I like to think of myself as a supporter of the local economy. There is one sector, however, in which I do not participate. I do not fly. I haven’t flown regularly since 2009, when I retired. And I don’t miss it.
I used to fly a lot. Try living in Hawaii and working for the Navy if you want to rack up airline miles. For eleven years I was flying a couple of times a month to San Diego or Norfolk or DC. I developed the invaluable skill of being able to sleep on a plane. Now, I actually can’t NOT sleep on a plane. I’m usually snoozing before takeoff.
And thank God for that! The Friendly Skies aren’t so friendly any more. Better that you sleep through altercations with unruly passengers who actually expect the plane to take them to where their ticket said. Better that you not have to see the Delta crew snatching a stroller from a mother traveling with three infants, or hear the horrified reactions of the passengers. People on airliners these days act exactly how you would expect people or animals to behave without adequate space, or room to move around. Just like the rats they used to show us in college. Cramming people into a 12″ width seat may be legal but it’s not smart. The conditions on the typical airliner wouldn’t meet the standards of the Geneva Convention, but we volunteer to put up with it, because we’re accustomed to unrealistic airfares.
I especially don’t understand people who FLY to SFO. By the time you spend an hour getting to the airport, an hour checking in, a couple of hours in the air and circling to land and an hour getting a rental car, that’s five hours and you’re still at SFO. If you drove, you’d be checking into your hotel. Or enjoying yourself.
I know we’ll hear from Gregg Foster that things are’t that bad; Gregg and the Fly Humboldt folks do a fine job considering what they have to work with.
As for myself, except for going to China, or Hawaii or Europe – I still have a couple of bucket-list type trips in me-I will be traveling by car, bus or train. Did you know that you can get to China without flying? You have to get to Alaska, then take a freighter to Korea then a couple more boat trips, but it can be done. Let me know how it goes.