Flights are, let's face it, the primary expense for any traveler. As much as we probably all want to take a motorcycle trip down the Trans-American highway, or hitchhike across Europe, or take the Trans-Siberian railway across Russia, the truth is we all usually fly to our destinations. And flights cost money. So cheap flights
are an ever elusive holy grail for travelers and because of the many carriers these days, and the dismantling of most aviation industry pricing regulation, there always seems like there's another flight out there that might be cheaper, or some secret website written in cyrillic that will provide you with magical mystery tickets.
I'm all for finding the best deals, and figuring out ways to save money. But every once in a while I think we should be appreciative of how good we have it. We live in a time where backpackers and non-rich people can afford to fly all over the world. This is a very new thing.
Flying used to be an incredible luxury. And true, it's still not the cheapest thing and it's still out of the reach of many. But it used to be an upper class thing. Once in a while you will hear older people complain that flying used to be an event. They will bemoan the laziness of people who fly in sweatpants, describing the days when men in suits and women in dresses dressed up for flight. Older men (maybe women too, although I've never heard it) will remember when Stewardesses all looked like models. And everyone reminisces about free drinks and food.
But these are all examples of Airline luxury that were possible precisely because flying was expensive. Yes, it's not the most glamorous thing to do anymore. But that's because air travel has been democratized. I'd rather have access to something more common, instead of dreaming of something luxurious.
Besides, what we've lost in luxury we've gained in options. Now there are far more flights, getaways and holiday packages
than ever before. Never believe anyone when they tell you about the golden age of travel. We're living in it now.