Many years ago, travel used to be like a night at the opera. People dressed in their best outfits before boarding a flight to an exotic destination. Half the fun of a holiday was was the journey. Airlines were happy to welcome passengers with smiles and drinks. Every class was business class. The planes were comfortable and it was pretty much a social occasion to be seen flying. This was the golden age of travel.
However, in the golden age of travel, flying was more expensive which meant it was seen as a privilege to be be able to get onto a plane and fly off into the sunset.
There were no economy class tickets in the golden age of travel because only the wealthy could afford to fly. This meant spacious cabins, free flowing alcohol and three course meals. Cabin crew were more relaxed and took time to talk to their passengers.
Oh, and the aisle was wide enough for two trolleys to roll down the middle which meant no accidental spillage.
Flying also meant that you met other passengers, shared tips and stories. I remember meeting so many people on flights as I travelled over the past decade. People were happy to share and discuss their travel tales.
Today, people do not seem to want to talk to their neighbour or even look out the window. As for the conversations with your fellow passengers, well they are pretty much non existent and everyone wants to keep to themselves.
It appears that since flying has become more affordable, and accessible, it is now merely seen as a way of getting from one destination to the next. No longer do people get excited about looking out of the window at the amazing clear, blue waters below.
To make flying more accessible, airlines have cut costs over the years offering less and less inflight services unless you pay extra for them. Comfort has also decreased from the early days of travel as airlines try and cram as many people into economy as possible.
On top of that, there are more flight delays, more lost baggage, more disgruntled passengers then ever before. So much so that it seems people do not look forward to flying anymore.
You only have to look around the airport next time where what seems like a line of zombie like passengers triapsing from one end of the terminal to the other. Ghost like figures looking for connecting flights, bathrooms, baggage, lost family members, shops, etc.
Will the golden age of travel return? Well, perhaps it seems for only those lucky enough to afford a ticket at the pointy end.
Until then, the rest of us will try and make ourselves as comfortable as possible in economy. Maybe one day we will reconnect with likeminded people whom also embrace the experience of jetting off to their dream destinations. Maybe conversations with our fellow passengers about travel will make a comeback.
Photos courtesy of Google clip art gallery