Is it just me or have the airlines gotten significantly worse at their jobs?
For a variety of reasons I’ve been looking at airfares to several destinations and have come to the conclusion that airlines are out of their minds!
For example if you want to go from the LA area to a lovely island called Bonaire you’re flown all over hell’s half acre with many of the flights routing you through Newark.
WTF? After paying $1500 to $1800 for a ticket and then baggage fees which aren’t cheap if you’re carrying diving gear I’d kind of expect a freaking direct flight and something better than economy class with no changes.
Why not put passengers on a plane from Los Angeles to Houston then from Houston to Bonaire?
There was even one winner of a flight that had passengers returning from Bonaire to Newark, then flying to Houston, then to Los Angeles. Or the other one which had passengers returning from Bonaire, to Newark, to Dallas, to San Francisco, to LA.
If you ask the airlines, they say that its due to customs regulations. Which I’d believe Except that I’ve returned to this country though Houston several times and know for a fact that Houston has literally one of the NICEST customs areas I’ve ever been in.
An added perk is that the customs officials in Houston are nice and God forbid! HELPFUL!
This is in stark contrast to the dank musty Customs facilities in Los Angeles International. Where you have to deal with some really shitty attitudes. Virtually all of the flights to and from Bonaire are routed through Newark, WHY?
Newark is one of those airports I’ll PAY to avoid. I’ve never in my life been treated worse than in that airport. I honestly think I’d have been treated better in the former Soviet Union trying to leave the Ukraine, carrying stolen ICBM plans, speaking nothing but English, without a passport, wearing a T-Shirt that said, “Fuck the USSR” !
I was looking at getting from the Los Angeles area to Minnesota. We’re talking making plans 1 month out just for the hell of it.
One of the flights requires 9 hours, on one leg and yet has you in flight for 5 hours on the other leg. NINE hours? What the hell are they doing? LA to Phoenix, to Dallas, to Minneapolis! There’s your nine hours! Oh, the price for the joy of bouncing around the country’s airports??? $680.00.
I could see it if I was paying $250 to $300 round trip but this is insanity, especially when you factor in all the additional fees. How about LA to Phoenix, to Denver, to Minneapolis? If you want to stop at all. There are no non-stop flights.
Don’t even get me started about trying to get to Florida! Last year it was so bad, I DROVE! By the time I’d figured the airfare, the luggage fees and being cooped up in the ever so convenient hands of the airlines without food or water for 12 hours, I started looking for alternatives.
As it turned out, DRIVING was in the long run cheaper. When I got to my destination, I had my car which eliminated the rental charges.
I didn’t have to pay baggage fees, I could pretty much stop when I wanted to either to enjoy the scenery or just to get up and stretch my legs.
Gas cost me about $700 round trip and I scored OK hotels along the way so that cost about $300.00.
I was able to stay as long as I needed to stay, and It was a lot of fun. The airlines wanted to charge me $1300 round trip with no flexibility in flight changes, plus the baggage fees, plus the lovely people from the TSA and their well renown “friendly” attitude.
I may have broken even on the trip but I’ll tell you this, I arrived happy and unstressed.
My point to all of this is that in years past, you could route yourself via main hubs in the airline system. If I wanted to get to Kentucky for example, I could enter the airline transit in LA at one of the regional airports. If I got to Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, or Atlanta, I could make the next leg to Kentucky with no trouble.
Every flight was changeable usually without a fee. Simply being in the transit system was enough to get you where you wanted or needed to be. I was one of those passengers that didn’t need much, If a flight was late and I missed a connecting flight it was no big deal. I’d chat the counter agent up and ask stuff like “How about if I bounced through Denver? Does that help me get to X around the time I need?”
The ticket agents were pros, and believe me they could get you where you needed to go and it was civilized.
They used to ask questions like “Have you had dinner?” if you said “no” they’d put you on a flight where dinner was being served. The goal was to have the passenger spend the shortest time in the system, and arrive relaxed and ready to do business.
NOW, its as if the connecting flights are built around being as inconvenient as possible and keeping the passengers in the system tired, hungry, and cranky, so that when they arrive they’re ANYTHING but ready to do business, or they need a vacation because trying to get to their vacation was so stressful.
I find myself thinking that I need to figure a way to make enough money for a private jet.
Unfortunately, I think I’d have to become a citizen of another country, at the very least I’d have to move out of Kalifornia in order to be able to keep enough of the necessary funds.
I suppose I could get elected to the Kalifornia House or Senate and take Leland Yee’s seat. You know business as usual selling illegal weapons to criminals and passing laws to make more types of weapons illegal.
Yeah, that would work, I’d only need a couple of years and some super restrictive gun laws. I’ll bet I could get Bloomberg and Moms Demand action to contribute to the campaign.
I figure I’d only need 50 to 100 million dollars and I could travel in style and have a nice getaway ride!
I can drive anywhere in this country except Hawaii, and have a nice time getting there.
I wonder if it would be more fun for me personally, to drive to Miami and fly to Bonaire from there?
NOPE I’d have to go through New Jersey!
That plane is looking better all the time. I wonder if a yacht would be better? Then I could get to Hawaii and Bonaire.
I should compare the cost to operate a plane versus a yacht. With a large ocean going yacht I could save big on resort costs.