This is one of the main reasons I decided to do consulting – I can determine if an opportunity is worth me flying or not. On my scale, very few of them are. I figure if I can’t make money in one of the largest cities in the US, then I can’t make money. For some reason employers expect me to travel.
The first time I was in an airplane was flying to Boot Camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Facility in December of 1979. I didn’t enjoy it much them – and I was treated very well. The flight was on time.
I’ve flown all over the world since then, and the experience has gotten progressively worse.
It’s not unlike how gas stations changed in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It used to be that you would get a plate, or a bowl. Maybe a fork or spoon. And S&H Green Stamps. And full service. With every gas purchase – you didn’t even need to fill up. You still got air in your tires, your windows washed and your oil checked. And someone else pumped your gas. If it was raining, you didn’t get wet.
So just like gas stations the airlines have stripped everything out of the flight experience except for the actual flight itself. No more free headphones. Fat chance on getting a pillow. Don’t hang your suit-bag in first class, because that is ONLY for first class. Don’t expect to eat. Don’t expect friendly skies.
But you SHOULD expect to arrive with everything you started with – like your luggage, and your sanity. You SHOULD expect to arrive on time.
At least gas stations still pump gas (even if we have to do it ourselves) – they meet their minimum requirement. Airlines don’t. They can no longer get us where we need to be when they promise us they will get us there.
And that’s why I do everything I can to avoid flying. I would rather drive a day then take a 3 hour flight. Because a three hour flight is a 6-8 hour ordeal.
And that gas station? Even though the gas costs more and the service is non-existent I’ll still use the gas station. They deliver what I need – gas. When I need it (now!).
Airlines don’t deliver much anymore. And they deliver very little on time.
When Marion C. Blakey took over at the Federal Aviation Administration in 2002, she was determined to fix an air travel system battered by terrorism, antiquated technology, and the ever-turbulent finances of the airline industry. Five years later, as she prepares to step down on Sept. 13, it’s clear she failed. Almost everything about flying is worse than when she arrived. Greater are the risks, the passenger headaches, and the costs in lost productivity. Almost everyone has a horror story about missed connections, lost baggage, and wasted hours on the tarmac. More than 909,000 flights were late through June of this year, twice the level of 2002. And if you think the Summer from Hell is over, fasten your seat belt. The FAA predicts 1 billion passengers a year will take to the skies by 2015, a 36 percent increase from the current level. FAA officials say this year’s Labor Day crunch could become an everyday flying fiasco within eight years, costing America’s economy $22 billion annually.