Flight Attendants moving up and down the aisles with big open trash bags calling out "trash...trash..." is an example of what today's travelers hear on domestic flights.
Surly service at the gate and on board have become quite common particularly on domestic flights.
The past was a glorious time to fly...china settings, real silverware, hot meals on board, full carts of free beverage, and basics like magazines, pillows and blankets were a minimum standard.
The first class cabin, a true past luxury on domestic flights has become a much hyped up offering full of "upgraded" passengers with high status. Airlines have created a sport in scoring an upgrade as passengers compete furiously for limited number of seats. Cold sandwiches and drinks in plastic cups await the lucky ones.
There is no avoiding to this new normal. Airlines through their alliances, joint ventures and code shares have carved out the map and created a false sense of competition that exists in only a handful of markets where the legacies compete with the upstarts.
The new normal is here to stay, at least for the forseeable future.