Lauro Rizzatti has spent 30 years traveling on commercial airlines, and in the 1970s, he survived a crash, The New York Times' Joe Sharkey writes. Rizzatti says U.S. flight crews are generally friendlier than flight crews in Europe, and he says long-haul planes are far more comfortable than they were 30 years ago. However, Rizzatti notes that upgrades are difficult to get, even for elite fliers.

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