I've discovered a wonderful new airline called Boomer Air. Only people over the age of 50 are allowed to fly on it. I just got back from a flight and can't praise it enough.
First off, you don’t make reservations online. You do it by phone. I called 1-800-BOOMER and talked to a live agent, who booked both departure and return tickets at times that worked perfectly with my schedule. All flights, he noted, are direct.
Several hours before the flight, a representative called me with an update. “We don’t like to text,” she said. “We like talking to our passengers.”
I arrived at the airport early, assuming there would be hordes of people trying to get through security. But there was no crush. The airline has its own security. “I’m sorry,” the TSA agent said to me upon examining my ID, “but you’re in the wrong line. This is only for people over the age of 50. That can’t be you.” He said that to everyone.
(MORE: Why Flying Is a Pain in the Back When You're Older)
The security officers spoke slowly and clearly. They didn’t bark at me when I failed to remove my belt or get my laptop out of its case fast enough. No young executive shoved me from behind.
Boarding was a breeze. Since Boomer Air doesn’t charge for luggage, passengers were unencumbered with carry-ons. The flight attendants couldn’t have been more polite as I looked for my seat — they even helped me put my briefcase in the overhead bin. I later learned that Boomer Air attendants undergo strict background checks to make sure that they adore their grandparents and bring them presents on their birthdays.
On every seat arm was a bottle of water and a gentle reminder: “Be sure and take your pills.”
Just before takeoff, the pilot welcomed us aboard and gave us flight information. A few minutes later, he repeated the same information for those who had already forgotten what he had said.
Since there was no first or business class to hog space on the plane, everyone had plenty of legroom, and could recline their seat without kneecapping the person behind them. Because the middle seat was kept empty, it wasn’t too difficult to get up and use the bathrooms.
The food-and-beverage service was exquisite. Instead of complimentary pretzels and a soft drink, we received a hot meal and a glass of wine — free of charge. “This is better than first class,” I said to a flight attendant. “No,” she replied, “it’s the standard fare that every coach passenger used to get.”
I also had a delicious nap. No screaming babies.
We arrived not on time but an hour early, just like my grandparents used to do when my parents would invite them to dinner.
Before we got up from our seats, the flight attendants helped us get our swollen feet back into our shoes.
(MORE: Tips for Seniors Traveling Abroad)
As we exited the plane, the captain and crew thanked us for flying Boomer Air. They said our bags were already waiting for us.
It was the best flight I’ve had since deregulation.
There’s only one problem with Boomer Air. No, not the price of the ticket. It’s that the airline services a very limited area.
It flies only in my wildest dreams.
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