1. See MEN OF HONOR with Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr. I love that it’s based on a true story.
2. American is my favorite airline. But for cities American doesn’t serve, or when I’m feeling particularly cheap, it’s Southwest. If you’ve never flown Southwest, click here. Or call 800-I-FLY-SWA. (It is the most amazing thing: humans answer — generally on the first ring.) You need not book months in advance to get great fares — or stay over a Saturday or fly roundtrip. There are no $75 penalties for changing your plans. The flight attendants make you laugh. (‘Place your seatbacks in their upright and most uncomfortable position,’ they are fond of announcing.)
Yes, the planes are heavily laden with noisy families and vacationers; yes, you will need to bring your own lunch; yes, seating is first-come-first-served; and, yes, you may have to travel a good distance to find an airport Southwest serves. New Yorkers have to go 45 minutes beyond Kennedy to Islip; Washingtonians need to get to Baltimore; Miamians, to Ft. Lauderdale; Angelinos, to Burbank. But check it out. It can save you big bucks.
(There’s no First Class to be upgraded to on Southwest. One friend who strongly prefers First Class surprised me by saying he didn’t mind this. ‘You?’ I asked, incredulous. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I don’t mind not being in First Class as long as no one else is.’ )
Hint: never plan to buy or fix your ticket at the airport. The lines are horrendous. But with a ‘ticketless’ ticket, you go straight to the gate, get a boarding pass (in either the first 30 to board and choose seats, the second 30, the third 30, or the fourth 30 – so come early), and off you go.
Some of you already knew this; some never fly; a few would never fly coach. But the rest of you may easily have saved $500 a year.
3. ‘Forte’ is only pronounced ‘for-TAY’ if you’re talking about a loud piano instruction. If your forte is annoying people by correcting their English, then you pronounce it FORT. Look it up.