There is no longer any cache to flying. At all. It’s simply not fun.
The airlines have stripped the experience down to the bare bones and for me the final straw has emerged: Continental charges for TV. Not for headphones…but for the gift of watching the little, static screen in front of you. $6! Unless you pay with your Continental MasterCard – then it’s $4. AND if you choose not to fall for their entertainment extortion, you are out of luck because on a 6-plus hour flight across the country you don’t even get to watch the free movie, which would have been the King’s Speech in another type of aircraft, not equipped with pay-to-view TV. Yes, that’s right: they tease you by listing which movie will/would have play/ed, but if its a DirectTV equipped plane…so sorry. No movie for you.
I get why we pay for every single airline-bit a la carte. I read once the airlines save millions simply by pouring you half a can of ginger ale instead of handing you an entire can. I ask for a ‘can’ now so I don’t get just a sip and have to wait for the next round. I understand revenue and a strained business model and a bad economy and I am short so I don’t have to pay for extra legroom. But TV? No. Bring back the free movie.
I’m a frequent flier. On Continental I have flown nearly half-a-million lifetime miles. I love miles, and elite status and all that stuff. I get why there was a book and a movie written about people like me and many of my elite-obsessed friends. I’ll buy the food, I’ll pay for miles and change fees. But yesterday, ahead of time, I spent $5 to save $4…I downloaded my own movie on my ipad. I showed them!