Ah - gotcha. I was struggling to articulate what niggled me about British Airway's 'To Fly, To Serve' ad, but seeing a new campaign from American Airlines flagged on eyefortravel kicked my brain into gear.
American Airlines has launched a new advertising campaign which encourages customers "to travel without putting their life on pause"
Now, I like the BA clip. It's grown-up and utterly irony-free, which in advertising is a thing to be treasured; most of all, it's well shot and makes fluid visual use of the airline's long history.
But it's precisely that baggage - pardon the pun - that was getting to me. In the TF,TS universe flying is a big, big deal. Every flight has history upon its shoulders. True as this might be, and nice as it might be to think about in another time and place, modern air travel is already far too much of a big deal.
The experience at airports isn't great - we needn't go back over how or why. In the sky even BA and its fellow full-service carriers are being forced trim some of the frills (goodbye hot towels, meals on short haul flights, etc). Basically, unless you're a denizen of the lounge-to-premium-cabin circuit, the modern passenger experience is a difficult situation to gild - and that makes the hand of history feel a little clumsy.
Here's American's ad:
'Fly without putting your life on pause' may not be as brave, and let's not get into how well it stands up as a point of differentiation. But it does appear to recognise what's really on Mr and Mrs A. Passenger's minds when they set out for the airport.