were the days.” I heard my great
grandmother say that when I was about three or four. I heard all four grand-parents say it, my
parents said it, and I always vowed I would live in the present and that I
would never have the occasion to say that.
Nope, not me… I would take the high road and never stoop so low as to
criticize modern music, utter the phrase, “these dang kids today,” or
audibly sigh and say, “Those were the days.”
the mountains I will now shout it as loudly as Edith Bunker used to sing it
with her husband Archie sitting on the piano bench next to her, “Those
were the days!”
“And you knew where you were
Girls were girls, and men were men,
Mr, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover
used to be special. People dressed up to
board a plane; they wore suits and ties, nice dresses, hats, gloves, the
works. Airlines bent over backwards to
attract and even reward their loyal customers.
They printed and sent out very nice certificates to people who flew all
the way around the world, or who flew north of the
pillows were standard issue to all passengers, along with glass tumblers, porcelain
coffee mugs or tea cups, silverware, dinner
plates, linen napkins and even shot glasses with the airline’s logo on them,
available at the piano bars upstairs in the business class cabin of a 747.
can kiss that stuff goodbye.
plenty of blame to go around here, terrorists cost us quite a few
amenities. I place most of the blame
however on the airlines in the
and their CEOs. You see, most airlines
around the rest of the world have unbelievable customer service and they still
serve full meals on real china. In the
busy cow-towing to stock holders for that extra .03 per share every quarter to
take a chance on crazy things like pretzels, peanuts, or pillows.
As I write
this, my “mileage since enrollment” total with NWA is perilously
close to one million miles. I called the
Platinum Elite help line and asked them, “Is there any sort of bonus,
gift, or amenity for your customers who fly a million miles on your
airline?” “Yes,” she
said! I got all excited! I’d heard rumors that million milers are
awarded such things as membership to the World Club Lounge at airports around
the world! I asked her what the gift was
and she told me, “Your new frequent flier membership card will have a
small “M” printed on it, and you’ll receive a pen in the
mail.” A pen? A lousy pen?
“It’s a nice pen…” she said. I asked about membership to the World Club
Lounge, “We used to do that,” she replied, “but not
*Sigh* Those were the days…