How a luxury have gone bust

(…not a word about rock ‘n’ roll)

There aren’t many things more annoying than statistics, but given its relentless reliability, we all at least sometimes rely on it. Thanks to some hardworking people who question, write, and count, we know that Croats, among other things, are gaining more weight and have fewer descendants. So, as a result, we are officially becoming an old nation, at least I don’t have to worry too much about anyone remembering the time when ideas about total interpersonal equality were enjoying great popularity in this region. Aside, such slogans were most loudly shouted out by the least equal among us, the fact is that some things were accessible to all, while others were, for the vast majority, unattainable, and therefore an idealized luxury.

I remembered that in the recent 13 hours long overseas flight (if for any reason you can not sleep, at least 10 hours too long). It is an exceptional situation where I regularly thank genetics for the average height that normally gets on my nerves (is there anything worse than being average in any sense?). Occasionally I remember to throw into a bit of admiration for my character who did not stumble and develop some addiction. Having witnessed the “aerial” arrest of a gentleman of mature age who, despite numerous warnings to banning, tried to smoke in the toilet, I am sure that this kind of self-love cannot be considered a sin. Although the rule that as soon as I go to the same place by a perfectly legal job, the plane regularly enters the turbulence zone, it slightly casts doubt.

I love traveling, and over the last fifteen years, I have collected a solid amount of reward miles, for my taste, flying to still too few continents. But from the perspective of a child, grown in the earlier mentioned system, it is an almost incredible achievement. We used to fly with airplanes only exceptionally, as the high cost of the ticket ensured elitism to the few lucky ones who could afford it. Occupation of the flight attendant was something allowed to daydream only to the most beautiful among us, hoping that their luck in choosing to be in favor of proportional efforts that have invested in learning a foreign language and the adoption of the subtle nuances of the rules of good behavior. The opportunity to see distant parts of the world and unlimited access to the duty-free zone made them almost mythical beings. It was understood, of course, that you, as an airplane passenger, would be dressed in the best combinations from your closet. And even that you would make a special purchase for that purpose. The stories of what you ate and drank during the flight, especially if it was a longer trip, the less fortunate ones have absorbed like a sponge, convinced that everything must have a better taste at several thousand feet in height.

In the twenty-first century, the picture is completely different. Fortunately, on the one hand, because thanks to appearing of low-cost airlines, the competitiveness rule has forced companies to sell air travel in some cases even cheaper than, for example, several hours of a bumpy bus. But at the same time, unfortunately, the magic and those sweet illusions of luxury that you have lived since you headed to the airport have disappeared. That is why I laughed at an article I read in an American magazine, which suggests that wise women still must come to the airport well dressed up because the plane is “the last place you can see and catch an elegant gentleman.”

Let me forgive the specimens I have not had the good fortune to share the airspace with, but the only well-groomed men I meet on my travels are only pilots – because of official duty. Women are even worse because they embraced the option tracksuits and leggings. For men, the bottom choices are usually much more acceptable jeans. You may think that my cognition is limited by traveling exclusively in economy class, for purely financial reasons masked by the belief that if the plane crashes, everyone will pass the same, and the difference in the price of luxury seats and seats for the masses can be spent smarter. But since business class passengers board first so they don’t wait too long, and the rest of us then have to go past them to get to our seats (and by the way get them hooked up with cheap backpacks and fake Vuittons by the way), I can assure you – don’t put too much hope in airplane pieces!

If you wish to drown your grief in alcohol, you could remain unpleasantly surprised by the fact that the vast majority of airlines today charge the spirits. I’m scared to think with how much less money on the card now comes to America the lady, beside which I sat on her first flight to New York, which in mortal fear, did not separate itself from the abundant doses of gin tonics all the way. Instead of rich menus printed on glossy paper, once pretty ladies, nowadays only waitresses with no solid ground under their feet above the Atlantic will almost certainly serve you with doubt – chicken or pasta.

It is all a little sad. But if it is a question of traveling or not, I still have no doubt. In times of recession, that decision may already be – pure luxury.

TEXT – Barbara Kolar