Now that my kids are older and realizing that I need to be out there to meet plan providers around the country, I’ve had to do more travel than I anytime since I graduated school. The problem with traveling every month is the fact that traveling by airplane is one of the most unpleasurable experiences out there.
People will say that 9/11 ruined air travel because of security. I disagree, security is only one of the reasons that air travel isn’t pleasurable, there are many others. The problem with security isn’t the fact that we still have to take our shoes off and go through the metal detectors, the problem has been that the TSA has consistently failed to adequately staff the security checkpoints. With so much air travel, there should be more staff at the checkpoints actually bringing passengers through the checkpoints rather them congregating in packs, doing nothing.
Most of the reasons I detest air travel is the airlines themselves. For the first time probably since deregulation, the airlines are making a lot of money. They’re making money because they cut back on capacity, eliminated many amenities, and charging for baggage. Mergers eliminated capacity and flights, which helped increase the cost of airline tickets. I can’t recall the last time I was on a plane that wasn’t full or near to capacity. Boarding and I boarding the plan has been an awful experience since they started charging for checked bags, getting off the plan sometimes feels longer than the flight because people are tugging along those small wheeled bags that leave the overhead bins full and a problem with unloading upon arrival.
I don’t mind the airlines getting rid of their food, they were usually awful. The problem is that unless you have elite status or better class seats, you’re being herded off like cattle. The seats feel smaller and now some airlines are charging extra to allow you to board earlier (because the overhead bins are now a free luxury with little room availability).
Will it change? Probably not, as long as the airlines rake in the money.