If man were meant to fly....

I think the Flat-Earth society has taken over commercial air transportation. I am willing to stipulate that I am one of the way-too-impatient, way-too-intollerant, gnat-on-crack-attention-span-blessed common folk. That being said, it seems to be a sad state of affairs when the best thing you can say for flying coach is that you survived.

The airline employees are not to blame. They work hard, with little support. They face a frustrated client base every day and do the best they can. It is not the ticket seller's fault their corporate headquarters down sized the flight crews, sold off half the fleet and pocketed any and all gov bailout monies to bolster third quarter returns. It's not the gate attendants' fault that the dotcom travel agencies oversell flights, create ghost carriers, and leave the real people to apologize to JQP.

I blame on the greedy CF'NO's and Human Resource overseers who know we have to fly, and will put up with just about anything to go and return in one piece. I don't mind the heightened security measures. Heck, I'd strip to my jockies and fly in a hospital gown (as long as the first class customers join me!). But I truly believe that at the theme of the annual Air Carriers Corporate Customer Service Retreat and Fox Hunt is "Let them eat cake!"

They have us by the seat cushions, people. Is resistance is futile?

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oh, jesus. northwest is horrendous!

on a trip to oregon, my departing flight was delayed for 4 hours and they put me on a plane to denver. got there and there was no connecting flight until the next day.

my most recent experience:
my kids and i had direct flight tickets for a quick two-day thanksgiving trip to florida to visit my dad. saturday i get an email that says the return flight will now leave hours earlier, with a connecting flight in ohio. since the trip was already going to be short and i'd deliberately chosen to fly into orlando because it was a direct flight, i called northwest to get a refund. they said they could only give credit, plus i would be charged 60 bucks a ticket. WTF??? After two or three hours and a supervisor, i finally got a full refund. thanks northwest. it took about a week to put the thanksgiving trip together, and now all plans are canceled, plus i had to call around and cancel hotels and car rental.
I think there are great stories out there. Mysteries and expose's about what happens behind the scenes. I want Anderson Cooper to tear away the kevlar curtain and expose a parallel universe behind all of those restricted access doors. There, hidden cameras will reveal airline boards of directors sitting around giant horizontal flat screen monitors and using laser pointers to mis direct flights for fun and fancy. They will be shown to hold weekly canceled flight pools with the winner getting a huge stream of credits in his frequent flyer account and custom orthopedic flight chairs for his/her coporate jet.

Even Disney makes its execs work one holiday as grounds sweepers. Lets put those VIPs on a Northwest flight fom Newark to Midway Island, with no stops, one paperless working bathroom, and an inflight movie marathon of Steven Segal's and Chuck Norris's worst work.
Laptops. Ugh.

I'll do the belt. I'll do the shoes. I'll empty my pockets into a zippered pocket of my carryon that I keep empty just for that purpose.

But why do I have to extricate my laptop from a thin nylon or leather carrying case? If the X-ray machine is all-powerful enough to look through everything in my suitcase, why can't it look through my computer briefcase?

By the way, I won't disagree with your characterization of Northwest, but I'll see you AmericaWest, which is the US airline equivalent of those municipal buses you see in Mumbai, with people hanging off the sides and chickens running down the dusty road in their wake.
Flying has become much like taking the bus, but with wings and longer lines.
Unfortunately for me the closest major airport is O'Hare. I'm not sure what's worse, driving there from Kalamazoo, or actually having to spend time in the airport waiting for my flight.
I'm not fond of flying either, although I do start out at a regional airport...gets all the security and baggage rummaging out of the way for at least one half of my trip. I fly American because a) that's the regional carrier here (other than NWA) and b) I own stock in the company (which I bought after 9/11 as a show of support). Other than 'flow control' I'm usually fine with the flights. I give myself plenty of layover time at O'Hare both coming and going, so what stops me in my tracks is the weather. And I hope the airlines don't control that!
II've had more negative experiences flying overseas than I have had here, but maybe I've just been lucky (and I don't fly NWA because they still use turbo-props here. Nothing like making a one-engine landing in the middle of December at midnight.At least there was no corn in the fields surrounding the runway!)


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