Fit to Fly

      Safety has been the primary concern of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since September 11, 2001. The last time I flew to Kentucky to visit my dear friend, Micky; I received calls and texts for weeks afterwards over the embarrassment of once again having to be checked for boarding. I understand the need for safety. I understand the heightened awareness for having extraneous measures in circumstances when a person triggers the scanner at the airport. However, to be patted down in various areas by another woman in the middle of people passing by, or others waiting in line, is by far an eye soar.

     This morning I was doing as much as I could to get my home in order for my evening freedom. I walk in the afternoons at the Lincoln Parish Park. Sometimes I take my bike on the beginner trails, as I lack the strength to hit the more aggressive trails. I, like most people, need the exercise and if I lost a few pounds here or there; well, that would only benefit my body as well. I try to eat healthy foods, take vitamin supplements, follow the doctor’s orders, and get a certain amount of exercise to stay healthy and fit. It wasn’t until this morning that I realized fitness is no longer a choice for remaining healthy. It has become a way of life.

     This morning I was made aware that a deeper concern has been addressed by the airlines. The airlines have gone forward as to remove meal trays on flights. They now want to move towards a “pay by the pound” program. My immediate thought was not only will I have to be searched in the middle of a crowded airport, I will also have to stand on the “Super Model Scales” to assess the amount of my ticket. There will be a surcharge added for everyone weighing more than 100 pounds. Depending how far you are over the 100 pound limit, your ticket will receive the necessary charges. Perhaps you are one of those tall people, well your ticket will be charged for your extra legroom. Then again, maybe you are short, and suffer from the apple shaped figure. Sometimes genetics influences our weight in a variety of ways. If so, if any part of your anatomy overflows onto the seat next to you, you could be charged for the price of two seats.

     “Dr. Tony Webber, a chief economist, advised based on the numbers of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average weight of Americans increased 30 pounds from 1960-2002.”  “Webber blames higher airfares in part on expensive jet fuel coupled with rising obesity rates because it takes more fuel to carry more weight.” (CNN, 2013)  With the luring prices of flying on the rise and the rising cost of gasoline, will people travel? If they do, will they concentrate on losing weight to be healthy, or will they lose weight just to be able travel long distances? Maybe this will be something that will catch the eye of Washington? Then again, there is a lot of room in Air Force One. I’m quite sure there’s more than a bag of peanuts being served. I don’t think this will be one of those instances we will get much help on unless it is from a weight loss program.

  Source: Should the Presidential Candidates Care About Airline Fees?

Published March 28, 2013,

The Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench.

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