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Thursday, June 12, 2008
Die In A Fire

Upon further reflection, this may not be the best title for a screed against the airlines. But frankly, they can all jump up and kiss my entire ass.

For a variety of reasons, I'm trying to send a kid somewhere on a plane. I've arranged for her to be picked up at her destination by people I know and trust, and given that I've been through this process before, I'm not stressed about it. But airline tickets cost a lot.

After receiving an email blast yesterday informing me of a cheap fare, I log on, click one million times, and am ready to make a purchase. I have the flight times I want both ways, correct dates, destinations, and the price including tax is a very reasonable $175. I am actually pleased with the state of the world.

"I suppose I had better revisit the unaccompanied minors policy for Douchebag Airlines, just in case there have been any changes since last year."

Two things:

1) They only allow unaccompanied minors on non-stop flights.

Honestly, if the child doesn't need to be taken from one gate to another and put on a different plane, why do I really need the airline's assistance? But I don't care about that, because I am about to purchase a non-stop flight. Good for me.

2) There will be an additional charge of $100. Each way.

So, I'm paying $175, to which we can add a few more bucks since I have to burn gas getting to the airport, plus parking, and a Cinnabon.

Look, I'm not made of stone.

I am going to walk all the way through security to the gate, and right up to the door. At which point, someone who is already a member of the flight crew is going to walk this kid 75 feet and watch her put on a seat belt.

And that's worth one hundred dollars?

For an additional hundred, they need to send someone to where I live, pick her up, driver her to the airport, comb her hair (it's a mess), and deliver her not only to the airport at the other end of the flight, but drive her to the door of where she'll be staying.

A hundred bucks? You have lost your minds.

There has been some outcry about charging fees for checked bags, and I' m not talking about anything past the first two. United, US Air, and American Airlines are all charging between $15 and $25 dollars for your first checked bag now. You watch, if this kind of crap keeps up, people will stop checking bags entirely, and will show up at the airport with 15 shirts and 9 pairs of pants on like that jackass on youtube.

The majority of airlines have been run so incompetently for so long, that now they're merging as fast as they can to avoid going out of business, while I still wait for them to pay back taxpayers for bailing them out after 9/11. I'm done with the airlines. I will not fly ever again to anyplace that I can drive to in less than twenty hours, unless it is an absolute emergency. Let them go out of business, I really don't care.
We fly too much anyway, and largely for the same reasons we drive too much: Cheap oil. Those days are over, so let the big shakeout happen. If half the major carriers go belly up, so be it. Truthfully, the environmental aspects of it interest me very little, aside from some interesting meteorological observations from 2001. Every moron with a credit card has been hopping on planes for 30 years to go to Disneyland, and with half the carriers gone and that $300 ticket costing $1200, people might stop pretending that they're rich.

You're not rich.

If I thought that airlines actually were interested in performing a service well, I might feel differently, but flying over the past 15 years has been little better than riding a bus. Businesses that overcharge and have bad service fail. Let them fail. Goodbye, don't let the door hit you in the ass before the plane comes to a full and complete stop. Buh-bye.

What part didn't you understand? The "buh" or the "bye?"

So, that's the travel update, have a great summer! I encourage you to stay home and sit on a wallet with money in it this year.

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posted at 8:13 PM

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