Archive for October 19th, 2008

When October Arrives

I get antsy when October arrives. When I was working for the airlines I would look forward to the start of my leisure travel season.  Summer traffic was over and the peak holiday travel was still over a month away.  Domestic and international flights were left to business travelers and there were always open seats to just about anywhere.  A weekend on either coast or a week in Europe was completely “do-able” – and there was still time to clean up the yard for winter.

Most of the time I’d take the entire month off from work.  After seventeen years of that, it’s still in my blood.  I’d kept a visual diary of my flights for years and this weekend I unrolled it.  Always wishing for an electronic copy it had never dawned on me to take a picture of it until today.  So here it is. (Control +) click to make the image larger.

The jumbled web of red lines over North America represent the life of a domestic flight attendant.  The long string of red lines stretching to Europe represent the good life of international flying.

I was fortunate to have worked with the airlines during the last golden age of air travel.  For the majority of my seventeen years of service the industry was expanding but it became evident by the turn of the century that things were changing.  Our duty days increased, our layover time decreased and shortly after I left the industry the pay cuts began.  Essentially, the industry was correcting itself.

The only part I really miss is being able to see my friends that are strewn throughout the globe.  There was a time when I’d easily fly to Miami to meet a friend for coffee, or pop into Little Rock to do laundry and visit a friend before heading back to work.  Dinner in San Francisco or a weekend in Montana were once the norm.

Thanks to Internet I’m able to remain in touch with a lot of old friends but we see each other less often.  I’m now more likely to join a friend for coffee in Upper Arlington, enjoy lunch in the Short North and grab dinner in German Village.  Still, it’s October and I long to fly away.

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