Sorry I haven’t been writing. I had a very busy business trip and just could not find the time. It was a two-night trip and therefore I have had a lot of concentrated air travel. Yes, this is going to be a how-much-I-hate-airlines post. No, I’m saying nothing new. Yes, it’s still important for me to rant.
I’ve been especially annoyed by this in light of the whole recent Bin Laden thing. I won’t aggravate you with my rant about that, too, for now. I will just say that when people speculate about whether this will change our air travel rules… I’m dumbfounded. I have no words. Actually, okay I do have a word: Seriously? You really think the assassination of one guy is going to miraculously reverse all the not-remotely-security-related changes our airlines have made solely for their own benefit? The things I HATE about air travel have nothing to do with the safety regulations. They have to do with prices and planning, and those are nothing but profit-making endeavors snuck in while other changes had to be made.
Here’s how much I spent for one round-trip ticket across the country, one stop each way: $410.80
Here’s what I got for that money:
- One 5:55 AM departure
- One scramble to find small fluid containers I could empty of their contents so I could carry my bag on the plane and still bring my face lotion with me
- Two (declined) offers to be able to check my bags rather than carry them on, for a modest additional fee
- Two (declined) offers to upgrade my seat forward just to the front of the same coach class area I thought I already paid for, for only $29.99
- Multiple (declined) offers to pay a few hundred dollars to upgrade to a higher-class seat on each of my planes
- One one-hour stall on Arizona tarmac while DFW dealt with some rain
- One one-hour heavily air-conditioned exercise in hypothermia
- One missed flight in Dallas
- One realization that ten people missed our flights because the airline (which I should name but am too nice to) could not hold the second plane which sat two gates away from our arrival gate for five whole extra minutes
- Four hours’ worth of quality layover in Dallas
- Two leisurely 40-minute waits in standby lists for later flights
- Many fruitless searches for a free outlet in DFW
- One 10-minute opportunity to quickly attempt all the work I’d been planning to accomplish en route
- One (declined) offer to spend additional money on wifi access, also needed to accomplish all my work
- One wait at the baggage claim after the final standby flight was “too full” (no it wasn’t) to accommodate my second carry-on which, as I mentioned, was meticulously and arduously packed with the sole purpose of avoiding having to wait at the baggage claim
- One missed free-alcohol conference reception
- One half-hour wait on Florida tarmac while a survival kit (…?) was being replaced
- One mad group dash through DFW to make a 20-minute connection (which I have to admit was actually kind of fun – there were seven of us all racing through the airport)
- One in-flight movie
- Three in-flight TV shows
- Two armrest headphone jacks with a loud ringing buzz
- Two window seats, one middle seat and one aisle seat
- One cup of orange juice, one can of apple cranberry juice, one can of ginger ale and one can of Sprite Zero (also please note the persistent lack of caffeine in all beverages – I’m still keeping it up!)
- ZERO food. Not even a package of peanuts. Not kidding.
I’m a product of the 80’s and 90’s. I did not experience the true glory days of American air travel. But even the 90’s were less ridiculously pathetic than this. I get absolutely nothing at all for my WAY overpriced ticket except the apparently remote possibility that my airline gets me to my destination in the time they quoted me when I bought the ticket. I get the reassurance that somehow, some way, as long as I’m not on any Do Not Fly lists and arrive at least an hour before my flight and follow all the myriad rules and directions with minimal griping, my airline will do its best to get me home in a few days and will make no effort to reimburse me in even the smallest way when they inevitably f**k it up. No one will even attempt a simple “sorry” for all my world of troubles brought on by the airline’s collective incompetence. This is disgusting and the entire state of the airline system makes me hate capitalism and government and business and terrorists and all of everything in the whole world that creates this state of affairs. Even the best airlines suck. Airlines are the sum of what’s wrong with the world. I’m just thankful I don’t have to fly again for a while.