Magic Carpet Ride

You know how it goes. Street rat in disguise woos princess away from her balcony with an offer to show her the world by magic carpet. She accepts, and it’s glorious. Fantastical. Amazing. Romantic, the kind of adventure a young girl would give her right arm for.

But I’m old and jaded now, and you know what? It’s a carpet. There won’t anything between you and the elements, no stable foundation for your backside, no one serving warm rolls and instant noodles, no inflight entertainment.

Economy class is a bit harder on the body. It’s a cattle car on a flying bus with a caste system. There’s the one percent – first class, with its hot towels and personalized care. Then upper middle class – business class, with its bags of warm nuts. Then there’s lower middle class – premium economy, the place where the more fortunate bob up from under, using their miles or squeezing the last drops of their life savings for slightly larger inflight entertainment screens and a bit more legroom. The rest of us ne’er do wells are in economy, herded together like a bunch of sheep hitching a ride to the slaughterhouse.

I personally enjoy nabbing the cheapest prices I can find, but you really do get what you pay for. It’s fine for short haul flights that take about two or three hours tops, but when you’re winging your way across the Pacific on a flight that lasts for forever in the middle seat and unable to stretch your legs (and really, much of anything) it’s an exquisite sort of torture. Exquisite because I know I’m going to end up somewhere nice, like Silliman University’s Founder’s Day celebration (yay!). Torture, because it’s fifteen interminable hours of being in one position, praying the passenger in front of you isn’t a jerk about reclining, that the people you share seats with won’t come with a squalling little human and that the stranger behind you doesn’t treat the touch screen monitor like a punching bag.

Worst of all, airlines never let you forget how much better you can have it if you just pay more. Why else do we peons get a glimpse of the business class section on our way to the back of the bus plane? With its roomy seats that turn into recliners, ample legroom and enough space to for others to respect your own personal bubble, business class is a glimpse of heaven on your way to hell. Wish you were here! It’s awful.

So to everyone who’s flown in to catch SU’s 117th anniversary and did it on an economy fare, I salute you. Loyal shall we e’er remain, indeed. Happy birthday, Silliman!

 

Image Disney/Aladdin

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