Today, I flew from Washington to Providence for Day 1 of my well-deserved vacation.
Flying is clearly not what it was in the days before airline deregulation. I can remember most people getting pretty dressed up for a trip, complete with eye makeup and curls in the hair. Now it’s pretty casual. The guys on each side of me are wearing shorts.
And when I worked for the old Eastern Airlines, we wore designer uniforms (the largest size was a 10) and stewardesses were forced to quit at age 32 or before that if they got too fat for the tiny uniform. Today’s “flight attendant” was pushing Medicare with a pot-belly, and he, too, was wearing shorts.
And planes back then were half full – or half empty, depending on how you looked at it. Today, my filight was totally full – and I was stuck in the middle seat – although it was the bulkhead, so my teeth were not digging into my kneecaps.
And like real estate, computers and the Internet have revolutionized air travel. Like many people looking for homes, I began my search for a ticket on-line, finding non-stop flights on Southwest Airlines out of Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore.
Also, like real estate, various airlines charge a wide range of fares, and there is often little to distinguish my cheap seat on Southwest from the high priced carriers that charge double or triple what I paid. I like to think that with discount real estate brokers, there is a lower level of service than the top-of-the-line quality that my firm offers.
None of the airlines serve real food – at least not anything I would consider eating. They all take the same care (or lack thereof) of your luggage. There are options with respect to cost but not really related to service quality.
There is another similarity between airlines and real estate.
We had a little turbulance – a storm – and we had to circle Providence for over an hour before we could land. And there was nothing I could do about it except to get white knuckles and pray to St. Christopher ( the patron saint of travelers). The pilot was my “trusted advisor” in this situation, and luckily, he knew what he was doing.
It reminded me of those times when my clients and I face a little turbulence in a transaction. It can get pretty white knuckle for them. They usually have no control. And it helps if they think of me as their trusted advisor! I get paid the big bucks because I do the worrying – so they don’t have to.
So now I'm at the cottage with it's pretty little side garden (I think it's actually the neighbor's garden, but it sure is pretty).
And we're a quick walk along this path
to the beach, which is deserted today (it's still drizzling) except for the sea gulls!
And it's a beautiful day - clouds and all! Wow!