In Memoriam: the ideal of American equality

American Equality died this week at the United Airlines gate C-26 at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Equality had been in a decline for a number of years.

It is survived by Red Carpet Elite, First Class, Business Class, Premier Platinum, Premier Gold, 100K Fliers, Uniformed Military, Families Traveling with Children under 4, Those Requiring Additional Help, Elite Super-duper Economy, Special Delux Economy, Economy Plus, and the Rest of You Mooks in Coach.

7 thoughts on “In Memoriam: the ideal of American equality”

  1. Now, Mary, I ride a wee scooter affectionately known locally and abroad as The Bitchmobile. I must have it if I am to travel. I can ride it to the very door of the aircraft where it is stowed below. After boarding I am equal with any other passenger, ducking evil stares from those who resent the fact that I can’t stand in line. So be it. What I want for equality is this: I want all those who occupy more than one seat to buy two tickets. Gee, Jo, what a fanciful idea.

  2. Just try to be a normal guy, say 6’2″ and slim, and travel anywhere, in any seat, on any airline, at any time, in any category you please.

  3. If nobody bought those Premier Platinum etc. sales pitches, if nobody sought to distinguish themselves in this commerce, we would not be so differentiated. Everybody wants to be part of the peerage in our classless society.

    And another thing is the security check. Will it ever go away? Nobody I know believes it is worth a damn. We accept it meekly so it seems.

  4. Judy, I know what you mean about TSA checks. If anything, the new scanners seem to have slowed the process down. You have to strip off even more stuff to avoid a false positive. Not just shoes, now, but everything out of your pockets. Not just watches, but necklaces (even the agate ones I wear because they don’t set off metal detectors).

    The Unibomber has been in jail for what? Twenty years now? And we still have to bring all packages over one pound into the post office and promise they don’t contain bombs like his on the theory that all psychotic killers will naturally tell the truth about their packages, I guess.

    But now that I think of it — the airlines don’t ask you if you packed your stuff yourself or if anybody asked you to carry anything! Maybe there’s some question on the check-yourself CRT I don’t notice, but I think that little ritual has faded away.

  5. All of the above is why my husband and I now drive to Chicago to visit our son and daughter-in-law. The trip takes about 12-13 hours from Charlotte, NC which is only about 2 hours longer than, I kid you not, the last time we flew up there. Forty years ago, when I was flying Allegheny Air out of Bradford, PA, we would get a Chiclets chewing gum – remember those? We thought that was so funny. Now, you don’t get anything for the privilege of sitting in an airplane for 11 hours, not even one Chiclet. Added bonus on the drive, my husband and I usually get through two unabridged audio books – a much more pleasant way to redeem the time.

  6. That’s the way I feel about it, too. Ann. If it takes less than 10 hours to drive, the whole experience is better by car. My little Honda Fit gets nearly 50 mpg on the highway, and the seats are more comfortable than the ones in economy. I can listen to good music, get out and walk around, or really crank the seat back and take a little nap if I need it when I’m halfway there.

    And there are no flight attendants with the attitude that “This job would be great if it weren’t for all these pain-in-the-ass customers.” In my experience, Continental (of blessed memory) and Southwest attendants are great. Delta and United? Not so much.

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