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The Mile Higher Club: the Airways

(create bibliography page, include Metrolink)

Since September 11th, 2001--though one barely needs to mention the year--your average traveller has noticed an insane upgrade of security measures. It's understandable, certainly, but to the leisure traveller it's an imposition. It's hard to get away from it all when you're taking off your shoes among complete strangers, getting eyed and x-rayed and even virtually stripped by the new machine that some airports use to make sure you're not carrying anything even remotely like a weapon. It's shocking, to the casual flyer.

To a different type, well, it's a bother. There are the air commuters, that handful of souls for whom a commercial jet ride is no more interesting than driving an hour to work. He's learned what to pack and what not to pack, and in turn the concierges have learned what to include in his hotel room. The security, like anything else, is just something to be adapted to on the way to your meeting.

These hardy souls (like the train commuters on which I've based them) know their captains by name and consider their flight attendants and fellow commuters something like friends. They know each other in the way that urban dwellers often know each other--warmly but not intimately. Shared hobbies, sure, and a few become friends in the cities where they land. But in the air, they're...neighbors.

The passengers on the red eye flight
I'm not so indulgent that they're completely background, but some are more important than the others. Like the pilot...

Marty Lehri
PM and Angel's Flight chat session, posts #1017  to #1063 intermittently. (My apologies to the players--I've described him variously as having a faint unplaceable accent and having none at all. He sounds completely American.) Friendly, especially to those folks associated with 'John Wyatt' the Air Marshall; you could chalk this up in part to knowing the Marshall keeps his plane safe. A conscientious pilot, though with the machismo one often finds in that profession. He is on the short side (around 5'10") and appears to be of north African descent.   He has a pale and freckled wife named Amy and they clearly adore each other and want to have kids together.

Derek, Kyriotate of the Wind.
Friend of the Unseen and Seneschal of the Wind tether in the role of various flight attendants. Derek's preferred ride is that of a slight young man who walks with a bit of a swish, but he could as easily be the older lady flight attendant with the red hair and Southern manners, and occasionally the cat or dog in the carrier someone brought on board. Until now the Wind tether has never been breached, taking advantage of airport security and Derek's own talents.

Ryuki is of course a frequent passenger on this plane, using it to commute from his office in Honolulu to his home in San Francisco, occasionally stopping off in Los Angeles to do business...of one sort or another.
Others are described here: Angel's Flight
Sometimes too they have a little fun. I'm hoping the author of this clip leaves it up for a long time:

A brief description of the air commuters in Mile Higher Club is here