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Are You Afraid Of Flying?

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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!

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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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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

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DA and jis win this thread!😉

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

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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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...

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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

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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

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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

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... 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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New airlines often seem to get completely random letter-number pairs. Afterall there are only so many meaningful pairs of letters.

 

All the new airlines in India have these weird airline codes Jet Airways 9W, IndiGo 6E, Go Air G8, Spice Jet SG etc.), while the old timers like Air India (AI), Indian Airlines (while it existed - IC) have meaningful ones.

 

Interestingly, British Airways managed to get BA even when it was BOAC. I suppose they could as well have gone for SB for Speedbird, which has been their call sign dating back to the days of Imperial Airways AFAIR. And Aeroflot still has SU which presumably comes from Soviet Union perhaps?

Edited by jis

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I'm pretty scared of flying. I usually just close my eyes when I land. So far it has worked out pretty well. :P In 2016 I worked 475 flights plus rode as a passenger on a hundred more.

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I'm pretty scared of flying. I usually just close my eyes when I land. So far it has worked out pretty well. :P In 2016 I worked 475 flights plus rode as a passenger on a hundred more.

:D

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2V

2V, or not 2V, that is the question!

 

(ok, that really only works out loud)

 

 

DL for domestic connections since their Comfort+ is the easiest to purchase (books directly into its own fare basis)

That actually screwed me over, as the fares that the government purchases eliminates the nominal upcharge to get C+. I would gladly pay it for my BWI-ATL-PNS legs, but when they wanted several hundred bucks to make it happen, I opted to shift my business to MOB since AA had the contract fare.

 

Fortunately for FY17 AA won both the BWI/PNS and BWI/MOB contracts, so it's AA either way. I much prefer to fly in to PNS, as I have far better luck of actually getting a rental car when I land.

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I'm pretty scared of flying. I usually just close my eyes when I land. So far it has worked out pretty well. :P In 2016 I worked 475 flights plus rode as a passenger on a hundred more.

Our resident CAT III guy :P

Edited by jis

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DL for domestic connections since their Comfort+ is the easiest to purchase (books directly into its own fare basis)

That actually screwed me over, as the fares that the government purchases eliminates the nominal upcharge to get C+. I would gladly pay it for my BWI-ATL-PNS legs, but when they wanted several hundred bucks to make it happen, I opted to shift my business to MOB since AA had the contract fare. Fortunately for FY17 AA won both the BWI/PNS and BWI/MOB contracts, so it's AA either way. I much prefer to fly in to PNS, as I have far better luck of actually getting a rental car when I land.

 

 

I never considered that until you mentioned it but I can understand the other side of the coin. Most of my flights are personal rather than business and I prefer to have the whole thing wrapped up at booking time. Having to search for a coach ticket first and then having to confirm and purchase a separate upgrade on top of the coach fare makes things more tedious to compare and book. If something changes (aircraft, schedule, routing etc.) the upgrade can become orphaned and get left behind during the rebooking process. At which point I'll need to make a phone call or visit a ticket counter to request it be reapplied manually. Depending on the agent they may refuse to assist since onboard upgrades are technically nonrefundable and nontransferable. Just depends on who you get and these days I try to do everything I can to avoid interacting with US airline staff. Therefore having a fare basis that is already inclusive of the upgrade is highly preferable to me.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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I'm pretty scared of flying. I usually just close my eyes when I land. So far it has worked out pretty well. :P In 2016 I worked 475 flights plus rode as a passenger on a hundred more.

Our resident CAT III guy :P

With full Auto-land? :D

Edited by railiner

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I can fly for free and can even avoid TSA at a lot of airports, yet every now and then I take the train. Some routes like SEA-PDX, SEA-YVR, ORD-MKE, the train is just better suited. Unfortunately there just aren't that many of those pairings.

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I simply don't travel very often any more, and prefer trains. From1984 to 2004, I had free travel privileges on United Airlines, and at that time I was living on Maui so I made many trips to the mainland. Seriously--now that I live on Orcas Island, I make almost as many ferry trips to the mainland per year as I did airplane trips while living in Hawaii.

 

This year, I am traveling more than I have since moving here in 2004. I took the train to Florida in January, and will be taking the Cascades to the Gathering in September. Also, my wife and I will be going to Oahu in December. It is almost impossible to get there without flying, and for me flying is like taking the train: not a cheap experience. Just getting to Seattle costs $600 ($150 per person each way), and to Hawaii I bought refundable first-class tickets for several times the cost of coach.

 

I am not really any more afraid of flying than I am of taking the train. I have felt similarly out-of-control of my personal safety while being awakened in an upper berth on the California Zephyr rocketing across Nebraska as I felt on an MD-11 suddenly plummeting in wind-shear over the Pacific Ocean. But I am afraid of driving on freeways and in urban traffic. That is a big reason we take the ferry to the mainland so rarely, and why we are flying to Seattle for the trip to Hawaii instead of driving.

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