It's funny -- when we usually think of the phrase "when I was a kid" it is followed by some account of trials and tribulations since overcome by the modern world. I had to walk five miles up hill in the winter...
When I was a kid I used to fly all the time. To Florida, to Europe, to the Virgin Islands... It was fun to be an unaccompanied minor -- with the wing pin and the playing cards. I used to collect airports. Top of my list, Milwaukee -- they have a great used bookstore and a museum store. Also London, where you can buy a Liberty's of London tie on your way home. Bottom, O'Hare -- with Miami right up there too -- both for the fact that you should not have to take a train between connecting flights.
There is growing speculation that airline travel will soon become a luxury reserved only for the very rich. An industry analyst said on NPR this weekend that airlines were never posed to make money with gas anywhere near it's current rates -- which still seem well below target.
Last week, American Airlines announced significant cuts in service -- including grounding almost 10 percent of it's fleet:
"FORT WORTH , Texas – AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., today announced significant reductions to its 2008 domestic flight schedule, including a fourth quarter mainline domestic capacity reduction of 11 percent to 12 percent from the previous year. It also outlined plans to retire at least 75 mainline and regional aircraft and unveiled several revenue growth initiatives, as the company responds to record fuel prices, growing concerns about the economy and a difficult competitive environment." Company Press Release.
Airline Business Magazine said in an article two days later:
"On announcing these survival tactics, American chief executive Gerard Arpey neatly summed up the seriousness of the situation in which the industry finds itself: "The airline industry as it is constituted today was not built to withstand oil prices at $125 a barrel, and certainly not when record fuel expenses are coupled with a weak US economy." American's first-quarter fuel bill rose by 45%, with the carrier forking out $665 million more for fuel than it would have done had the price of oil remained the same as it was in the same quarter last year."
I lost the array of sands I used to collect -- Israel, Tortola, PEI, Italy. I've been to some amazing places... You never think you won't go back.
Tortola -- Cane Garden Bay
It's funny -- all the photos I took on all those trips are shoved away sloppily in boxes. I guess it's time to pull them out and make sure they survive... if it's not too late.
It's human nature to be wasteful in times of plenty...
You never think things will be different.