chapter  8
13 Pages


The rather simple term flight was preferred as the title for this chapter, which will focus on mobility by air transportation. The term tourism was used elsewhere (Sheller and Urry, 2004c), but flight seems more appropriate here, because our accent in this book is more on forms of mobility rather than on trip objectives. Frändberg and Vilhelmson (2003) went even one step further by calling international travel at large ‘long-distance personal mobility’ (p. 1752). Flight as personal mobility differs, though, from all other forms of personal mobilities discussed so far, in that passengers are not autonomous when travelling by air, as planes are flown by professional pilots rather than by passengers as is the case with automobiles. The basic definition of personal mobility that accentuates driving of the self by the self is irrelevant here, and flight is actually a form of public transportation. Flight differs from all other forms of public transportation as it is imposed on all air passengers, without an alternative of personal mobility in the air, and thus it requires some attention in this volume. Furthermore, passengers’ freedom and autonomy during flight, as the only mode of corporeal mobility in the air, is even more restricted when compared to terrestrial and even maritime mobility, since planes cannot stop in the air, and passengers cannot disembark a plane while being in the air.