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.
American 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?
You 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
- International Day of the Girl – Susanne
- The Gap Between Statistics and Real Life — Aline
- On My Mind: October 2021 – Susanne
- The Hot and Cold of October Weather — Aline
Food and Cooking
- Salt: The Only Mineral We Eat – Susanne
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.
Unless 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.