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Joy of Flying

I’m heading to Atlanta in a couple of weeks for my son’s high school graduation which means I have to get on an airplane. Better, I suppose, than travelling with the Donner party in a horse-drawn wagon across the Rockies- but only because it will take slightly less time to complete the journey.

I’m really looking forward to:

– The security lines
– The shoe-removal exercise
– The scrutiny of the deadly shaving cream and toothpaste I’ll have in my possession
– The nickel-and-dime charges for reserving a seat
– The charges for the luggage if the snarling flight attendant decides my bag’s too big for the carry-on compartment
– The ground-stop delays because there’s too much traffic for air controllers to handle.

This is an industry, mind you, that has to be forced by federal law not to keep their customers trapped in a hot plane on a tarmac for more than three hours and after two hours, is required to offer food and water. Imagine that; needing a law to make them give their stranded captives food and water. The airlines avoid violating the Geneva conventions only because passengers are not considered prisoners of war.

We are cattle to these people. Actually, cattle are fed. We are faceless, pain-in-the-ass cargo to the airline industry. We always have been. It’s just that they used to pretend to be nice to us. Now there are not even the pretentions.

Truth is they only pretended to be nice…to people flying first-class or business. But now that it costs so much to fly and the world wide web allows for things called video-conferencing, they barely have any business customers left.

That leaves them with stingy, vacationing families and would-be terrorists who pay cash for one-way flights to Pakistan. The families, of course, will get strip-searched. The terrorist will get to board right away because he paid top dollar and because international airlines, in particular, have apparently never heard of this thing called a “No-Fly” list.

So, I’m girding up for my big airline adventure in the next couple of weeks and fantasizing about how cool it would be if Amtrak could just build a train that goes 500 miles an hour.

  1. Tom Bailey
    May 5, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Robert,

    I traveled for 40 years for business. At last count I had 3.5 million miles which is about 7,000 hours of flight time. I suggest you drive, I would!

    Taryn says hi!

    Tom Bailey

  2. Taryn Pittman
    May 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Robert,
    Get yourself a 6-pack of beer and take a road trip!

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