My View For A While: Parental Edition

Off I go for a brief southern sojourn.  But first, the joy of airports at Zero Dark Thirty and cramped flights.

Did I mention “cramped”?

Delta’s definition of “comfort” differs from that which most of us understand.

To experience “comfort” is this seat in “comfort” class you would have to be 6 years old.


After a lousy bagel and schmear in the club, it’s off to the next flight.

In the ramp – chute? – Delta’s version of a red carpet for its boarding patrons.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Airlines’ use of any terms to describe their ‘classes’ of service borders on the Orwellian.

  2. Julia_Augusta says:

    If you fast regularly and I mean a real fast – no eating between sunrise and sunset – you’ll have no trouble squeezing into those seats. Consider airline travel to be a form of mortification of the flesh. Furthermore, imagine that Hell is an eternal ride on Delta or United, with devils as flight attendants.

  3. At the moment I don’t have to imagine.

  4. JustaSinner says:

    But Father, Delta’s slogan is: “Building a better airline, not just a bigger one”.

  5. JustaSinner says:

    Think of this Star Trek TOS episode:
    There is SO much to delve in that episode…

  6. ThePapalCount says:

    Julia — I laughed perhaps snorted aloud when I read your comment. Hilarious.
    You have made airline travel a spiritual exercise of mortification. The “hair-shirt” of our age. The poor souls in purgatory must smile with each Delta take-off.

  7. Elizabeth D says:

    Fly Amtrak. You have to have patience about getting where you are going, but you can have your own room if you want!

  8. Clinton R. says:

    Father, while listening this morning to the Patrick Madrid radio program on Immaculate Heart Radio in Southern California, a caller had a question on the Orans prayer position. The caller wanted to know the proper position of hands for the laity during the prayers at Mass. Mr. Madrid referred him to your blog, and informed him of your extensive knowledge on matters pertaining to the liturgy. Hopefully, the gentleman will indeed do so, as you provide not only a wealth of knowledge on matters of the Faith, but true guidance for the good of our souls.

    God be with you on your travels, Father. +JMJ+

  9. hwriggles4 says:

    Fr. Z:

    Consider taking the extra time to drive (or if you can take the train) to Milwaukee and fly out of Billy Mitchell Airport. Southwest Airlines flies there. Southwest beats their competitors, not you.

  10. yatzer says:

    Ha! I got an “upgrade” for some reason a few years ago. It consisted of walking over a floor mat instead of the basic carpet, and there was a bottle of water waiting on my armrest.

  11. Cranky Old Man says:

    I recently read an amusing book (published electronically only) that engaged both my hatred of airports and my love of Dante. It is available on Amazon, so be sure to boost Fr. Z’s account if you are interested. It is a recitation of the modern woes of airports, but written in Dante’s three-line scheme. Very pointed. Lawrence Vernelle (author), Dante’s Airport: What If Hell For The Modern Man Is Modeled After The Atlanta Airport?

  12. KateD says:

    Shirley, you jest.

  13. Cincinnati Priest says:

    Southwest Airlines does have some good things going for it. Unfortunately, they are also staunchly pro-abortion by corporate policy:

    I reluctantly stopped flying them because of this after writing their customer service department an explanatory letter. Of course, some of the other airlines aren’t much better, such as Delta being the primary sponsor of Cincinnati’s homosexual ‘pride’ parade.

  14. ce lathrop says:

    The phrase, despite the movie, is “Oh Dark Thirty.”
    Oh as in Ohrthodox.

  15. JonPatrick says:

    I agree with Elizabeth D. This August we are traveling from Maine to Chicago via Amtrak. Yes it’s definitely for those that have the time (the joke is that on Amtrak for timekeeping they use a calendar rather than a watch) but it is comfortable and you get to see our great country if you look up from your electronic devices and look out the window (which sadly less and less people seem to be doing).

    Cranky Old Man, the definition of Hell is arriving at Heathrow as a non-UK non-EU traveler. The worst run airport in the world in my experience. Atlanta is paradise by comparison.

  16. TNCath says:

    New Delta Slogan: “At least we aren’t American Airlines.”

  17. marie6566 says:

    Some of these comments are horrid! There are really good people who work at Delta Air Lines and some that read this blog. [I’d really like to know who they are. Would any of you consider dropping me a line?] Maybe this is whiny, but I grew up in an airline family – with lots of relatives working for the airlines. They are good people. My grandfather is one of the first airline pilots hired by an airline – coming out of the navy after WWII. He lived in Bolivia for two years with my grandmother and seven of his nine children working out a safe landing pattern in mountainous La Paz. He was inducted in the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame about ten years ago. My father handled customer complaints for Northwest Airlines for many years. He is retired from the airlines, as is some of my family. But my grandfather would be amazed if he was alive to find how many of his children and in-laws continued in his footsteps. Not just working for the airlines, but serving in the military.

    Delta and any airline for that matter isn’t just a company – it’s people. And the people I know who work for the airlines enjoy their job and really work hard to make customers happy. My brother and daughter have the hardest job of all – they handle all the problems at the airport. My daughter will go out of her way to personally accommodate passengers in tough situations. My husband, who served in the Air Force, is a pilot for Delta. The late Delta CEO, Richard Anderson, a very honest man, helped get this airline out of bankruptcy. He is now the president of Amtrak.

    I would hope that all your experiences with Delta and Southwest (I have to throw Southwest in there for my brother-in-law – who is a pilot for them) would be a great experience. I personally did a lot of flying this year already, and I am proud of the company my husband works for. It is really, really hard for me to manage comments that demonize flight attendants and make the airlines out to be some kind of hell. I also have a hard time with flying in general as being a kind of penance. I realize that in certain situations any kind of travel can be. But I think it’s AMAZING that we have the technology to travel at 30,000 feet above the ground at speeds up to 500 mph. I hope someday you’ll be able to fly with my husband on board as your pilot, he flies the MD-90. I hope that someday you’ll have my daughter help you with any of your problems – she is very caring. I hope you have my aunt, cousin, or friend as your flight attendant – they are the happiest people I know! I hope you have my nephew load your plane. I hope your next experience on Delta is so fantastic you’ll have something good to say. [Me too. Am I optimistic?]

    God bless,
    Candice, Paul, and Justine Panka

    [As I write, I am between flights… Delta flights. On the last one, there was no AC, so we were all pretty much drenched by the time we landed. Boy, it was hot in there. Coming into the terminal was like jumping into the ice pool after a sauna.]

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    Fr. Z, Delta Airlines just recently lost a groom’s luggage on his way to the wedding on – ICELAND … Look what happened!:

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