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