I don’t voluntarily fly any more; sadly, my job requires me to fly…so I can’t totally divorce myself from the process.
The way that any company I’ve worked for or any government agency I’ve been employed by works is that they book you on the least expensive seat that they can. This is true for all people below the General Officer / SES level in the government and SVP and higher level in civilian industry.
I don’t blame them for having those policies: while there are some companies that have the cash flow to allow all their employees to fly business, most companies that I’ve seen are not in that position. Likewise, as a taxpayer, I’m pretty certain that I would be extremely angry if I found out that my tax dollars were being used to pay for government employees to be in that level of luxury.
Despite this, I usually want to stay productive when I’m “on the clock” – therefore, I really want to get some work done…review documents, work on a presentation, send/receive email (it keeps coming in whether or not I’m flying). It’s not that I’m a workaholic or even that I’m that dedicated…rather, if I don’t keep up with it, it’s just more work that piles on later.
So you end up getting crammed between somebody who wishes to sleep with his head in your lap on one hand and the mother who decided to have her two-year-old sit in her lap for the trip behind you (naturally, this mother gushes at the two year old kicking his feet right in your back behind you). In the meantime, you’re trying to get something done on the 5 hour flight.
Thank God that is not every trip, but it happens far too often.
Airlines have gotten so bad over the past 10 years that the TSA thing has turned into a minor annoyance for me. It’s security theatre that doesn’t do anything, but I don’t ever foresee a time when it will go away, so I just follow instructions and get through it as quickly as possible. *
The tragedy is that I used to really enjoy travel. Now, if I can’t get there in a reasonable time by car and my business doesn’t require me to go, I don’t go.*