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Future air travel
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

We recently took a trip by air on Wing Duck Airlines. This airline will check one’s luggage at no cost. Instead of measuring out all my liquid toiletries into teensy bottles, and cramming those in a one quart bag, I could now just throw all my stuff in the bag. Didn’t matter. I could take it all! 

I’d avoid those nasty Transportation Security Administers, known as TSAs  from taking my favorite nail scissors, fingernail files, hair picks, Granny’s homemade salad dressing, and Junior’s toy pistol. These inspections often cause women to break down in tears, and men to get feisty. 

The TSA loves small pocket knives, although large hunting knives, antique flare guns, ninja climbing claws, loaded firearms, and even snakes have been taken in their search. EBay sells numerous items confiscated by the TSA. I continue searching for my little key chain scissors. Little as they were, I felt tears well up when they wrenched it from my clinging fingers..  

Buying air fare is a menu of choices. Lots of options. Do you want to check luggage? Reserve your seats? Go first class, premier, economy, economy Plus, or cattle car seating? We go cattle car. 

Wing Duck offers “cattle car” only, (free for all, line up and then, get ready, set, go!). Fred and I separately grab what we can. I lose sight of him and hope that he made the cut. I plopped down beside a man about our age. Reaching under the seat to push my purse out of sight, I inadvertently cuddled with this stranger with whom I was sharing the arm rest. The two spaces would comfortably hold 1 ½ persons, but there is no way I was going to push him against the window. 

I said, “Hi!’ He didn’t say much at first, but  soon became a willing conversationalist, once he knew I was not going to bite.

We discussed how airlines are giving nothing away; how someday one will have to pay extra just to have a seat. He commented that we were not far from that reality.

This lowest price option would be known as “economy minus”. 

The “no seat” bunch would have to stand the entire time, leaning against a wall, equipped with straps and buckles. Strapped side by side, these “economy minus” passengers would stand shoulder to shoulder, so if one tended to lean, the other would hold him/her up. There would be a space for your items behind your legs, so you’d stand at an angle, leaning against the wall.

“Cattle Car” would be the next step up in pricing, instead of being a step down. However, if one wanted foot and leg space that would be extra. “Cattle Car” level 1 would provide one more inch on the seat depth which would hold your heels. You would sit with your legs bent, and raised in front of your body; subsequently you’d be strapped in tight with your bent legs secured firmly against your chest. 

The Premier class is where the big operators would sit. Each would be served a lunch of pretzels, crackers, and a drink of choice. The lower categories would get fewer pretzels and crackers, now counted and offered on a napkin. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. There would be other choices. But, the highest level, Premier, would travel in a reclined position; the luggage cupboards above the seats being the beds. Folding stools would give access. The rest of the passengers would wait in the terminal until these passengers were loaded.

This is just a glimpse into our future air travel. It’s exciting isn’t it? Just to know that there will be lower air travel pricing, and that we each could choose our own delightful preferences.

I can’t wait.

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at Visit her website