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Are You Afraid Of Flying?


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Poll: Flying

Are you afraid of and/or find airline travel highly undesirable?

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#21 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 02:17 PM

DA I think it is a cultural thing. American culture leans towards threatening arrests, beating people up, tazering and ultimately simply opening fire on each other as a legitimate means of resolving arguments and solving problems, and it simply reflects everywhere. I find it odd that the very behavior we claim to strive to stop or mitigate in other countries by our intervention is precisely the stuff we tend to do to ourselves given half a chance at home. Oh well....

 

Much as I hate to say it, that's a very good observation unfortunately.


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#22 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:58 PM

DA I think it is a cultural thing. American culture leans towards threatening arrests, beating people up, tazering and ultimately simply opening fire on each other as a legitimate means of resolving arguments and solving problems, and it simply reflects everywhere. I find it odd that the very behavior we claim to strive to stop or mitigate in other countries by our intervention is precisely the stuff we tend to do to ourselves given half a chance at home. Oh well....

 
Much as I hate to say it, that's a very good observation unfortunately.


Agreed.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#23 RSG

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:36 AM

jis makes a very good observation about cultural norms, but I think it has less to do with the approach to resolving problems than the fact that American [USA] society has different standards as it relates to expectations as well as personal space.

There are notable pictures about bus and rail travel from other parts of the world where the passengers are piled on like damp laundry and hanging out of the doors and windows. Aside from the regulatory and legal environment which would prohibit such conditions, there is no way that most Americans would tolerate being that close to another human for anything longer than an average urban public transit trip. When there are breakdowns in the latter and the people on board are trapped even for less than an hour the stories from the survivors are akin to hearing those from the front lines of overseas combat. So when the personal space on an airliner becomes more and more cramped, the anxiety level rises and with it the frustration and the impulse to act out about it (often, though not always, misdirected).

Frequent Amtrakers, including myself, can tell stories about new rail travelers who hit the dining car and are incensed because they can't have a table all to themselves or their one other companion. Community dining is an absurd concept and shouldn't be expected outside of a commune, college or camp dining hall, or hippie restaurant. Yet in other parts of the world it's rather common and quite ordinary.

All in all, there's a sense of entitlement among most of the social classes in the US that one usually only finds in the upper echelon in other countries. On our airlines we want the seat pitch and comfort of an average Amtrak coach seat in nothing more than a 2 x 2 configuration with full meal service in coach, luggage which flies for no additional charge, and no more than a median cost of $280 round trip between two multi-state destinations. That such a scenario just isn't possible in modern society (and, with very few exceptions, never was), doesn't phase those who think it should be the norm and react in antisocial ways when they realize only one of those requirements might be an option on any given flight.


Edited by RSG, 09 May 2017 - 06:37 AM.


#24 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 09:21 AM


Frequent Amtrakers, including myself, can tell stories about new rail travelers who hit the dining car and are incensed because they can't have a table all to themselves or their one other companion. Community dining is an absurd concept and shouldn't be expected outside of a commune, college or camp dining hall, or hippie restaurant. Yet in other parts of the world it's rather common and quite ordinary.
 

 

Oddly enough the shared table concept in trendy restaurants seems to have eased up a bit or eased off in acceptance. I'm trying to remember, as an aside, if one could have a private table when we traveled in Europe in the past, but just can't remember.


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#25 jis

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 09:54 AM

Speaking of cultural norms, I came across a very intriguing, interesting one on my last trip to India. What I describe below appears to be the norm only in the Kolkata South Suburban section of Eastern Railway. I did not observe it anywhere else in Kolkata Suburban service.

 

My sister and I were traveling on a longish trip by suburban train in the Kolkata South Suburban section from Ballygunge to the end of the line almost on the Bay of Bengal at Namkhana (you can look it up in a map if you like - Ballygunge is the second stop from the terminal station at Sealdah South). Since we got on at Ballygunge which is not the originating station of the service, we piled in as is usual into an already SRO train, and were reconciled to standing all the way. Of course as the train proceeded further from Kolkata it started emptying out some and a few got seats, but mostly those that were standing continued to stand. Until we reached about the halfway point, at which the strangest thing happened. Everyone that was sitting stood up and offered their seats to people that were standing, and we managed to get seats! We were mystified and asked folks what happened. They said that this is a tradition on this line. People like to share their good fortune of getting a seat with their fellow passengers. I chalked that one up for collective sense of humanity of people who otherwise are poor to lower middle class in most cases on that line. Indeed south of a certain point on that line, if you travel at night you will find a distinct lack of electricity except on the railway, which is electrified, as are almost all busy line on the IR. Chalk one up for local tradition that is exemplary.

 

Naturally on the way back we knew what to do when the halfway point was reached, should the need arise. Fortunately we were by then in late evening traveling against the major outbound flow from Kolkata, so the train was not crowded enough to require anyone to stand.



#26 B757Guy

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 10:40 AM

Speaking of cultural norms, I came across a very intriguing, interesting one on my last trip to India. What I describe below appears to be the norm only in the Kolkata South Suburban section of Eastern Railway. I did not observe it anywhere else in Kolkata Suburban service.

 

My sister and I were traveling on a longish trip by suburban train in the Kolkata South Suburban section from Ballygunge to the end of the line almost on the Bay of Bengal at Namkhana (you can look it up in a map if you like - Ballygunge is the second stop from the terminal station at Sealdah South). Since we got on at Ballygunge which is not the originating station of the service, we piled in as is usual into an already SRO train, and were reconciled to standing all the way. Of course as the train proceeded further from Kolkata it started emptying out some and a few got seats, but mostly those that were standing continued to stand. Until we reached about the halfway point, at which the strangest thing happened. Everyone that was sitting stood up and offered their seats to people that were standing, and we managed to get seats! We were mystified and asked folks what happened. They said that this is a tradition on this line. People like to share their good fortune of getting a seat with their fellow passengers. I chalked that one up for collective sense of humanity of people who otherwise are poor to lower middle class in most cases on that line. Indeed south of a certain point on that line, if you travel at night you will find a distinct lack of electricity except on the railway, which is electrified, as are almost all busy line on the IR. Chalk one up for local tradition that is exemplary.

 

Naturally on the way back we knew what to do when the halfway point was reached, should the need arise. Fortunately we were by then in late evening traveling against the major outbound flow from Kolkata, so the train was not crowded enough to require anyone to stand.

 

That is pretty amazing. Great story, thanks for sharing! We do see a little of that here in the States. I've witnessed passengers giving up seats in first class or premium economy to the elderly and members of the armed forces. It's nice to know kindness does exist out there!


I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#27 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 01:36 PM

 

Speaking of cultural norms, I came across a very intriguing, interesting one on my last trip to India. What I describe below appears to be the norm only in the Kolkata South Suburban section of Eastern Railway. I did not observe it anywhere else in Kolkata Suburban service.

 

My sister and I were traveling on a longish trip by suburban train in the Kolkata South Suburban section from Ballygunge to the end of the line almost on the Bay of Bengal at Namkhana (you can look it up in a map if you like - Ballygunge is the second stop from the terminal station at Sealdah South). Since we got on at Ballygunge which is not the originating station of the service, we piled in as is usual into an already SRO train, and were reconciled to standing all the way. Of course as the train proceeded further from Kolkata it started emptying out some and a few got seats, but mostly those that were standing continued to stand. Until we reached about the halfway point, at which the strangest thing happened. Everyone that was sitting stood up and offered their seats to people that were standing, and we managed to get seats! We were mystified and asked folks what happened. They said that this is a tradition on this line. People like to share their good fortune of getting a seat with their fellow passengers. I chalked that one up for collective sense of humanity of people who otherwise are poor to lower middle class in most cases on that line. Indeed south of a certain point on that line, if you travel at night you will find a distinct lack of electricity except on the railway, which is electrified, as are almost all busy line on the IR. Chalk one up for local tradition that is exemplary.

 

Naturally on the way back we knew what to do when the halfway point was reached, should the need arise. Fortunately we were by then in late evening traveling against the major outbound flow from Kolkata, so the train was not crowded enough to require anyone to stand.

 

That is pretty amazing. Great story, thanks for sharing! We do see a little of that here in the States. I've witnessed passengers giving up seats in first class or premium economy to the elderly and members of the armed forces. It's nice to know kindness does exist out there!

 

 

That is pretty amazing. I remember offering my seat on a streetcar to an older woman in Norway and practically being shoved back into my seat (however, she seemed flattered that I had offered).


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#28 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:32 PM

Not really afraid of flying itself. It's more being cooped up in unhealthy air, with lots of strangers, and feeling a bit claustrophobic. I would get the same feeling in a crowded elevator or in a noisy, crowded, and rude city at rush hour.

 

I think it's really not having any control over your own space that I don't like. With a train, you at least have the option of walking around and changing your surroundings.


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 09 May 2017 - 03:41 PM.


#29 Bob Dylan

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:53 PM

DA and jis win this thread!😉
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#30 Dave Van

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:09 AM

 

Afraid of being treated as cattle.......recent events back that up.  Flew for work....but no more....


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#31 RichardK

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 01:56 PM

I am not afraid of flying. However, the experience is claustrophobic and generally undesirable. The thought of being sealed up in a tube with 200 other people and almost no room to move is unsettling. Once they close the doors and takeoff, there is nothing you can do if a problem occurs. We just hope the pilots are having a good day.

 

Trains are a more pleasant experience, with dining car, cafe, or lounge available.

Driving is certainly not that safe, but at least I am in control. 


Edited by RichardK, 13 May 2017 - 02:00 PM.

I rode on an X2000 (anybody remember that?)


#32 railiner

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:01 PM

Just back this afternoon from a weekend (Friday night till today) in Seattle area....took AA 45 and AA 44, back.  B-738's.   While the flight's were almost full, had a pretty good experience, competent crew's, and no problems.  


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#33 CCC1007

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:14 PM

Just back this afternoon from a weekend (Friday night till today) in Seattle area....took AA 45 and AA 44, back.  B-738's.   While the flight's were almost full, had a pretty good experience, competent crew's, and no problems.  

American or Alaska Airlines?

#34 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:53 PM

Just back this afternoon from a weekend (Friday night till today) in Seattle area....took AA 45 and AA 44, back.  B-738's.   While the flight's were almost full, had a pretty good experience, competent crew's, and no problems.

American or Alaska Airlines?


AA is the IATA code for American Airlines. Alaska Airlines is AS.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#35 Anderson

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:41 AM

I am not afraid of flying but I do find flying to be (generally) a quite unpleasant and broadly undesirable experience, particularly in what passes for "economy" these days.  I have done a reasonable amount of it (I've actually flown all the way around the world) but mostly in J (int'l) or F (domestic).

With that said, I'm also used to taking the train places (and used to being able to get a comfortable accommodation en route...either a roomette or an LD coach seat for the most part) and so I'm "spoiled for space", so to speak.


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#36 railiner

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:06 AM

Just back this afternoon from a weekend (Friday night till today) in Seattle area....took AA 45 and AA 44, back.  B-738's.   While the flight's were almost full, had a pretty good experience, competent crew's, and no problems.

American or Alaska Airlines?
AA is the IATA code for American Airlines. Alaska Airlines is AS.
It was American. I sat in "Main Cabin Extra", and had sufficient room to stick my legs straight out fully, under the seat ahead of me, and get a pretty good nap each way.
It was about 5 hours, 40 minutes going, and 4 hours, 45 minutes returning, account winds aloft...
metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#37 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:20 AM

 

 

 

Just back this afternoon from a weekend (Friday night till today) in Seattle area....took AA 45 and AA 44, back.  B-738's.   While the flight's were almost full, had a pretty good experience, competent crew's, and no problems.

American or Alaska Airlines?

 

AA is the IATA code for American Airlines. Alaska Airlines is AS.

 

It was American. I sat in "Main Cabin Extra", and had sufficient room to stick my legs straight out fully, under the seat ahead of me, and get a pretty good nap each way.
It was about 5 hours, 40 minutes going, and 4 hours, 45 minutes returning, account winds aloft...

 


I figured anyone who was aware enough to write 738 probably knew all about domestic booking codes.   ^_^ 

I previously flew AA for both domestic and international flights after they adopted TW's MRTC. When AA abandoned MRTC I switched to UA's E+. Initially by individual purchase, then by annual subscription, and then by status. As I started to shift more of my intercontinental flying to Asian airlines my status with UA eventually expired. UA raised the annual E+ global subscription 133% from $300 to $700.  By that time the 788's were starting to come along and the new style economy seats were slim enough for long haul flights to be workable again.  Unfortunately on my last intercontinental trip even the 788 and 789 rows had been squished so close that it was miserable for someone of my height.  These days if there is a domestic nonstop on WN I'll take that. If not I'll fly DL for domestic connections since their Comfort+ is the easiest to purchase (books directly into its own fare basis) and seems to provide the most benefits (more pitch, more recline, AC power, priority boarding, cocktails, etc.) .  For intercontinental flights I've dumped the domestics and fly Asian or European airlines in PE instead.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 15 May 2017 - 11:40 AM.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#38 CCC1007

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:25 AM

 

 

 

Just back this afternoon from a weekend (Friday night till today) in Seattle area....took AA 45 and AA 44, back.  B-738's.   While the flight's were almost full, had a pretty good experience, competent crew's, and no problems.

American or Alaska Airlines?
 
AA is the IATA code for American Airlines. Alaska Airlines is AS.
 
It was American. I sat in "Main Cabin Extra", and had sufficient room to stick my legs straight out fully, under the seat ahead of me, and get a pretty good nap each way.
It was about 5 hours, 40 minutes going, and 4 hours, 45 minutes returning, account winds aloft...
 
I was only intended to reply to CCC1007. I figured anyone who was aware enough to write 738 probably knew all about domestic booking codes.   ^_^ 

I flew AA for both domestic and international flights after they adopted TW's MRTC. When they abandoned MRTC I stopped flying AA and switched to UA's E+. Initially by individual purchase, then annual subscription, and then by status. As I started to shift more of my intercontinental flying to Asian airlines my status with UA expired.  Unfortunately UA had raised the annual E+ global subscription from around $300 to $700.  Luckily by that time the 787 were starting to come along and the new seats were slim enough long haul flights to be workable.  In conventional economy.  Unfortunately on my last intercontinental trip even the 789 seats had been squished so close that it was miserable for someone of my height.  These days if there is a domestic nonstop on WN I'll take that. If not I'll fly C+ on DL for domestic trips.  For intercontinental flights I've dumped all the domestics and fly Asian or European airlines in PE instead.
I was just trying to get clarification for those of us not in the know, as some have said that abbreviations are hard in the past, and may have assumed that it was an abbreviation for either of the two I listed. Considering my new job I should know all of the codes soon, as I am working with (OO) Skywest airlines!

Edited by CCC1007, 15 May 2017 - 11:25 AM.


#39 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:39 PM

I was just trying to get clarification for those of us not in the know, as some have said that abbreviations are hard in the past, and may have assumed that it was an abbreviation for either of the two I listed. Considering my new job I should know all of the codes soon, as I am working with (OO) Skywest airlines!

 

There are far too many codes for any one person to reliably remember all of them.  Or at least I cannot.   :wacko:

 

New codes are being added and old codes are being retired all the time.  Some codes are duplicated across multiple operators due to shared certificates or lack of regional overlap, so it's a never ending battle to keep everything straight in your head.  I track the airlines I've flown and airports I've visited in my own list.  Otherwise I'd struggle to remember the difference between Republic Airline (YX) vs Republic Airlines (RC) or JAL (JL) vs JALways (JO).  Remember subsidiaries like DL's Song and UA's Ted that flew under the same operating certificate as the parent but with incompatible (pay reducing and entitlement eroding) labor contracts?  Ever wondered why Southwest was coded as "WN" or why "SW" was given to Air Nambia?  Or how Canada ended up with a long series of YY codes?  The history of IATA is as curious as it is complex.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 15 May 2017 - 12:46 PM.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#40 PRR 60

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 01:38 PM

... Ever wondered why Southwest was coded as "WN" or why "SW" was given to Air Nambia?  Or how Canada ended up with a long series of YY codes?  The history of IATA is as curious as it is complex.

 
As I understand it, Air Namibia's having the code "SW" pre-dates Southwest Airlines and is based on their prior name,"Suid-Wes Lugdiens" (South-West Air Service).  With SW not available, Southwest looked for something that was available and at least sort of worked, and grabbed WN.  There is a legend at Southwest that Herb Kelleher said "WN" stood for "We're nuts."

 

Now, B6 for jetBlue, OO for SkyWest, and even 2V for Amtrak? No clue.






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