This morning’s news covered the layoff news from air travel giants American and United. I can’t say I am surprised, and I doubt that anyone else is, either. This whole “stay home, stay safe” deal has been beyond brutal for the airlines. In spite of my frustration with their annoying charges for luggage and seat assignments—and how they keep shrinking the personal space they give us, I still feel for them.
The newscast also made me think of a friend of mine here in Vermont. Her husband is a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Just last week, she shared with us all how Southwest has been proactive about furloughs and offering early retirement opportunities. In fact, her husband has opted for a furlough himself.
She outlined their travel plans, explaining that the two of them decided that if he were going to do this, they “might as well make it count”. They have already utilized their camper for some trips nearby. But soon they are off for longer trips. The holidays will find them in Texas, back with relatives they don’t see very often.
As she was happily describing their next few months, the first expression that came to mind was “turn lemons into lemonade”. After all, they were not ready for retirement, and they were not planning on losing their incomes yet.
But the more I think about it, they have a chance to try out a few things, see what they like, discover what they don’t want to do. In my mind, this also counts as a “silver lining”.