Is There Anything Worse Than Air Travel?
You’ve got to hand it to the airline industry for knowing how to start or end a trip in the most miserable manner.
It starts with the reservation. It only makes sense to use your computer/smartphone when making a reservation since talking to a human person either in the U.S. or in one of the outsourced places we all love will cost you a fee. (Don’t you love the American names like Bob or Jane that our friends in India, Philippines or Egypt use to make us feel at home)? If you can get past the lovely accents, you realize the computer is much more your friend.
Back to the reservation situation. What’s the price for a flight? Depends doesn’t it! Need a flight today or tomorrow and you’ll pay a high rate. Plan ahead and perhaps you’ll get a good price, but it is always better on Tuesday afternoon or on Wednesday. Or maybe you won’t.
That’s just how it is.
G-d forbid there is a medical situation or a death where your presence is required. Supposedly, you get a special rate…. Yeh, special for the airline which may discount ever so slightly off the highest price they are charging for your flight. In every case you’re screwed!
OK, you have your ticket. You can check-in on-line, at the Sky Cap area where you will be hit with a $25 per bag charge unless you have a high price credit card, and you purchased your ticket with that very same credit card (cost us $25 on a previous trip, but we learn our lessons). And then pray your bad will arrive on the same flight you do. Going through Denver, assume your bag will see parts of the country you won’t.
Now it’s TSA time! Oh, goody.
Is it me, or has the process changed for the dumber?
Take off your shoes if you are under 75. Appears my feet are still to young, and thus pose a threat to safety (not that big a threat since they get washed daily) Having learned my lessons previously, I now travel with a small shoe horn (plastic of course), which I keep in my back pocket for when the ordeal is finished.
Dump your stuff into a plastic tray which held who knows what previously. Your computer must be out and in a separate tray, but at least you don’t have to turn it on anymore.
Cosmetics et al must still be in plastic bags. Other crap containing metal in a separate tray. And then it’s on to the metal detector…. Forgot to take off your belt? Your pants fall down, but who cares. It’s clear TSA doesn’t hire for personality (do they have any?).
Finally, you are through the next to last hurdle that of actually boarding the plane. The airlines still don’t have it down whether it’s best to board from the back forward or from the front to the back. There have been studies, but each airline does it there own way.
First class and executives who spend a zillion miles in the air get to go on first. At the same time, military in uniform, people with special needs and crying children go next.
Finally, your group number is called and you battle for position (feels like you are in China again as you push forward for your opportunity to be uncomfortable for the next few hours).
As you rush forward only to be stopped every other step as someone ever so slowly attempts to shove a bag in the overhead bin. Out come the sandwiches and suddenly the entire airplane smells of garlic or salami.
The uber fat lady sits somewhere else and you breathe a sigh of relief. Oops, spoke to soon for there’s that non-stop crying baby near you. I could go on, but you get the idea: Air travel just isn’t fun anymore.
I’m old enough to remember when the Cabin Attendants were all attractive females. In those days, one could fanaticize… Now the women tend to be older and frumpy, and the male attendants seem to prefer other men (not that there is anything wrong with that!).
Only those who fly Southwest seem to enjoy themselves. The rest of us, sit back in our uncomfortable seats (more leg room is available for only $38 per person, per flight). Try to sleep; it’ll be over soon enough.
In olden days – you know before allergies- you got free peanuts. Not any more. Food such as it is –unless you are in Business or First Class costs you cash (actually credit card only payments are now accepted). Some airlines will charge you for a blanket, for carrying-on luggage, for whatever they can hit you up for.
Finally, you arrive.
Then you can do battle with Baggage Claim. Have a great trip!
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