I can’t say I was shocked to recently hear about the doctor who was dragged off of a United flight due to overbooking. I’ve only flown 11 times in my life, the last time was in 1999, more than two years before 9/11 changed everything.
It’s not that I don’t like flying. One of my cousins is a very successful airline pilot for one of the major North American companies. I just always thought the companies in general tend to think their poop doesn’t stink, and this thinking began a few decades ago.
In 1996, I flew from Las Vegas to Atlanta via Delta. I enjoyed my brief stay at McCarran airport, complete at the time with a Taco Bell open for breakfast, long before that became a normal thing.
The Delta desk had something I’d never before seen to that point: a line monitor, actively inquiring as to what flight they were on, what time it was leaving, and the like. On the surface, it seemed superfluous, as I’d be giving this info when I reached the counter.
But she had this look about her which I read as if she was saying, “Don’t mess with me, young man.” Probably a nun in another life, I guessed to myself. Considering I wanted to get to Atlanta that particular Friday in June, I did what I was asked and told.
I can only imagine what things are like now in the post 9/11 world, where all travelers seem guilty until proven innocent.