Cramped seats. Delayed flights. Baggage fees. According to USA Today, 9542 passengers filed complaints against US airlines with the Department of Transportation during the first half of 2015, a 20% increase from a year ago. If you want to travel any distance, you’re willing to put up with inconvenience and discomfort and pay a high price for it, grumbling all the way.
And then an airline goes and does something so great, that you’re willing to look past their many flaws and fall in love again. Like that boyfriend you couldn’t dump back in 1983. Continue reading →
I really shouldn’t be permitted to travel, based on the number of really stupid things I’ve done on the road. On past trips, I have shown up at the wrong hotel and tried to check in for a flight that wasn’t mine. I have gotten on trains heading away from my destination rather than towards it. And when it comes to driving and one-way streets…let’s just say, I can U-turn VERY quickly.
But recently, two things went right. Very right. And they shouldn’t have, considering it was the weekend of the lunar eclipse. Continue reading →
I don’t sleep the night before a trip anymore. I used to – B.A. – before Anchorage. We had a crack of dawn flight from NY to Alaska to begin a family cruise. I was startled to hear the doorbell ring. I stumbled downstairs and found my mom, dad, and van driver standing on the porch, wondering why the 5 of us weren’t ready to leave for the airport. Apparently I’d forgotten to set the alarm clock.
“Almost all U.S. airports are utterly barren of things to do. The dirty little lunch counters are always choked with permanent sitters staring at their indigestible food. . . The traveler consigned to hours of tedious waiting can only clear a spot on the floor and sit on his baggage and, while oversmoking, drearily contemplate his sins.”
Airport conditions haven’t changed much since this article was published in Fortune in 1946. Except for the smoking. Now smokers are confined to those glass rooms, a human terrarium. I always feel a bit sorry for them, especially when kids stare and point, like they’re caged zoo animals. Continue reading →