Monday, July 26, 2010

If you have time to spare, go by air....

Just returned from a flight to Seattle. The pleasure started at check in where the TSA is waging war on men's toiletries. They objected to toothpaste, aftershave, and shaving cream. Lethal they are. Bring down the whole plane with a can of Barbasol. And they still make you take off your shoes and Xray them.
Once on board, less those dangerous toiletries, we find the airlines have been studying up on cattle cars. Seat pitch is down to 27 inches. Load factor was up to 100% on all four legs of the trip. There was a time when the planes flew with 60% load factors. Not any more. And the middle seat is still crowded. And the seats are hard and lumpy, especially after flying across the continent. They don't serve food anymore, and they whine if you bring your own. United, once a major carrier, is now specializing in puddle jumpers rented from no name carriers and painted in United colors. And they don't fly non stop. Any trip requires a stop and a plane change and a wait in the middle of the country. And the airports are so big you have to ride a subway to get from gate to gate. I love schlepping my bags onto the subway. And the air[ort prices. Beer is $6 a glass. I can get a whole six pack for less at Mac's Market.
I'll drive for anything less than a clean across the country trip, just to avoid the hassle and the discomfort. And I don't travel less it's absolutely necessary any more. Travel used to be a leisure time activity, now it's just painful.

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