Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Adventures for All

Airline Employees Mostly Overlooked and Underrated

airline employees

It’s a busy summer evening at Sky Harbor. And airline employees keep the dance running smoothly, for the most part.

There’s a day/week/month honoring just about everything these days … donuts, India Pale Ale, truck drivers, pie – you name it.

Guess who doesn’t have one? Airline employees. Pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and all the other people who do nothing but fly you safely at 35,000 feet for fares that are relatively peanuts next to any other time in human history. They don’t have any sort of appreciation days that I could find. The closest I could come is October, which is Flight Attendant Appreciation Month at Allegiant Airlines. Correct me if I’m wrong and missing something I should know about.

Oh, and if you’re going to complain about TSA or uncomfortable seats or bad food or spotty in-flight Internet, watch the video below. If you can still summon a complaint, maybe you’re just a whiner (and you wouldn’t have lasted three hours in a covered wagon).

I am convinced that people take for granted the expertise, experience and professionalism or airline employees. All they do is make it possible for them to fly. Sure, things go wrong. But we’re talking about a complicated ballet of humans, machinery and software. And I’ll admit that some people on both sides of the ticket counter are better than others at making the best of bad situations. By and large, though, airline employees do a great job.

Here’s my message to every pilot, flight attendant, mechanic, gate agent, baggage handler and all other airline employees: Your profession is every bit as worthy as any other of some sort of appreciation or recognition. Until someone steps up for you, I hope you’ll realize I’m glad you do what you do so well. And hey, I know things don’t always work out the way they should. When something doesn’t go my way, I’ll be patient with you. You might not have your official appreciation. You might get flak from passengers short on patience … but there are people out there who appreciate you every time they step on a plane.


What’s Brazil Like?

If you’re wondering “What’s Brazil like?”, I have a small part of your answer. It’s a big country, and I was only in one city – Curitiba – for seven days. But I’ll give you some ideas for at least a segment of any future trip to Brazil. Brazil in a Word: Stylish From theContinue Reading

What’s Belize Like?

If you’ve ever wondered “What’s Belize Like?”, the latest entry in my “What’s it Like” series has the answer. Belize in a Word: Narrow OK, what do I mean by “narrow?” Well, it means that Belize has a narrow range of appeal. If you’re going there for food or beaches, prepare to be disappointed. IContinue Reading

What Gear Do I Need in My Daypack?

Outside magazine claims that a reader wrote in to ask “What Gear Do I Need in My Daypack?” It’s answer shocked me, and reaffirmed why I don’t read Outside magazine. Go look. OK, you don’t feel like giving Outside magazine the click? Fair enough. To adapt a phrase from Joan Jett, I hate myself forContinue Reading

Re-Thinking Foreign Language Studies in the U.S.

U.S. schools need to get better at foreign language studies. Sure, you can find hundreds of online articles that say A) Americans are even worse at foreign languages than we realize or B) it’s not as bad as everyone says. Here’s the reality: When I run into someone from Germany, the Netherlands or Norway, they speakContinue Reading

What’s Australia Like?

I mark 2005 as the true beginning of my international travel experience. Since then, the way I view travel has changed as I’ve seen and done more. This post marks the first in a series that collects and compares what I’ve learned. Let’s get it started with “What’s Australia Like?”, a look at what youContinue Reading

The Internet Isn’t the Problem

Some article with the clickbait headline of Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads (And Why You Shouldn’t Either) is making the rounds on Facebook. As you can guess, people are sharing it and crowing about their Internet-free childhood and all the fun they used to have sans computer. Or with slow Internet.Continue Reading

A Look Back at Defunct Sports Teams

The upcoming hockey season has me thinking about all the defunct sports teams from Arizona’s history. Yeah, I don’t get very excited about the Arizona Coyotes, a team that’s done just about everything possible to antagonize and alienate its potential fan base. I’d trade them in a second to have our minor league Phoenix RoadrunnersContinue Reading

Great Backpacking Destination: Iceland

Iceland is made for backpacking. It has a wealth of trails that are supported by smart amenities and relatively easy to access. The country has embraced the backpacker, with plenty of touring groups, sports shops and hostels. Here are some other reasons why it’s a great backpacking destination. Incredible Scenery Icelanders realize what makes the countryContinue Reading

World’s Best Museums: My Top 5

You know I’m not really going to tell you that my Top 5 list is the sole authority on the world’s best museums. This is just a snapshot of what I like … and I want to hear your responses. To compile my list, I considered a few factors: Weirdness, content and different perspectives just toContinue Reading