Airline cheers and jeers

This time, my cheers and jeers are for the airports and airlines (yes, there are cheers), since I decided to leave the Warrior at home and fly to Newark, New Jersey this week.

Jeer: Us the voters
We have no one but ourselves to blame for the ridiculous security procedures in place at the airports now. The poor screeners are doing only what the politicians order them to do, and we’re the politicians’ bosses, so the buck stops with us. I guess it’s good to know that civilization is safe from my shoes, belt, toothpaste, and shaving cream for at least one more day.
Jeer: airline advertising
It’s scummy for an airline to advertise, say, a $99 one-way fare when they know that the real fare is going to be something like $250 with security fees, airport fees, sales taxes, and so on. People want to know what they have to pay, not what the airlines will receive. In the UK (or all of Europe?), it’s already illegal to advertise fares that way. Also, a jeer for the governments (and that means us the voters, again) who treat airlines like cash cows by taxing tickets into the ground.
Cheer: the crew of CO 2686, Monday 12 February
Nothing heroic here, but on descent and approach, they dealt with moderate turbulence all the way below the cloud deck — I shudder to think what the turbulence would have been for my Warrior. I appreciate having someone else worry about weather, routing, clearances, turbulence, etc., just for once.
Cheer: anonymous Continental Airlines ticket agent
Sure, my last-minute ticket here cost far too much, but it still came with a $100 change fee. With heavy snow and freezing rain coming Wednesday morning (OK, I admit that I checked the TAFs — I’m not very good as a passenger), I called to move my return flight to this evening, and Continental waived the change fee without my even asking. Cheers for an airline smart enough to understand that I’m doing them a favour by giving them one less irate, stranded customer to deal with tomorrow.
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About David Megginson

Scholar, tech guy, Canuck, open-source/data/information zealot, urban pedestrian, language geek, tea drinker, pater familias, red tory, amateur musician, private pilot.
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3 Responses to Airline cheers and jeers

  1. Frank Ch. Eigler says:

    > We have no one but ourselves to blame

    Well actually, you can blame those maniacs who have attempted or
    actually blew up airplanes using methods now being screened for.

  2. John Taylor says:

    Cheers for your blog! I discovered it while searching Google for opinions on the power-pitch-airspeed issue. I was trained the right way… watch your airspeed, that’s what counts most… adjust pitch to get to the REQUIRED airspeed and use power for altitude. It works for my Archer. It also works just as well here on Long Island, in NY Class B, as it does up north in your fair but colder land. Enjoyed your article about that subject and heartily agree with you on every point.

    Jeers for your annoyance on taking your shoes off. Did you not hear about the would-be shoe bomber? For me safety is never inconvenient. I bet if taking your shoes off, or following any other gate-security measure, was part of your own pre-flight checklist, you’d do it willingly. Or do you just fire up the Warrior and take off? No walk-around, no run-up, instrument check? Are they inconvenient? Am i right?

    All in all, many more cheers than jeers for your blog… just stick to the flying and stay away from the politics – one can never win since there are always too many sides.

  3. david says:

    John: Where we disagree, I think, is where the tradeoff between harassing people and reassuring them should fall. For example, we’re quite happy to let people get on a train, bus, or subway without any searching at all, despite the bomb attacks in London, Madrid, and India. I think that the main problem is that the general public is very nervous about flying, so they overestimate the risks — harassing them more before boarding is a way of reassuring them. They don’t need the same reassurance for the train, even though it is just as likely a terrorist target (much more likely since 2002).

    If you don’t believe that it’s a tradeoff, consider how much explosive someone could carry in a body cavity (much much more than a tube of toothpaste), yet passengers are not generally cavity searched.

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