Roundup of October 2021 Posts

Pumpkin, October, headphones, Now that it’s November and Halloween dwindles in the rear-view mirror, we enter the year’s major holiday season. Yes, we have stepped on the two-month ramp up to Thanksgiving and then Christmas. The pumpkins go away, although pumpkin spice endures. From here on, we see Christmas decorations and hear Christmas carols pretty much everywhere we go.

The Cancelled Flights

Despite the fact that the pandemic is also diminishing in states with high vaccination rates, Covid-19 hasn’t relinquished its ability to screw up our lives. This applies to travel in particular.

Cancelled flights, departure times, airport, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, October 2021American Airlines recently cancelled hundreds of flights because storms had messed with their hub-and-spoke flight structure. That followed on Southwest Airlines cancelling over 1000 flights last month.

Both airlines blamed weather issues and flight traffic control for their problems but some reports blame staffing issues. After skinnying down their rosters of pilots and flight attendants during the pandemic, airlines are now trying to ramp up flights quickly. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.

This problem could well affect the holiday travel crush as families try to celebrate together once again. After more than a year of separation, folks want to catch up, hug and be hugged, smile at one another and laugh together. They don’t want to see that their flight has been cancelled with no one there to help them reschedule.

Flying the Angry Skies

Once you actually get on the plane, of course, you have to deal with flight rage. Adults behaving badly has become this year’s travel theme. The Federal Aviation Administration has logged nearly 5,000 cases of unruly or violent passengers on airplanes so far in 2021. Abuse against flight attendants has escalated from verbal threats and abuse to punches, groping, shoving and slapping. What is wrong with people?

airplane passengers, fighting, unruly behaviorYou would think that grownups could understand one simple fact: on an airplane we really are all in this together. Your politics, beliefs, and opinions don’t matter. If anything happens to that plane, it happens to everyone on it.

At tens of thousands of feet in the air, the people who know what to do and how are the flight attendants. They are trained to deal with things you have never imagined. Be nice to them—their first job is to keep you safe, even if you’re an idiot. If you don’t want to wear a mask, fasten your seatbelt, stay in your seat or get rousted from your nap in the aisle, don’t fly.

Roundup of October 2021 Posts

If you find all that too depressing for words, try our October words instead. Here’s the monthly roundup of October 2021 posts on The Next Phase Blog. Before the drive toward the holidays consumes us, take a moment to look back over the October 2021 posts and catch up on any you missed.


Boston and History


Culture and Lifestyle

Food and Cooking


Onward to Christmas

So, now the gruesome Halloween decorations disappear and over-the-top Christmas lights go up. The days grow shorter and speed up as we lurch toward the end of the  year. There’s nothing we can do about the pervasive Christmas carols, the Black Friday sales, the endless repetitions of The Nutcracker, and tinkly sparkly commercials.

hot spiced tea, holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, October 2021Unless you plan to buy your significant other a brand new car and park it in the driveway with a big red bow on the top (and if you are, let me know because I want to be your friend) these commercials bear no resemblance to reality.

Relax. Grab a good book and sit by the fire with a cup of tea — or a glass of Scotch if you prefer. The best thing to do is just wait it out until the holidays are over.


This entry was posted in Animals, Books, Boston, Food and Cooking, Lifestyle & Culture, Susanne Skinner, Women Challenging Change and tagged , , , , , , , , , , by Aline Kaplan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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