Whining About Air Travel
I disagree with Michelle Higgins. She is a whiner and a handwringer.
Getting on a plane is emphatically NOT “roughly akin to entering the ninth circle of hell.”
It’s a miracle.
The late author and critic Alfred Kazin said his idea of happiness was settling into an airliner seat with a book, a notebook and a martini.
Jet planes have taken me higher and faster and to places around the world only dreamed of by my grandparents—and usually for only a few hundred bucks.
If you want to spend $400 to $3000 or more an hour to fly in obscene luxury, plenty of airlines and private charter companies are happy to relieve you of your money.
The late Victor Kiam, president of the company that made Remington electric shavers, always flew tourist class. “The back of the plane arrives at the same time as the front of the plane,” he used to say.
I’m with you, Victor.
Until “Beam me up, Scotty,” becomes reality, flying is the only game in town if you want to get anywhere quick.
Enjoy your flight.
A Boyish Love of Flying That Lasted a Lifetime
My father, biographer and historian Alden Hatch, was born in 1898. When he was 4, he drank some unpasteurized milk and caught a dose of tuberculosis of the bone. After more than 20 operations, he was left with a shriveled leg and spent the rest of his life on crutches.
Obviously my father did not have a normal childhood. From the flap copy of his 1942 biography, “Glenn Curtiss: Pioneer of Naval Aviation”:
All his life, Alden Hatch has wanted to write this book. As a boy, he spent every possible moment on the Hempstead [Long Island] plains watching Glenn Curtiss, Captain Baldwin, Clifford Harmon and other pioneers experimenting with the “kites with gas engines,” from which developed the modern airplane. Those men got to know the eager youngster and were generally glad to answer his many questions and let him have the run of their hangars and tents. So Mr. Hatch has a first-hand acquaintance with the men and machines of which he writes. He knows every detail of those early aeroplanes, how they looked, how the controls felt, even how they smelt.