the airline industry

airport05 sully 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.

3 Replies to “the airline industry”

  1. We just flew to Florida for Christmas with Little G. Two safety items caught my attention. She’s under two so she doesn’t need a seat. Apparently Mama and Dada are strong enough to hang on to het in the event of a crash. Shouldn’t these little guys be in a car seat of sorts? The really scary thing is that you don’t have to prove that it’s your kid. No one asked us to present any sort of identification for her. I brought a birth certificate because the airline said we might have to prove her age. If I have to take off her shoes for screening, someone should make me prove she’s my kid.

  2. yeah, that’s not good. once she turns 2, you’re required to buy her a ticket, right? and then you have to bring a car/flight seat so she can be in there (which I’m sure she’d hate). your arms can’t hold onto a baby in the event of a crash (according to “Fearless” starring Jeff Bridges and Rosie Perez. They experiment with a watermelon and a car, b/c the Perez character feels guilty she couldn’t save her baby in the flight crash they survive). When you buy your tickets, do you have alert the airline you’re bringing your kid?

  3. You have to give the airline the baby’s name and birth date. Once we were borded on our flight out they came through and asked us if we had her but nothing at all on the way home. It seems like there’s more security to pick your kid up from school than to take them on a cross country flight. International flights are different of course they need their little passports.

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