21 Nov Thank You To The Airline Industry
Once upon a time it mattered to the pilots of the civil airliners how much weight they had on board their planes. Those were the days of the early Handley Page, Ford, and Junkers planes. The days of wicker airline seats and walking out to the plane along the tarmac-carrying your own luggage.
The reason the pilots needed to know was the engines of the time were woefully underpowered and if they tried to lift too much weight in passengers and luggage, they risked not getting over the trees at the end of the runway.
Then the jet engine arrived and people could take more and more with them with the prospect of getting it airborne. We all started to pack more and take bigger photographic outfits for our holidays. And ended up on the other end of the trip carrying far more than we needed.
Fortunately, eventually the airline industry experienced higher fuel costs and decided to defray them by charging us more for our baggage. Cheap us, we now carry far less, or suffer for it. We buy our duty free on the ground and keep it there instead of trying to heft it into an overhead locker. We shoot far more with far less – using mirrorless system cameras and super-zoom compacts to capture our trip. We lug less on the ground and are happier for it.
And those of us that get the newer mirrorless outfits will never know want in our images.
I, for one, long for the older airliners. I’m curious to see what a wicker seat feels like at 8000 ft.