Believe it or not, flying used to be a great experience. Before jets shortened flying time dramatically, passengers were a lot more forgiving of delays and cancellations. It was simply expected as the industry was having its growing pains. And when long haul jets first came into service, passengers were so excited about the speed and cabin space that men and women dressed up as if they were going to a fancy restaurant for a fine meal.
And yes the meals were actually quite good. Imagine roast beef carved at your seat and wine poured in crystal goblets. Celebrity designers outfitted flight attendants in the latest fashions.
But then cutthroat competition took to the skies that became a lot less friendly. I noticed the change when passengers started complaining about their airlines by satirizing their names. TWA stood for “try walking across.” Sabena meant “such a bloody experience, never again.” And Air France became “Air Chance.”
Maybe that’s why two of those three carriers no longer exist.
CBS News Radio national business journalist Brian Banmiller has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.
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"The Technology Tornado: Media & Communications in the Modern Era"
Phoenix Convention Center
August 28th, 2019