An old friend returns and talks about flying “free”

Well, its good to be back again, blogging about travel! I wish I could explain my absence during the last year, by saying something like I was trekking through the Amazon, or cycling across the USA, but the truth is, I have just been busy with jobs, kids, moving and all the other mundane stuff of life. I have a bit more time on my hands and missed posting on here, so here I am, courtesy of Jim. Comments and suggestions are always welcome!

I am still in beautiful New Jersey and like living here, other than the fact that to leave the state you have to pay a toll to drive over the bridge to either Delaware or Pennsylvania, on some of the bridges the charge is $5. (Its worth paying to leave New Jersey, as the old joke goes) This made me wonder what the most expensive bridge or road toll is in the US and one of the most expensive must surely be the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel, (near Norfolk, VA) which costs $12 one way, although admittedly its quite a scenic journey. And I’m disappointed that I still haven’t seen the Jersey Devil, a sort of mythical creature said to live not far from here.

I no longer work in the travel business and feel that 20 years was enough of irate passengers, delayed flights, missing luggage and stupid questions! But it did occur to me that the travel industry is still considered to be exciting and glamorous and there will probably always be a place for travel agents as there are still some people out there who don’t like to book their trip on line, especially agencies that specialize in ‘complicated’ trips. So I thought I would write regularly in these pieces about what its like to work in the industry, the up and downs of working for an airline, how to go about it if the thought of working in travel appeals to you. and anything else relevant..

Of course, one of the big appeals of working for an airline is the free flights that everyone knows you get. (If I wasn’t married I would have bought one of those tee-shirts that reads “I work for an airline, marry me and fly for free!” ) In reality, the flights are not free, as I remember having to pay various taxes, processing fees, etc that sometimes seemed to be as much as the cheapest coach ticket cost. And of course, it was often difficult to get a seat on the plane, especially in markets where there was just one flight a day. I sometimes wonder how much of my life I have spent sitting anxiously by the gate, waiting for my name to be called and hear the magical sound of a a boarding pass being issued. According to my friends who still work for a major airline, it is even more difficult now to find a seat as the airlines have cut back service and introduced smaller planes on many routes. Airline employees also get discounts on other airlines, although again this is not always easy as it involves flying standby and you cannot easily check flight availability. This site at least helps to make the whole process easier, although I don’t remember this being there when I needed it. Anyway, there will be more on the ups and downs of working in the travel industry, meanwhile, as I say its good to be back on here!

Guest entry by Mancunian

Filed Under: Travel & tourism jobs

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  1. Sharon says:

    Welcome back! Looking forward to hearing more from you.

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