I flew to and from Indianapolis, Indiana this past weekend (as readers are wearily familiar by now), and it gave me another opportunity to interact with that most loathsome of institutions, the American airline.
Honestly, I was blessed with two easy, uneventful flights—no delays, no missed connections, no overly officious airport functionaries. I even got two Coke Zeroes on my flight up.
One jarring element of flying was the abundance of mask propaganda at the airport. Living in South Carolina—free territory—I seldom have to wear a mask anywhere anymore, so wearing one on the plane was a bit shocking. A friend reminded me that I would need one, and that gaiters are not allowed, so I begrudgingly took a pack along.
In the Charlotte, North Carolina airport, one guy asked me, as I got into the security line, if I had a mask. I started fumbling for it in my pocket, and he said, “You’re good.” Apparently, he just wanted to ask make sure I had one so they wouldn’t boot me off the plane. I did put it on before passing through security (where you have to pull it down so they can check your face against your ID), but ripped it off again as soon as possible.
I’m still blown away by how many folks wear them, but especially at the airport. Out of the hundreds of people I saw, I was probably one of five people in the entire Charlotte airport not wearing a mask. In the Indianapolis airport, there were even fewer facial nudists.
Regardless, it seems like a lot of the mask hysteria has died down. Yeah, there was tons of mask propaganda plastered all over the Charlotte airport, and the flight attendants made a big deal about it rhetorically on the flights (especially the one from Indianapolis back to Charlotte), but I got the impression that if I wanted to sit maskless for the entire flight, no one would bother me about it.
The airline industry is probably the worst of all about treating human beings like cattle to be herded mindlessly on board flying metal tubes. Probably only credit agencies are worse, and at least on a plane you get some pretzels (thanks to the peanut allergy folks for ruining something else for us). I don’t think TransUnion is going to send me any treats anytime soon.
So if airlines are cooling on the mask hysteria, we might finally—finally—putting that absurdity behind us.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to go on a mask rant, but here we are.
With that, here is “Wayback Wednesday: Airlines; Back to the Grind“: