Douglas and I travel economy, which generally means coach. Being less than five feet tall, and getting shorter by the day, I can fit into most airline seats with no problem. But, one aspect of travel that I relished having was my carry-on bag, filled with bundles of word puzzle books, my Kindle, my IPad, a change of outfit, and snacks for us. My purse is reserved for medicines and documentation.
What a difference a few months make in the travel industry! Now economy is divided into Premium Economy or Basic Economy or Economy Light. It’s as though the airlines have invented a new caste of people. The difference in what is included in the price can be significant, such as a carry-on or seats assignment, so you have to really be observant.
One thing that these new observations have done, though, is reminded me that where I sit on a plane does not define who I am. A part of me wanted so badly to go for Premium Economy, so I wouldn’t look like a poor relation, the last to get on the plane. But, at the end of the day, all I care about is arriving safely, as I probably will not meet any of my fellow travelers again in this lifetime.
The baggage of inferiority that lingers from growing up poor motivated me to want to pay more. Growing up, I worried about people knowing that I could not afford what others took for granted. So, when I worked and earned a great salary, I would buy the high-priced seats at the symphony or plays, so that it seemed like I was “somebody.”
Then, one day, as I walked from my more than $100 seat, I looked up at the “nosebleed” section, and I realized just how foolish I had been. The people who paid $25 or $35 heard the same music, received the same sensations, and probably had a good laugh on those of us trying to be “bougie,” and failing.
So, I have decided not to play the game with the airlines. Pride does goes before a fall, especially in lowering of your bank account! We will pack light, and proudly pull out out peanuts and crackerjacks, and little packs of cookies. A Mary Poppins size personal item should do me proud.
I know that I am just as valuable as the first-class and business customers, and they don’t arrive at the location any faster than the rest of us. so, I will gladly represent the economy-class travelers with honor and dignity.
But even more important, I want to remember the words of Romans 12:3 when we can afford to fly at a higher price. It states, “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” I want to remember that no one on the plane is better than the next person, and that includes me.