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Dec 20, 2008

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Gender: Male
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Age: 37
Sign: Cancer

State: South Carolina
Country: US

Signup Date: 05/22/05

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Monday, April 14, 2008


Why I Drive, Not Fly, Across the Country
Current mood: aggravated
Category: Travel and Places

Last weekend I rotated tires on the old Mazda, and looked her over underneath to make sure everything is still tight  With 160,000 miles on her now, I have to minimize risk of a breakdown when driving out of town.  Way out of town.  Like Michigan and Minnesota.  Sure, I could fly.  Flying is fast and fun and still realtively cheap.  But there's one problem with flying...

Airlines.  Good gawd I hate airlines.

Oh, planes are great.  And flying can be a wonderful experience.  It used to be that way, even with airlines involved.

The flying part is still ok, I guess.  But one still has to get on the plane, and that's about the most complicated bit of business most people ever deal with.

The airlines long ago abandoned any part of the business but putting hours on airframes.  They walked happily down the aisle with industry regulators.  They insisted that governments set up municipal facilities for them to service.  They let local sub-sub-contractors handle all the customer baggage and plane servicing.  They set up cozy government deals to be hub-centered instead of providing point-to-point service. 

The result - there's no differentiation.  Even if an airline woke up to the possibility of providing customer service, they can't.  The airline now only handles the customer for a tiny part of the trip.

Airplanes only go to airports.  So first I have to get there.  And park.  And wrangle bags.  Then I need to undress for these guys...

Last time I printed the entire passenger guide from TSA, it was 32 PAGES.  These people are no fun at all.

Of course it really rubs me raw that I'm certified to carry deadly force in most States,

have been vetted several times over by the FBI for gun purchase, yet I can't be trusted with a screwdriver.

If they actually provided security, it might be meaningful.  But how competent are they, when on a recent trip they searched my checked bag, and put some lady's gloves in my bag?

I might've given the gloves back to them at Asheville, but that trip was delayed due to the Delta screw up and we didn't get back in until 2 am.

Another result of the set-up, with services separate from airline operation, and the airlines each concentrated at hubs, is that there is no flexibility.  A regional thunderstorm system, which is pretty much ALWAYS present in the continental US, screws up everybody.  There is no plan B. 

For a serious bitch fest, ask me some time about sleeping on the floor in Houston.

So, next month I'm leaving, in my car.  I'll be able to pack my full hiking pack, full laptop bag, regular luggage, *and* the Trojan Rabbit.  And I can take the dogs. 
When I get where I'm going, I'll already have a car to use.  And I can stop anywhere.  This time I plan to see some things along the way.

Time to get busy making some MP3 discs for the car.
My music player never fits on an airplane either...

1:03 PM - 5 Comments - 6 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove -


Plus, even at $3.20 a gallon, just over $200 in gas will get me to the U.P., through Minnesota, and back, with plenty of side detours. Tack on a few nights at various Red Roof Inns (always pet friendly!), and it's still cheap.

Posted by HVY MTL on Apr 14, 2008 12:57 PM
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What a great blog.

BTW, is your profile pic showing your tent perched on a rocky ledge? It looks perilous.

Posted by Cynthia on Apr 14, 2008 1:15 PM
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Oh dear...you could shred me alive for the stupid comment. I see what the photo is now:)

Posted by Cynthia on Apr 14, 2008 1:28 PM
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ya, gues tha skies aren't as friendly as they use ta be....mean ol' unfriendlyasskies....what'd we ever do to you??? one damn terrorist can really ruin your whole outlook....suckers...

Posted by tina on Apr 29, 2008 5:44 AM
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