel being glamorous are long gone - unless, perhaps, you are one of the fortunate few with enough money to circumvent the cattle herding, but even then you will most likely have to experience at least a little of that when you arrive at your destination. The question is, can we ever get it back?

I seriously doubt it. I seriously doubt whether most people would even want to go back to the days of the "jet set" as it smacks of the elitism which we are programmed to despise these days, but I'm sure most people would prefer it if we could get some common sense back into airport security. I think most of you could guess what that means, but just in case you can not - it means targeting certain people of a certain appearance.

Of course, we can not do that these days as it would be decried as "racist" rather than common sense, but one can always hope. Until we do get some common sense back into airport security yours truly will continue to avoid flying.

5 comments:

Gallimaufry said...

Why is it racist to state that shaven-headed, track-suited and tattoed drunken chavs who commmunicate by shouting have blighted air travel?
Personally, I look forward to travelling once again by Empire flying boats or Handley-Page Heracles in gentle stages, whiling away the hours with a few rubbers of bridge or savouring a freshly mixed cocktail whilst gazing out of the panoramic windows in the bar.
I propose that wearing jackets and ties or twinset and pearls should be made compulsory on all commercial flights.

JuliaM said...

"Why is it racist to state that shaven-headed, track-suited and tattoed drunken chavs who commmunicate by shouting have blighted air travel?"

It shouldn't be, as chavs come in all shapes, sizes, colours and even classes...

Larry said...

I think he was referring to muslims. Nowadays, though, if they stop and search a coloured person they need to search a white person to provide "balance". Crock of garbage.

Gallimaufry said...

" it means targeting certain people of a certain appearance."
I apologise if my attempt at deliberate miscomprehension sneaked under the irony screen.
I agree it is daft that, for example, Scots Grannies should be made to remove their shoes so that the profiling stats balance up to avoid discrimination suits from Richard Reid or Mohamed Atta lookalikes.
My favourite security question is "Could your luggage have been opened by someone without your knowledge?" How can anyone answer that truthfully and still be allowed to board the 'plane?

JuliaM said...

"My favourite security question is "Could your luggage have been opened by someone without your knowledge?"..."

What!?

Why don't they just ask 'Has your luggage ever been out of your sight or unattended?', like Customs do?

Cretins...