A 37-year history of descent into airline hell

A 37-year history of descent into airline hell

By Joe Nocera, Bloomberg View

IF YOU’RE AN airline passenger of a certain age, you remember what it was like in those years before 1978. You remember the expansive legroom (36 inches from seat back to back rest!), the empty middle seats (the typical plane was around 60% full), the hot meals (served with metal knives and forks), the lack of fees, even the ease with which you could glide from the ticket counter to the airplane (no Transportation Security Administration!). Though the airline industry had lost its sheen of glamor by the 1970s, flying was still more pleasant than not.

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