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Master Mariner
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Re: Need avice from our chefs

Hi Gary. Really good to hear from you. That beef sounds incredible! Keep on keeping on.
The potato recipe impressed the wife and I so much we're going to try it next time we can get to a market. The beef we may try if we ever get back to the states, but after my last commercial flight back to Trinidad, even in more expensive seats and a fairly short flight (6+ hours), that was pretty much it for me and flying, unless we can hitch a flight on a private plane.
At what point did we all agree to pay some airline a bunch of our hard earned money to torture us for X number of hours? Bah humbug.
 

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Re: Need avice from our chefs

.....At what point did we all agree to pay some airline a bunch of our hard earned money to torture us for X number of hours? Bah humbug.
Almost the entire commercial airline experience is awful, from TSA to the baggage claim. Lots of blame to go around. One factor, and I stress it's only one, is what people have come to think is a fair price for being moved thousands of miles in hours. What literally would have taken weeks/months by foot, horse and boat, now takes hours. It's miraculous. That plane cost anywhere from $100-$200 grand per seat and the deep discount fares often don't proportionately pay their fuel cost, let alone all the infrastructure around them. Taxpayers are actually putting the runways in, absolutely no airline could afford to. If it weren't for cargo typically being in with luggage, full fare payers and first/business class, there would be no flight. The uber-discount airlines do an amazing job of cutting costs, buying used planes, flying to cheaper airports, etc. They even still rely on alternate revenue to the passenger fare, such as freight.

It's dis-functional for sure.
 

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Re: Need avice from our chefs

Glad you enjoyed it Gary! :)


On the thread drift... Flying.

I feel its mostly attitudinal. Its very trendy to hate flying: "Oh my, I have to go to Paris for shopping, but dear the 1 hour in 1st class is just toooooooo much for meeeeee".

I sincerely get excited going to an airport - any one any where - its all exciting with planes zipping off always to some exciting destination.

As an Australian the shortest flight to Europe was always about 32 hours flying time, in the air. Wow! Your own luxury seat with some hotty serving free food and drinks and a free magazine, TV, radio, movie. What bliss is this! :)

Now Sydney to London is just 22 hours in the air. The Cattle Class seats are as good as First Class was 20 years ago... and the food is 1st class quality of 20 years ago too. Now theres 100 movies on demand and new releases.

And the COST! in the early 1970s the air ticket was $2,000 when the weekly basic wage was $35 per week. Thats 1 YEARS wages for an economy class ticket! Now its 1 weeks wages, Return. Just week and your years vacation is booked.

Buisness Class and 1st Class now are so stupidly expensive I just calculate the dinners out I can have instead of the price for an extra 6 inches leg room for 22 hours.

One of my mates will *not* fly unless its business class and he can do the trip with only carry on luggage. If his holiday requires a suitcase he doesn't go. seriously! So his life is home bound. Feels like being in a prison.

As for the TSA checks, the 2 hours line flying internationally into LAX. Thats all part of the adventure. Its the hurdle that goes with getting the excitement of life that so few are willing to do :)

Heres a few things I did in 2019 that I couldn't do if I refused to fly:


Botswanna



Uganda


D Day 7th Anniversary, France
 

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Senior Moment Member
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Flying used to be fun and exciting - so much so that I would sometimes go to the airport just to have a drink and soak in the energy and excitement of the place.

No more - now it's simply an endurance test.

Aside from the increased security hassles you can still experience it the way it used to be - pay to fly in Ruling Class. The cost in adjusted dollars is about the same as coach used to be when it was still fun.

When I flew to England in the 70's coach cost $540 one way - most of a months pay. Now it STILL costs about that same $500 which makes it about 10% of the real cost back then. First class now is up in the $5000 range which more or less equals the cost of coach back then in adjusted money.

A local boatyard owner flew his family back to Germany in 1956 - said it cost him $15,000 - the price of a house or a Rolls Royce.

You want it the way it was? Pay the price.

Most people will suffer for a few hours instead.
 

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Old soul
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In my semi-retired current life I'm no longer a big flier, and even in my heyday I didn't come close to some of you high fliers. First Class (aka Business, Executive, or whatever they choose to call it) was never really an option for me. So it's always been Cattle Class. But even at this level I can easily remember flying being something one looked forward to. Even in my cabin, I'd be treated with respect, and I'd be served a hot quality meal, with a decent wine, on actual china dishes.

So I've certainly seen a major downgrade in the comfort quality of flying. Along with ever-shrinking seat space, there is the increasing method of turning every "service" into an add-on fee. First meal fees, seat selection fees, flexibility fees, then baggage fees, etc... This death-by-a-thousand-fees has certainly diminished the quality of the flying experience to me.

Add on the personal insults we all now all dutifully comply with at the "security" barriers (which is more theatre than protection), and it has changed flying from a pleasant experience into a one that simply needs to be endured.

Of course the great trade off has been the dramatic decline in real costs for us Cattle Classers. There is no doubt the cost of flying has gone way down for us peons. But we're certainly made to feel our status. No where else in my world is "class" so thrown in your face as when flying. Those with deep pockets get the luxury lines. We... we are treated like cattle.

To me, it all feels like a race to the bottom -- it's all part of the Faustian deal we are all increasingly making. From the massive rise of the Walmarts (where's it's the lowest price, at any cost), to the dramatic decline of wealth of most middle-classers as globalization and automation decimate jobs ... it's all interconnected.
 

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To be fair, while it’s a bad experience and too inexpensive for airlines to afford to do much better, the fact is that commercial airline travel is a prime example of society’s broad increase in it’s standard of living. *****ing about it (like I do) is a real first world or first class problem.

Today, the entire middle class and up can and does fly to Disney (proverbially). This option did not exist for the masses, when passengers wore suits and ties. According to the census bureau, 81% of people in the US, below the poverty level, have a cell phone. Early cell phones were relegated only to the wealthiest. The standard of living has increased.

Speaking of dress, I recall when Broadway was a formal attire experience. Not tuxedos, but a sports coat at a minimum. Some still do so. The vast majority are now tourists in shorts and flip flops. Same phenomenon. The masses can now access this stuff.

The experiences have changed, the experience isn’t as good or, in some cases, good at all, but the outcome isn’t all bad for society.
 

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I am a frequent flyer. Work mostly. I am generally given a choice; fly, drive or train.

Driving any kind of distance in Canada in the winter is a nightmare. Trucks, busses, snow drifts, white outs, moose. No thanks. 50 minute flight on a Q400 to Toronto or a 5 hour death race on the 401? No brainer. Fly.

Train is nice for short distances, especially via 1 with booze and chow.

But seriously, when it comes to long distance, over a few hundred miles, you just can't beat flying.
 

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Old soul
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My last decades of professional work was spent based in Northern Ontario. I spent a lot of time flying all across Canada, and occasionally to the US, Europe and places south.

I always loved it when I could take the train, usually for travel in southern Ontario. I wish I'd had that option to travel out of Thunder Bay, but alas Canada's passenger train (VIA Canada) is conveniently routed to avoid virtually all population centres up in Northern Ontario :rolleyes:

... and they wonder why no one uses it.:confused::(
 

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All the time on business. Really nothing to it. It helps if you are not big. Avoid certain airlines that have really downsized seat spacing, but even that is nothing bad.

Much cheaper than it used to be, and airport food is much better. Uniformity in signage helps. On-line booking is a snap, especially if you have a corporate service (which you can use for personal flights). Waze helps once you get there. TSA Pre gets you through security.

Fun? No, not really. It's just a commute. I'll drive if it is less than 8 hours and I'll be there for a while or have a lot of stuff. Three trips this month.
 

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I've taken Amtrak from RI to NYC and back many times. It's a three hour train ride, vs a 30 minute flight. However, for the flight, I need to get to the airport well in advance for TSA, then get into Manhattan from the airport, which is expensive and time consuming. I can fly myself, but then need to go to Teterboro or White Plains and still get into the city. I don't think one can actually fly faster.

The trains are fine, but not great. Much better than airline shuttle seats. Power and wifi have not always worked, so that allure is unreliable. I suppose it's worked more often than not. The only downside is the parking at the station in RI can literally be full enough to miss the train. You want to be dropped off or take a taxi/uber.
 

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Yeah, that's the often the thing with shorter flights.
* Allow 2-3 hours to get to the airport, park, and get through security.
* Allow 90 minutes to pick-up bags, get a rental car, and get where you are going.

Thus, 3-4.5 hours are spent before flying time. Up to about 6-9 hours driving, you leave when you want and pack the car as you like.

As my grandma used to say about chores, "It's best not to think to much about it." That applies to boat maintenance too. Some times sailing, when the weather is contrary.
 

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I want to do the USA on Amtrak but it's not cheap.
I will next trip... 2021
If you get the Rail Pass, it's not too bad. About $900 for 45 days of traveling. Equivalent of maybe two round trip flights? You could see a lot of countryside in 45 days. Much more than 2 flights.

There are restictions, but they are reasonable. You can't go back and forth between the same cities more than a couple of time, to keep it from being a commuter ticket. There is also a limit on the number of legs you ride, but it's still ample. I think it's 18 in 45 days.

The have shorter packages too, but I'll be some wish there were longer. I guess you could double them up.

There are also smart ways to get to a hub, then rent a car and do out and back days to see the surroundings. Hop back aboard and move to the next hub.
 

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Old soul
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This video just popped up in my youtube recommendations -- no doubt b/c Google is monitoring my participation in this thread.


Anyway... it seems like a reasonable analysis of the evolution and economics of flying. It explains why us in Cattle Class are treated so poorly. As the vid concludes:

"Everyone in economy class is just there to fill the plane."
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Back when I started my "professional" job (1985) I *enjoyed* flying, but did not like being away from home for 2 weeks at a whack. I still fondly remember flying an L-1011 from BOS through Dallas to SFO. Each leg of the coach flight included a mediocre meal and a snack. Up until the late 90's I would travel away from home probably 50% of the time, and this partly led to the demise of marriage #1.

After 9/11 I started to dislike, and I now *hate* the overall flying experience. The TSA charade is intrusive, and the long lines to "get through security" make people unbearable. I find the stratification of the security line (pay an additional $15 to be allowed to use the TSA Precheck lane) to be offensive, and it helps proves that TSA is a charade. (Remember that ALL of the 9/11 hijackers flew in First Class. First Class passengers go through the TSA precheck line too!) The flight itself, other than being packed in cheek to jowl with the rest of the flying public and their dogs/cats, isn't bad.

I have travel from BOS to Fort Myers (RSW) every fall, and back in the spring. For the past two years I have preferred driving the 1600 miles alone (3 days/2 nights) to the 3½ hour flight. I drop "The Admiral" off at the airport on my way out of town. She's there to greet me when I arrive.
 

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The only thing more germ laden than an airline flight .....is a cruise ship.
I fly for work. It is very annoying. It went from something I loved to something I dread.

I arm myself . Mask, neck pillow, I pad pro with movies, noise canceling over the ear headphones. I keep to myself usually.
 

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I hate commercial air travel. I think I stopped flying more than 15 years ago. It is an extremely unpleasant experience. Obviously for long distances you have little choice when you can't sail ;-).

General aviation is a hoot.

I don't even like commuting... so I work from home.
 
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