I prefer movie airplanes that have secret passages under the seats above the seats, basements with room to have fist fights, elevators, rear doors that have pulley systems for offloading passengers in flight, and snakes.
As long as they’re trained to catch snakes I’m cool with them.
Or even a cab.
(short story from my days working for [ISP]- I had gotten back in town, and on a lark, decided to get a limo home instead of a cab; was it expensive compared to a cab? Sure. did work complain about it when I expensed it? a little bit. Was it worth the look on my mother’s face when we pulled up to my house and I got out from there? Hell yes.)
Depending on the details of the trip sometimes limos are actually cheaper.
Also, if you want to buy one they’re among the cheapest used cars available because no rich folks or limo services want old worn-out limos and few other people have any use for them. I have a wacky uncle who has owned a couple of them and used them for family road trips.
Here’s one that seats 12 and is available for just $3k:
And meanwhile, if you have the time, $5K will more than cover one-way transportation for 2 from NY to Southhampton, England, including all meals, gym access, and entertainment on a transatlantic crossing (7 days). I would never pay that much for a first class flight that lasts 4 - 6 hours, but for such an epic adventure, totally open to it.
DFW cir. 1980, people left their change in the pay phones, you could clear a good $10 with just a couple phone banks in just one terminal, then hop the tram to the next terminal. Later, blow it all at the arcade (which was not at the airport). Ah, those were the days!
Yep. We had a late flight back home from Edmonton long after our hotel checkout. We asked the bellman to hold our bags and get us a cab to the mall (ice skating). Instead, he arranged for a limo to take us to the mall. After several hours, the driver went back to the hotel and picked up our luggage at the hotel. He then picked us up at the mall and took us to the airport. It was less than three cab rides.
They went from being cruise ships to buses. Flying used to be much more rare. I didn’t fly till I was an adult. Now they’re public transport.
Maybe the correct comparison is rigid air ship that runs on non flammable helium?
For $5K, two people can go round-trip. I get the feeling COVID’s bringing out the deals at Cunard.
And doesn’t have a super-flammable skin made of cotton painted with cellulose acetate butyrate and aluminium powder. (every chemist in the room ducks when you say that)
Helium helps prevent fires, but people always forget (or just never knew) that
- most people onboard the Hindenburg survived (it was only the fifth deadliest airship disaster)
- the deadliest airship disasters were in vessels that were, in fact, filled with helium and/or were destroyed by non-fire-related causes. (Often storms)
‘It’s true, but do you want to spend time in the place you’ve traveled to? If so, the round trip passage doesn’t really apply.
It’s disappointing that the top billionaires are all so predictable, each running their own phallus-centric rocket company. Why don’t we have any eccentric billionaires that are trying to build an airship-based airline? I mean, it’s not like they’d likely be more financially successful than efforts from a century ago but still, at least it would be something different and entertaining.
There’s even an airship hanger right in the center of silicon valley!
Oops, I shouldn’t have said round trip. There are some folks who cruise just to spend time on a ship, but I’m not one of them! For the same money, two people could travel back and forth. They schedule voyages often enough for passengers to spend several weeks (or months) in Europe.
Not sure if that industry has changed a lot in terms of the experience since this COVID restriction article. However, complaints about amenities and food on some lines have been increasing as the cost of travel went down, just like with airlines. As @Otherbrother pointed out above, luxury is still available - at premium rates.
My sister flew on Pan Am from Europe to Toronto on the 1-year anniversary of the Locherbie bombing. She was one of six people in economy in a 747 brave enough to fly Pan Am on that rather symbolic day. She had no idea she was so brave. She didn’t connect the dots until after she’d boarded.
Superb flight. After take-off, she immediately went to the middle row, raised all the arm-rests in a 4-seat row, arranged a bed for herself and slept wonderfully well. When she woke up about half-way through the flight, the hosts were bored silly and looking for any excuse to bring her stuff. “More snacks? How about a drink?”
The closest I got to that was a roughly 1/4 full Thai Airways flight out of Bangkok not long after the Asian Financial Crisis of '97. The Thai baht had crashed and had little value outside the country, so nobody was leaving if they didn’t have to. People were wandering from business class to economy because it was more comfortable having three or four economy seats to yourself than a single business class seat. “Out, bourgeois pigs! Those seats are reserved for the proletariat!”, I wish I’d said.
Branson was/is into ballooning – but he is still a dick.
I was scheduled to go on home leave two days after 9/11. As can be imagined, that flight was cancelled. About two weeks later I took my leave. The plane was almost empty, and I got to do the same thing: occupy a middle row and stretch out for a nice 6 hour nap. (Which was lovely, I can’t sleep in an upright position so flying long distance is … wearying.)
I was also pampered by the flight crew who were as you noted, bored and a bit nervous and wanted something to distract them. I also got extra meals, and the meals were really good (I think they upped their game to entice passengers to fly again).