Airborn on the Cheap

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Extremely Cheap Airlines Flight 1234, nonstop to Denver. We apologize that your flight was delayed by three hours, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Not to worry. Your crew killed the time in the Goose Tavern just across from your gate, so we are all raring to go. Well, maybe a bit tired, but nothing a little cocaine won’t take care of. The captain’s in the bathroom even as we speak.

Anyhoo, I have some really good news for you folks this afternoon. We have managed to fit a few more rows of seats into your airplane by providing absolutely NO leg room between rows. Well, to be fair, that’s probably better news for us than to you. Be that as it may, here we go people: Criss Cross, applesauce. You can do it! Cross those legs!

The above announcement wasn’t actually made on our flight home from Chicago Saturday afternoon, but only because the powers-that-be of the discount airlines haven’t yet thought of the so-called Criss Cross Applesauce Solution. By the way, if you are a baby boomer without grandkids, I will inform you that Criss Cross Applesauce is what we used to call sitting Indian style. Changing what that style of sitting is called is political correctness based on the presumption that Indians probably never sat that way.

As it is, the amount of legroom between seats on both Frontier Airlines (which we flew TO Chicago) and Spirit Airlines (which we flew HOME to Denver) is laughable. My legs are about as short as they can possibly be without having my own reality television show and I was unable to cross them. And trying to pick up something you drop on the floor of the plane? That’s not going to happen. Poor Bill, and poor anyone else with normal-sized legs.

Still, Bill and I flew from Denver to Chicago and home again for just over $200 for both of us. At the end of the day, provided I’m not flying more than a couple of hours, I’ll put up with gnawing on my knees for a cheap fare. It is worth it in the end.

imgresEach time I fly, something happens that makes me think back to the golden days of travel. The days when you wore a dress instead of ripped sweat pants and a dirty t-shirt. Days when travelers were given a little meal served on a tiny plate featuring a chicken breast, soggy broccoli, and a roll that had been baked when dinosaurs walked the earth. Remember the little lukewarm salad? How could the salad be lukewarm, yet the meal be cold? But I digress. This time, the thing that made me stop and go “can this be true?” happened on our Frontier flight to Chicago. It was mid-morning and I did something I occasionally do. I purchased Bill and I each a Bloody Mary on the plane. I won’t linger on the part in which I had to fumble for my wallet in the minute space between my legs that straddled my carry-on bag. Persistence won out, and I finally handed the flight attendant my credit card, thinking all the while, “Well, at least I don’t have to leave a tip.” Oops. Too soon. Because yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, there was a line to leave a tip for the flight attendant. Apparently the days of flight attendants’ disdain at being called waiters- and waitresses-in- the- sky are over. I only left 15 percent given the fact that all the flight attendant had to do was hand me a little bottle of vodka and a can of Bloody Mary Mix. He didn’t even hand me a dish of Chex Mix.

One day before I die, I want to travel first class. I’ve never had that luxury, and it’s definitely on my bucket list. But I don’t want to waste my one-and-only first class ticket on flying someplace close. No, I will wait until I am flying to Hawaii or Miami, or maybe even Europe. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law recently flew to and from Australia first class. They had beds, my friends, beds in which they could stretch out and actually sleep. The last time Bill and I flew to France, I was sitting next to a Frenchman who needed a bath, and Bill was sitting next to an American tourist who spent the entire flight barfing into her little bag.

First class, and that’s a promise.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

3 thoughts on “Airborn on the Cheap

  1. Flying economy airlines really is a challenge. It is not for the weak. I know it’s gotten bad when I’m excited if my plane has real seat pockets In which I can store my bottle of water during the flight.

  2. The one time that being as short as I am comes in handy, is sitting in those airplane seats. My knees never reach the seat in front of me, but then again my feet don’t reach the floor either! Which means I have to have some kind of carry-on that i can put my feet on for the flight! And yes, I remember the days of actual little meals. And first class is just a dream…

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