I sometimes find myself longing for the golden days of air travel, when it was a luxurious experience and not just a bunch of sweaty businessmen crammed seven-abreast into 25-year-old planes. To be fair, I'm only in my twenties, so I've never actually experienced this golden era, but I have seen it in the movies: attractive, well-dressed sophisticates sat in comfy chairs with enough room to cross their legs while they read international editions of newspapers, drank coffee out of delicate china mugs, and ... SMOKED.
Smoking has been illegal on U.S. flights since 1987, and most other countries followed suit shortly thereafter. But if you find yourself longing for the good old days—particularly the smoking aspect—-check out SMINTAIR (stands for Smokers International Air). SMINTAIR is a new luxury airline based around bringing luxury to flying. And by luxury, I mean smoking. Here's an excerpt from the company's Web site, smintair.com (which could use a copy editor’s touch):
SMINTAIR will treat its passengers like the guest of an international Grand Hotel. It is an obligation to SMINTAIR to bring back the exclusivity in flying encountered in the 1960s and dearly missed by so many. The classic ambience paired with today's technology will make flying SMINTAIR a unique experience. Presentations of luxurious goods with all due countenance, Telephone, TV, DVD, MP3, Internet, are just some of the many envisioned tools and aspects of in-flight entertainment...Allowing our guests to smoke is one of the freedoms we are happily prepared to grant. Non-smokers will find the cabin air more refreshing than on any other flight with any other airline, as SMINTAIR adds fresh outside air to the conditioning system! This is more expensive, as it burns more fuel, but it is seen as an additional service to our guests.
There are no flights scheduled yet, but let's assume a ticket on SMINTAIR costs about the same as a normal biz-class ticket. Would you pay more to smoke your way to your destination? Tell us in the comments section. -Joe Brown