The Route 66 of Air Travel

We live in the age of flight. And flight itself is well past middle-aged.

We often take flight for granted. It’s commonplace to pay several hundred dollars, hop on a plane, and find yourself in a completely different landscape a few hours later. The annoyances and aggravation of air travel frequently outweigh the amazement of it all.

Maybe that’s because we have all just adjusted and gotten used to it. Or maybe it’s because we are typically flying at 35,000 feet instead of 3,500 feet.

In this thread Milepoint members discuss an article in the New York Times travel section in which Deborah Fallows describes the experience of traveling around the U.S. in a small, private plane. It’s a completely different experience than flying in a commercial jetliner. Despite traveling at an altitude ~32,000 feet lower, being able to clearly make out boats, buses, and buildings enhances the perspective and offers a direct reminder of your position above it all. A perspective that is easy to forget when you are positioned well above the clouds, with so little to see out the window that you often just draw the shade closed.

And while big commercial jets offer a unique experience of their own, you can be certain you will never park a Boeing 747 for the night and camp out under the wings, as Gargoyle’s brother and father did in their two-seater when traveling cross-country.

Image by Nelson de Witt from USA (Puente de las Americas) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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