When popularized in the 1960s, jet travel heralded a glamorous, exciting new age of travel filled with customer service, passenger comfort and speedy travel. The speed remains today, but the other advantages have faded and disappeared. However, air travel continue to grow because wise travelers are aware of its pros and cons.
Despite security and schedule delays, flying by jet at over 500 miles per hour is the fastest way to get anywhere. Transoceanic journeys take hours instead of days and weeks.
According to the Smithsonian Institute, air travel remains the safest form of travel. More people in the United States die from auto accidents in three months than have died in the entire history of commercial aviation.
While seated in an airplane, you can use travel time to continue work: write letters, handle figures and process business information on a laptop.
With the rising cost of fuel, passenger tickets have become increasingly expensive. Expect to pay from a couple of hundred to a few thousand dollars for a ticket. The price often depends on where you're going and what class you fly.
Getting on board the airplane requires waiting for the plane to arrive and for your baggage to appear. It also requires standing in lines to go through security, to check in and to board. This forces you to add hours to the beginning and end of your flight just to perform all the needed tasks.
Crammed three-to-five in a section, economy class passengers endure several hours of immobility with seats that are too close and too narrow. They then need to cope with the constant droning of jet noise and the lack of consumables for a hungry belly.