I really hate flying these days. It’s not so much my fear of heights, but that flights have all the charm of a Greyhound bus these days and it only seems to be getting worse.
The recent Xmas Day terrorist bombing attempt was another sign of this industry’s decay. First of all, there’s no way you can do a quality job of screening the quantity of people who come through the airport, particularly when the staff who are in charge of this have the Kinko’s attitude, where they seem to hate their jobs, and who can blame them if they’re getting minimum wage. We all have to take our shoes off, but so what? Does that really make the flight more secure? I think a cheaper more effective security is to keep reminding people to alert airline folks if anything is awry, and I do think since 9/11, every passenger is more willing to literally tackle suspects, which is awesome. But really, these suspects should not even get into the freaking airport, you feel me? This latest dude’s father actually reported him to the U.S. Embassy, so the CIA had his name, he exhibited suspicious behavior like purchasing a one-way ticket, etc., etc., and yet he still got through? I’m not shocked, to tell you the truth, having seem the brains at work on the city and state government level. I’m not saying there aren’t bright people who go into government, but it’s never struck me as an entity that has its act together. (Actually, if you work in a well-managed office/industry, tell me. I’m curious what that’s like.)
Obama also recently mandated that after two hours on the tarmac, people should get food/drink (totally reasonable); after three hours, people have the right to disembark. I get why that’s popular; it makes people feel like someone is caring for the, and maybe that in itself has validity, but if there are three people who want to get off a 300-person flight, that plane has to go to the airport, lose its turn for take-off, get those people’s luggage, and that just leaves me wondering, really? Is that the best solution?
When I saw Captain Sully Sullenberg (the dude who landed the plane on the Hudson River and speaks with an extremely low, intelligent voice) on the Jon Stewart Show, he mentioned how in emergency landings, you don’t always know the protocol by heart. You can look up things like “how to land a plane in water” in this manual, which used to have tabs, but because of budget cuts, no longer had tabs, so he was flipping through the book before he actually pulled off the maneuver. His point was that the financial strain of the industry is going through actually has an impact not just on the quality of the flight, but its safety. Sounds stupid, but I never thought of that!
I mean, I feel like I’m hemorrhaging money this time of year. What about the airline industry? I know they nickel and dime you with the bag check-in and stuff, but this industry is not turning a profit, and if it weren’t necessary for life, it would just die. I’m extremely curious about what the solution is, because for some reason, I am convinced there is an answer somewhere.
If you find some study or article, send it to me! Or if you have the answer, post it.