Once upon a time, many years ago, it was a pleasure and an adventure to fly. We actually got dressed up -- men in suits and ties; women in dresses and high heels, perhaps a fur coat and hat.
So you want to visit Paris? You were here 40 years ago as an exchange student. Or you were here 30 years ago on your honeymoon. Or 15 years ago on your second honeymoon.
The facial massage is what really did it for me. Not the seat in the Air France business class cabin that reclined flat, not the champagne that flowed...
We paid for our bag as we were boarding the plane (if we could do this, why couldn't we have just paid at the Air France counter?) and noticed that half of the overhead bins were empty.
These days, authorities in Russia are seriously considering the prospect of imposing an airspace ban against all European airlines that fly above the country, using Trans Siberian air route.
Onboard space constraints, limited convection ovens and a major lack of ambiance all detract from the enjoyment of skillfully prepared in-flight cuisine. But the parties who provide airline food won't let fliers' dining experiences become subpar.
Running an airline is a tough business and I wouldn't want to do it myself any more than I would like to run a restaurant. But it is the business the airlines are in and they need to do a better job. This is what you do for a living and we pay you.
I have learned elsewhere in the world there are airlines that people love, Love, LOVE. Both Emirates and Etihad Airways based in nearby Abu Dhabi are two such carriers. That's what makes Etihad's new television commercial so interesting.
Even if Delta retains its corporatist image and mediocre product quality, though, the prospect of being able to accrue, redeem and enjoy benefits on Virgin Atlantic makes Delta's frequent flyer program, SkyMiles, and its alliance network, SkyTeam, much more attractive for transatlantic fliers.
While consumers are dutifully stacking miles and points, the airlines may be counting on those "rewards" going bad before customers can cash in.
Today, sadly, air travel has become an awful, dignity-sucking ordeal as we are forced to stand in long lines without shoes on, subjected to pat downs and body scans. This all for the privilege of being crammed like sardines into a tin can where we might sit on the tarmac for hours, with nary a pretzel or cup of tap water in sight.
How, in the age of satellite navigation and instantaneous global communication, could a state-of-the art airliner simply vanish?
They are armed with colourful balloons and high spirits. There's a rainbow flag in the midst. But according to the Israeli government and the airlines that seem to take their orders from it, they are subversive elements and dangerous criminals.
Père-Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris at 118.6 acres and is said to be the world's most visited home to the dead. It was with some surprise that while taking a stroll there, we came across a memorial to the victims of Air France Flight 447.
After the crash of Flight 447, I faced the Twitter paradox: How can my 16-year-old son, using his cell phone, know his friends' every move, while multi-million dollar airliners are unable to transmit critical information?"
To be an aviation writer these days means being barraged by disparate facts, eyewitness tweets, and partial impressions that can create a Frankenstein-like picture of aviation.