Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Old Days

Yes, it was really like that. No scanners, no TSA. There were baggage fees, but only for overweight checked bag or more than two bags. There was real food in coach class with soft drinks or coffee. You wanted to nap, they gave you a pillow and a blanket. You wanted to read something, they had magazines and not just the bullshit airline magazine.

And all of those amenities, ladies and gentlemen, every single one of them, was at no extra charge, even in coach class. Booze was free in first class. If there was a delay, the cabin crew would give away free drinks.

Nowadays, of course, they nickel-and-dime you to death. Check a bag (except on Southwest), it's $25 or more. They add on fuel surcharges. When the FAA stopped collecting ticket taxes, the airlines cheerfully pocketed them.* And it's not just the airlines piling this shit on nowadays. Banks do it. Hotels do it. (Oh, you really wanted them to clean up the room after the last guest was stabbed to death?) It won't be long before the rental car companies add an "atmospheric fee" for inflating the tires.

All this makes traveling a hassle. Instead of a nice vacation, a trip is a battle over bullshit fees that are added in by every scumbag corporation in the swindling travelers "hospitality" business.

Of course, such businesses are now run by MBA and financial types, whose main interest is to make the quarterly profit statement. They have no concern for customer satisfaction, just as long as they can get enough sheep through the door for fleecing.

Because of assholes like them, traveling is no fun. Better to stay home and take "one tank trips" or drive to visit friends or relatives.

Fuck the airlines and the MBAs who run them.
* Showing that the argument that "if you cut taxes for business, they will lower prices" is bullshit.


D. said...

I'm old enough to remember that stuff.

I'm old enough to remember going to airports for fun just because and watching planes take off and land.

I remember seeing people off at the gate.

I'm not quite ready to renounce travel, even though Amtrak (Amtrak! I can concoct a possible terrorist plot involving trains, but it took me a couple of days and input from Stephen King--and it probably wouldn't work!) now demands ID to buy a ticket. But I'm starting to think about it...

CG said...

Since the ticket prices were regulated, the only way fro airlines to compete was over service - hence...

Coach easily paid an amount equivalent to today's business class for that overseas trip - so if you want that service, well, go for it...

Phil said...

The airline industry is living on borrowed time; when the reality of ever-increasing fuel prices collides with the reality of frequent flyers that can no longer afford--or are unwilling to bear--those costs, it's game over.

New York Crank said...

With a few exceptions – you mention Southwest, I'll throw in Jet Blue - the airlines are counting on our having no choice when we need to fly. But in the long run they are shafting themselves. A day will come when fuel prices will fall, and some investors will put money behind a newfangled concept like, umm, service. And when that happens, Continental, Delta, United, American will wake up and discover nobody wants to fly them instead of the new guys.

What the four brands I've just mentioned have made themselves stand for is s**t service and wildly disagreeable customer experiences. A few ads won't save them. Nor will a price cut.

BTW, I'm probably as old as D and share the same memories. (I had an aunt who wouldn't fly without her mink coat because the people aboard were all so classy. She'd always stop at the top of the ramp and wave to the folks on the "observation deck" of the airport before stepping into the plane.)

Flying used to be the most glamorous way to travel. Now it's the most disagreeable – or at least tied with rowing up a sewer without a gas mask.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Comrade Misfit said...

I remember when adults dressed up to fly. Now it's like riding an intercity bus, but with better security.

No, scratch that. Trailways used to have a "five star luxury service" that was better than airlines today. Those buses had hostesses and food.

The airline industry has been heavily subsidized by the Post Office, especially since all 1st class mail going long distances began going by air in the `70s. The industry usually is one of the least profitable industries in good years and, overall, most carriers lose money over the long term.

The plain fact is that for most travelers, air travel is discretionary. That's probably why most airlines get hammered in bad times.

Ruckus said...


Some degrees only showed that you had a chance to learn something. Some degrees show that you had a chance to learn a particular thing.

MBA falls into the second.

It's right there in the name. What and how they do what they were trained to do. Must Be Asshole.