Welcome to The Art of Flying, our expressionistic take on the "art of the aviation experience." This is the sixth in a weekly series of commercial aviation commentaries in the form of poetry by Kambr Inc.'s Martin Kaduc. Read Martin's first poem in the series, Kleenex, here, his second work, Redmond, here, his third entry, Spinners, here, his fourth poem, Coordinates, here, and his most recent, Breathe, here.

I easily recall the feeling of freedom when I took my first non-rev flight, 

It was August 10, 2002, to San Francisco from Dallas I decided to go for a night. 

I was working at my first airline back then and just got exposed to a new life high above,  

In case you’re wondering it wasn’t the shiny aluminum carrier but the other one that people really LUV. 

The journey required a short stop in New Orleans before my flight to Oakland, California-ay 

So long as there was one empty seat it meant I could fly and not have to pay. 

My world was changed that Saturday when I realized what this work benefit really meant, 

And on a global discovery for the next 17 years from that day I was sent, 

I’ve taken almost 2,000 flights since then, a few bad but almost all have been great, 

And had my share of watching the door close on me from vantage at the gate. 

Today my non-rev days are over, I fly confirmed which feels safe and lame,  

But I snap out of my reminiscence when I see the non-rev down the aisle doing the denied walk of shame.