Wings of the Tern Blog

March 29, 2010

Airline Horror Story number 99

Filed under: Current Posting — wingsofthetern @ 1:12 pm

My daughter Julia has been traveling in Europe on business.  Her company’s home office is in Madrid and she was invited over for a week of intensive training and meetings.  As a perk, they offered her the opportunity to have a stopover in Paris for a week end on her way home.

She was scheduled to depart Paris at 0200 (our time) this morning, but missed the required, be at the airport two hours early rule, by ten minutes.  The Air France ticket people informed her that she missed the flight and nothing could be done about getting her onto another flight until Wednesday.  She is being told that they don’t have a standby list, she can’t talk to a manager or anything. She is just out of luck.  And, she says, that unlike in Spain, the French have been very rude to her during her brief stay in Paris.

Even though that I have been a pilot since 1961, I tell my wife that I am not getting on an Airliner  again unless that I can’t drive the distance in three days.  Between Airline deregulation and 911, traveling by air now sucks unless you are the pilot.

I miss the good old days when I used to travel a lot.  I traveled enough to warrant a membership in Western Airlines Horizon Club.  Located near the gates, these airline clubs provided a comfortable, living room styled, place to spend time during layovers.  Wine, coffee and tea were complementary and the hostess could help you with ticketing functions, tracking lost baggage etc.  In those days, it was easy to change your schedule.  Your tickets were honored at  other airlines so if you decided to switch carriers for a better routing or an earlier or later flight, it was no problem.

It would seem that society is moving backwards and now, you are better off to take a train or a boat!

This weeks featured airplane (Aircraft Page) is an early Aero Commander (reference pages 9,21 & 233 in book).


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