Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Aughts have been nothing if not unkind to the airline industry. But it only takes a few notes of "Rhapsody in Blue" to recall the former glory of the friendly skies: 

Gershwin's tune will always conjure visions of fat 747's gliding safely through the ether, of smiling stewardesses flight attendants demonstrating how to recline your seat, and all that rubbish. It's the fate of anyone growing up in the 90's. 

I recently flew on American Airlines for the first time in I don't know how long. After we landed, after the captain turned off the fasten seat belt sign (though the latches were clicking long before), I heard something funny. It happened on both flights, and I don't know if it's an attempt to pin the memory of a successful flight to a melody, or to keep people calm while they wait to deplane, but Gerry Rafferty's "Right Down the Line" began to play over the loudspeaker. 

It seemed an odd choice to immediately queue up after each landing, but there it was. I think United had it right, picking such an epic song, and if American wants to claim a song of it's own, and insists on accessing the Gerry Rafferty catalogue, they would do a lot better to pick "Baker's Street." That saxophone solo is really something! Adventure! Intrigue in a new city! (Except I was arriving home so I was just sort of bummed.)

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