Airline passengers voting with their feet

posted at 8:30 am on May 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

More than six years after 9/11, American consumers have finally lost patience with the airline industry. Air travel dropped sharply over the last twelve months, with 41 million fewer trips. Surveys show that passengers have become fed up with hassles at the airports and with higher costs and poor service:

Nearly half of American air travelers would fly more if it were easier, and more than one-fourth said they skipped at least one air trip in the past 12 months because of the hassles involved, according to an industry survey.The Travel Industry Association, which commissioned the survey released Thursday, estimated that the 41 million forgone trips cost the travel industry $18.1 billion — including $9.4 billion to airlines, $5.6 billion to hotels and $3.1 billion — and it cost federal, state and local authorities $4.2 billion in taxes in the past 12 months.When 28 percent of air travelers avoided an average of 1.3 trips each, that resulted in 29 million leisure trips and 12 million business trips not being taken, the researchers estimated.

The survey results did not address whether travelers chose alternate transportation to pursue any of the journeys they didn’t take by plane. The association estimated overall travel industry revenue at $740 billion. …

In all, 44 percent of the 1,003 air travelers surveyed by phone from May 6 to May 13 said they would take more air trips each year if airport hassles could be reduced or eliminated. The survey, conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates Inc. and The Winston Group, had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

People who flew more than five times in the past 12 months were more likely to describe air travel as frustrating, at 52 percent, compared with 33 percent of infrequent travelers, defined as people who flew one or two round trips in 12 months, according to the survey. More than half of respondents said either efficiency or reliability is getting worse, 60 percent said the system is deteriorating, and 56 percent said flying is the “bad” or “worst” part of travel — though 62 percent said air travel security is improving.

I’m not a fan of flying, but that comes from an intense dislike of the sensation, not of the service or the security measures. Airport security has intensified, and that has created hassles, but the alternatives wouldn’t make me more likely to get on a plane, either. If people get to the airport earlier, delays at the security checkpoints cause much less stress. I suspect that “hassles” occur when people try to cut their time too closely and start getting agitated about missing their flight.

However, airlines don’t help much, either. American Airlines just announced a plan to charge for checked baggage, which will only push people to add more carry-on baggage instead, which creates delays in boarding and disembarking. Meal service has disappeared, and now Northwest charges $5 and up for “snack boxes”, although no one has started charging for soft drinks — yet. Seats are jammed together, making the hours-long ride an uncomfortable experience for anyone of normal size.

The more unpleasant flying becomes, the less people will do it. The hassles and the discomfort become added costs to an already-expensive mode of transportation, and as costs add up, demand will drop. If the airline industry wants to get more people onto the airplanes, they should consider ways to reduce these secondary costs.

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Part of this happen because John McCain and other Rinos would not allow us to drill in America. The reason why airline have to charge $5 for snack is because of the cost of jet oil. Anyone who complains about having to spend money on check baggage has to blame Dems and John McCain.

BroncosRock on May 30, 2008 at 8:38 AM

I’m one of those people who skipped flying in favor of driving…in my case two separate trips to the Louisville, KY area.

Frankly, it’s a five hour drive for me. I figure by the time I deal with airplane hassles on both ends, flight time, etc, it only cost me an extra hour of my time to drive. And despite gas prices, it was still less expensive for me to drive it. Plus I got to enjoy seeing the country AND my seat was much more comfortable.

JohnTant on May 30, 2008 at 8:38 AM

The last time I flew was October of 2006. It was lovely to be made to feel like a terrorist. In fact, I bet terrorists get better service! I used to LOVE to fly, but now I’d rather watch a Michael More “documentary” than go anywhere near an airport. If I never fly again, I wouldn’t care a bit.

robblefarian on May 30, 2008 at 8:39 AM

serves them right. the airline industry is one huge racket and it needs to be busted up.

i have been living overseas for the past 11 years, and every time i go back to the states and fly domestic, i am appalled and the lousy service and prices.

homesickamerican on May 30, 2008 at 8:40 AM

I fly well over 100,000 miles a year and I would never have guessed travel was down over the last 12 months, especially that much. Atlanta is always jammed today, as opposed to 5 years ago.

It’s difficult getting tickets to certain areas still.

I dunno about that stat.

drjohn on May 30, 2008 at 8:40 AM

drjohn on May 30, 2008 at 8:40 AM

Yeah, that kind of survey evidence strikes me as less reliable evidence of air travel than publicly available statistics on airport and airplane utilization. I think all the major airlines publish their “load factors” or whatever they term the percentage of seats on their flights that are taken. The airports will also publish the number of landings. My understanding is that since 9/11, the airlines have reduced the number of flights and the size of the planes carrying passengers. (My city’s major carrier is Continental, and nearly every Continental flight I’ve been on in the past 4 years — and, btw, I’m an “infrequent traveler” with 2-3 trips a year — has been an Embraer commuter jet. Prior to 9/11, almost every plane I flew on was a big Boeing jet.

Outlander on May 30, 2008 at 8:47 AM

To boil this down into the simplest terms flying is no longer a luxury, but a chore. A chore people will avoid if they can. I wonder, has rail use increased in this same time period? It seems to me traveling by rail is probably far more relaxing in general.

NotCoach on May 30, 2008 at 8:52 AM

I fly well over 100,000 miles a year and I would never have guessed travel was down over the last 12 months, especially that much. Atlanta is always jammed today, as opposed to 5 years ago.

It’s difficult getting tickets to certain areas still.

I dunno about that stat.

drjohn on May 30, 2008 at 8:40 AM

As a long time citizen of the metro Atlanta area – I can tell you that Hartsfield is an extremely poorly designed and managed airport.

It’s not privately managed…it’s run by and exploited by the city of Atlanta. Many a public servant has enriched themselves from our airport.

It really doesn’t matter how many people are in there – with only one security checkpoint, it’s going to become a mob scene. A couple of years ago they had a security line that stretched outside the airport.

I’ll be in that hellhole tomorrow morning – the horror!

Dorvillian on May 30, 2008 at 8:53 AM

It is the Dems and liberals who do not want us drilling here…not John McCain.

becki51758 on May 30, 2008 at 8:55 AM

For vacation this summer my wife and I are taking the train to NYC. Booking a flight, even three months in advance was over twice as expensive as riding the train to Penn Station. Estimated travel time was only 30 minutes longer by train when you add in the two hours early arrival for security checks at the airport along with the 1 hour drive to get there. Twas a no brainer to choose the train in this case.

sdd on May 30, 2008 at 8:55 AM

Security in airports is run by government employees. You could likely get a machete by most of them as they spend most of their time talking to each other while one old guy or lady stares at the x-ray screen looking for an illegal 4 oz bottle of gel.
As for the airlines themselves, most hate their jobs and employers and it shows. I’ve lost count of how many “work conversations” I’ve been privy to simply by minding my own business in my seat.

Sugar Land on May 30, 2008 at 8:58 AM

I wonder if people would still be this dissatisfied if Congress had allowed the TSA to be a private organization. Hmmmm.

Kafir on May 30, 2008 at 8:58 AM

BroncosRock on May 30, 2008 at 8:38 AM

McCain, although unfortunately opposed to drillin ANWR, is not opposed to drilling elsewhere, such as inside the U.S. and offshore. He is also strongly in favor of building at least 100 more nuclear power plants.

There are several things in which I disagree with McCin on, but his policies would overall aid energy production, not hinder it.

Grafted on May 30, 2008 at 8:59 AM

Every time I fly within the US I get pulled aside because my ticket is written in Israel.

But the US is a picnic compared with changing planes in London-Heathrow where they now throw you out of the secured area so you have to go through security again – even if you’re changing within the same terminal. And changing to come to Israel is even worse because El Al doesn’t trust Heathrow’s security at all. The airport security is full of Islamists and has even yielded a couple of suicide bombers.

For the record, security in Tel Aviv is much faster and more efficient – partly because here they’re not searching for yesterday’s terrorists.

Carl in Jerusalem on May 30, 2008 at 9:04 AM

The problem with air flight is that it is cheap enough so that low class people can afford it. If they raised prices it would insure a better class of people on board.

When I was stationed at Pendleton I would take the train to LA or San Diego because it cost more than the bus. The train carried a much better group of folks making for a more enjoyable trip.

TheSitRep on May 30, 2008 at 9:06 AM

So far I’ve read that the problem is:

1. Airline greed
2. Government employees
3. Price of oil
4. Regulation
5. Deregulation
6. Politicians
7. Terrorists

Glad we are all starting to agree on something.

Does it matter what the cause is? You get what YOU pay for.

Limerick on May 30, 2008 at 9:09 AM

I really want to take a couple trips this year, but it’s tough. We can either fly out of our little airport 5 minutes from our house and pay $200-500 more per ticket and have to change planes in Houston. Or we can drive 3+ hours to the nearest big city airport and spend two hours dealing with long term parking and security. Last year there wasn’t such a big price difference and I’m sure disappointed about it.

Amtrak does come through here, but it’s often hours late. The places I want to go would be 3-5 days driving so that not likely with 3 small kids.

Staying home might not be so bad.

MamaAJ on May 30, 2008 at 9:13 AM

Let security profile passengers. It works. My 60-year-old Polish Catholic mother-in-law with rheumatoid arthritis and two artificial hips is not a security risk. There is no reason for her to be detained every time she flies to visit my sister-in-law in Arizona.

I don’t think Al-Qaeda has developed an artificial hip bomb yet, right?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on May 30, 2008 at 9:14 AM

I returned recently from France where getting INTO their country included such hassles as having to REMOVE my passport from my pocket and HOLD IT UP in the air! No, nobody opened it and no, nobody stamped it or stopped me – just waived me on to baggage. (sob) Why can’t we have that in this country? (grumble grumble)

Marcus on May 30, 2008 at 9:15 AM

I fly well over 100,000 miles a year and I would never have guessed travel was down over the last 12 months, especially that much. Atlanta is always jammed today, as opposed to 5 years ago.

It’s difficult getting tickets to certain areas still.

I dunno about that stat.

drjohn on May 30, 2008 at 8:40 AM

.
I fly that much as well, but through a different airport. The planes are still crowded, but I think the stat may be accurate because they are flying smaller planes, and have cut the number of flights. Flying has become a truly horrible experience, especially since most of my flights are in excess of 8 hours. From surly TSA random searches (apparently the new terrorist is either a grandma, or a tall white male), to grouchy overworked stewardesses, to spoiled passengers, it is an aggravating ordeal. I have cut back on my flying from previous years when I can.

Think_b4_speaking on May 30, 2008 at 9:16 AM

I’m a 66 year old granny and have been treated like an AQ prime suspect. I flew from Orlando to NYC with my arm in a stabilizing soft sling (broken shoulder). I was pulled from the security line at both airports and wanded and patted down and asked to remove the sling and pass through the metal detector again. The “D rings” on the sling’s shoulder straps were setting off the alarm. Geez.

Like others have said, flying used to be enjoyable, but not any more. Just packing (gels and liquids etc.), security, delays, cancelations, lost luggage, outrageous parking fees, disgruntled employees, jammed up seating, filthy toilets… you get the picture.

swampy on May 30, 2008 at 9:17 AM

You cannot imagine what a monumental hassle it is nowadays to fly with children on a family vacation. I’ll bet attendance at the Disney parks is way off too, just because families are fed up with the BS of the airports and airlines. My kids flat out refused to allow us to book a vaction this year anywhere that we would have to fly. And they are 11 and 14. They hardly know their grandparents because they live far away from us and we cannot deal with the hassle and expense of frequent trips to see them. God knows at 85 and 87 they are too frail to withstand a two-hour preflight hassle, so they haven’t flown for years.

Every time I fly I see parents with younger children who look like they are ready to kill themselves. Try waiting in a 45-minute security line with an 8-year-old with ADHD, or getting through with a stroller and diaper bag and toys and books that you have to have to keep a young child busy during the two hours before you even get on the plane. And half the time the airline will not put your family in seats together so you have to either split up or annoy the hell out of the other passengers by begging them to switch seats with you. And then, once you get on the plane, it is likely to end up sitting for a half-hour or more because the airlines lie through their teeth about departure times. You have to bring your own food now too, in addition to all the kid paraphernalia. So you are usually struggling to get on the plane with 3 or 4 bags of stuff, and of course there is never any room for any of them in the overhead compartments because nobody is dumb enough to check bags anymore. By the time you get to your destination you are all too exhausted to even enjoy it. And then you have to turn around a few days later and do it all again. Not my idea of a vacation!

This summer we are driving to Hilton Head and staying for free at a friend’s beach house. We have portable DVD players for the kids and they have iPods, and we have a nice new car that gets 30 mpg and has XM radio. To hell with flying.

rockmom on May 30, 2008 at 9:19 AM

although no one has started charging for soft drinks — yet.

Allegiant air charges for ALL beverages, even water ! Also charges for checked bags. BUT, their fares are low, low, low and they are punctual so I really don’t mind.

FLY SOUTHWEST, AIRTRAN AND ALLEGIANT. The big airlines are so annoying.

stenwin77 on May 30, 2008 at 9:20 AM

I used to fly a lot all over the world. My daughter does now. She tells me that it is getting much worse. Broncosrock is only a little right. It is generally not the conservatives that are at fault here. It is all the panderers that are afraid of the “environmentalists” and the MSM.

I am sitting 8.3 nm NE of the largest civilian airline maintenance base, in the middle of the oil patch, and just north of the synfuel plant at the port. I kind of live in the environment you are talking about. Did anyone tell you that rig count is well (pardon the pun) up. My son is pushing well refurbishment supplies as quickly as they can be produced. The fuel that powers the airliners from this area comes from Oklahoma and the refinerys across the river.

Now here’s the problem – oil is a fungible commodity, and now, oil – gas – coal are priced as $ per BTU content. So when one goes up, they all tend to go up. Oklahoma has super abundant coal, but it has some sulfur in it. PSO has a coal and ng station just north of here, but they have to import their coal from Montana. The Oklahoma coal gets to TVA, a government entity.

In the meantime, congress (not John McCain personally) doesnt let us drill anywhere we are not drilling now.

By the way, Oklahoma does not have much public rail transportation, only a short stretch from OKC to Texas, paid for by Oklahoma. We have vast distances to travel compared to the northeast US.

As a final thought, I am tired of the airlines complaining about the high cost of fuel driving them out of business. This to to my friends at American: Just charge what it costs with profit, provice good and comfortable service. Let the travelers that only pay low dollar fly with youur competition and bankrupt them. If you then still can’t compete, maybe you should defer to a survivor airline that can. That is the marketplace way.

Old Country Boy on May 30, 2008 at 9:23 AM

The good news: Those exoskeletons will make walking easier.

Limerick on May 30, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Let the free market roll! I wouldn’t mind if some of these airlines went under – with no bailouts.

WisCon on May 30, 2008 at 9:28 AM

I don’t know what people are bitching about. I fly a dozen times a year, and have yet to get annoyed at security beyond waiting an extra few minutes in line.

Vincenzo on May 30, 2008 at 9:28 AM

I fly several times a year from Jacksonville, FL to Norfok, VA on Southwest and it is GREAT. Now, both of the airports are pretty small but the folks are nice and an hour and a half for $54 each way instead of ten hours in the car is a no brainer. Trust me I can’t drive half way to Virginia for $54. I am not exactly sure why, if Southwest is the only airline making money, the others don’t follow their business model? Maybe just too big and the areas they serve.

Cindy Munford on May 30, 2008 at 9:29 AM

MamaAJ on May 30, 2008 at 9:13 AM

We are exactly the same way – we have to fly through Houston to get pretty much anywhere.

We know a few people who charter because it takes the hassle out of flying. But since I don’t have a money tree in my yard, that’s not an option.

pullingmyhairout on May 30, 2008 at 9:29 AM

It’s not privately managed…it’s run by and exploited by the city of Atlanta. Many a public servant has enriched themselves from our airport.

It really doesn’t matter how many people are in there – with only one security checkpoint, it’s going to become a mob scene. A couple of years ago they had a security line that stretched outside the airport.

I’ll be in that hellhole tomorrow morning – the horror!

Dorvillian on May 30, 2008 at 8:53 AM

Ah ha….now it makes sense. ATL is awful…BHM isn’t bad at all.

funky chicken on May 30, 2008 at 9:32 AM

I frequently travel Europe in trips of 3 months at a stretch. One of the BEST parts of travel there is my train pass! The trains can take you, almost literally, anywhere, no matter how small the town. The high speed trains are almost without exception faster than flying, with the added bonus of getting on/off right in the heart of the town not miles away in some suburb. They are certainly more comfortable than any plane, sometimes quite luxurious in fact. They run through some of the most beautiful landscapes to be seen. Americans have grown up never knowing the pleasure of passenger rail service, it having succombed to the cars many years ago. I’ve often thought to myself, if the average American could experience the ease of travel this way as the Europeans have they would start a revolution in Congress!

dustoffmom on May 30, 2008 at 9:35 AM

As anyone over 6′ knows, flying coach in an airplane isn’t any fun. At 6′ 4″ it has always been an unpleasant experience for me. I thought I had my kneecaps shattered several times when the passenger in front put the seat back. I always try my best to get an aisle seat or a seat behind the bulkhead for some extra leg room.

For those of you too young to remember, back in the early 70s I used to fly coast to coast on Continental – when they had a piano bar in the rear of the coach cabin. Long flights were enjoyable then. Drinks were inexpensive, full meals were served, food was recognizable and tasty, stewardesses were still called stewardesses, and they were friendly and attractive, all of which made air travel a pleasant experience.

The good old days.

fogw on May 30, 2008 at 9:35 AM

As a final thought, I am tired of the airlines complaining about the high cost of fuel driving them out of business. This to to my friends at American: Just charge what it costs with profit, provice good and comfortable service. Let the travelers that only pay low dollar fly with youur competition and bankrupt them. If you then still can’t compete, maybe you should defer to a survivor airline that can. That is the marketplace way.

Old Country Boy on May 30, 2008 at 9:23 AM

There ya go….of course you’d be competing with Air Tran which offers business class travel in newer planes for almost the same price as a coach ticket on American.

Check out Air Tran’s business class…you’ll be happy you did.

funky chicken on May 30, 2008 at 9:37 AM

Last flight I was in some woman was trying to stuff a gift-wrapped child’s fully assembled tricycle into an over head bin. To the amusement of us onlookers a male attendant walked up to her and gave her a good “You can’t be serious.” She’s probably one of these who now just have to go on and on how terrible the airline industry is these days anytime she’s asked.

Marcus on May 30, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Two sides of the coin here in Minnesota.

We have Northwest Airlines, the worst run and unfriendliest airline in the nation. I wouldn’t be surprised if the emergency oxygen mask wouldn’t fall from the overhead unless you first inserted a quarter. They charge for EVERYTHING.

But we also have Sun Country, an airline who seems to have it figured out. Last time I traveled, the ticket agent even brought my family’s four bags over to the scanner for us. Great people.

Bishop on May 30, 2008 at 9:43 AM

although no one has started charging for soft drinks — yet.

They did when I went to cuba a month ago.

Darth Executor on May 30, 2008 at 9:44 AM

Fortunately for the airline industry if the consumers decide to withhold their dollars, Congress will likely give it to them anyway.

Defense Guy on May 30, 2008 at 9:45 AM

McCain, although unfortunately opposed to drillin ANWR, is not opposed to drilling elsewhere, such as inside the U.S. and offshore.

Grafted on May 30, 2008 at 8:59 AM

ANWR isn’t in the US?

dominigan on May 30, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Yah, fogw, I remember as a kid getting a full-course breakfast on a flight; french toast, sausage, eggs, juice.

Then again, the air was blue from the cigarette smoke, so in some ways the good ol’ days aren’t as good as today.

Bishop on May 30, 2008 at 9:47 AM

I am going to be taking a substantial road trip this summer, to heck with the bank account and the gas prices. My trip will be as follows:

Start from NJ. Drive two really long, hard days to Denver.
After several days in Denver visiting friends, backtrack to Kansas City for a convention.
Drive two moderately long days home from KC.

I might otherwise have decided to fly, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it that way. The thought of the hassle involved through airline travel was too much for me to take. I’d have to bring an empty suitcase on the way out and a struggle with / pay for a heavy suitcase or more (from all the stuff I’ll buy at the convention) on the way home. Dragging all that stuff through the airport lines would be a memorable pain.

In addition, going through security with a flute is no great joy, either. The hassle is such that I myself take the flute and piccolo out of the bag, open their cases, and run them through the scanner for everyone to see. I advise my students to do the same. Of course, when you have $13,000 in silver and gold and another $5000 in exotic wood with silver keys in your bag, what you want everyone around you to know is that you’ve got all that stuff. /sarc That’s better, though, than having a dumb clerk see a bunch of funny looking cylinders, grab the case, start to open it upside down two feet above and not totally over the table, and then start to arrest you when you reach for it out of horror. (True story! I should have tried to get her fired, but I didn’t have time.)

It helps the decision to drive that I love a good road trip. If I didn’t, I’d probably fly, but I’m proud to be one of those 41,000,000 lost trips for the airlines.

flutejpl on May 30, 2008 at 9:47 AM

The next time I fly will be when they start profiling like they do in Israel.

dms on May 30, 2008 at 9:49 AM

last two long trips I had to take was cross country in our mini van… with two little kids.. thankfully we had a portable DVD player.. helped pacify them a little.. :)

but it was better all around to take my van.. didn’t have to check my pocket knife through at all :) worth it..

(Michigan to Wyoming, and back.. the next year it was Michigan to Florida)

don’t want to fly unless I can help it..

DaveC on May 30, 2008 at 9:49 AM

As anyone over 6′ knows, flying coach in an airplane isn’t any fun.

Even at 5’6″, it ain’t fun. I don’t usually put anything in the overhead bins because we bring a bag for each kid and put in under the seat in front of us. Trying to bend down to get to the bags is now extremely difficult and when I was holding a baby, it was impossible.

MamaAJ on May 30, 2008 at 9:52 AM

As a final thought, I am tired of the airlines complaining about the high cost of fuel driving them out of business. This to to my friends at American: Just charge what it costs with profit, provice good and comfortable service. Let the travelers that only pay low dollar fly with youur competition and bankrupt them. If you then still can’t compete, maybe you should defer to a survivor airline that can. That is the marketplace way.

Old Country Boy on May 30, 2008 at 9:23 AM

While I agree with your idea, I’d like to point out that of the half dozen airlines I’ve flown on… American was by far the worst… everyone’s grumpy, they don’t seem to care about customers, etc. They would have to go a LOOOOONG way to improve their image with me.

I still enjoy flying SouthWest… their employees at least seem to really like their job, and try to make the flight fun.

dominigan on May 30, 2008 at 9:53 AM

If people get to the airport earlier, delays at the security checkpoints cause much less stress. I suspect that “hassles” occur when people try to cut their time too closely and start getting agitated about missing their flight.

Oh! It’s more than just that! It starts with the concept of checking in at the kiosk where the passenger does all the work before ever getting to the counter. Most places they then have to tote their luggage to the TSA screening area…..

Then the fun of going through security screening where the rules for carry on items are absurd and semi-articulate martinets check and re-check boarding passes and randomly pat passengers down in the name of security…….

Then waiting around the gate and being told the plane is “on time” up until two minutes before the plane is supposed to depart when somebody finally comes on the intercom and informs you that your flight has been delayed and they will have more information shortly…….

Finally, when you get on your flight, the plane is overly crowded because there are fewer flights and seating is designed to cram as many people onboard without regard to passenger comfort. You have the option of buying a lousy meal.

Bottom line, airline travel isn’t fun anymore because the airlines and TSA essentially treat passengers as cattle instead of human beings. It just isn’t worth the hassle if even remotely in driving distance.

highhopes on May 30, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Marcus on May 30, 2008 at 9:40 AM

I’m with Marcus. Half the problem with flying is the f*cking idiots who refuse to check their luggage! It’s slows down boarding and unloading by 10 minutes each way (and the plane can’t be cleaned and reboarded until the last people leave). This shit causes delays, which causes crews to run over their work limits, whichs causes even more delays and cancellations. The main cause of airlines losing bags is delayed flights and missed connections.

American airlines has committed suicide by charging people to check bags, which will drive more people to cram huge bags into the overhead.

It also slows down security a bit when morons stand in line for 30 minutes, and only start preparing to go through security the second they get there.

Airlines and Airports do suck, but it would be more tolerable if about half the people didn’t check their brains at the curb.

BuzzCrutcher on May 30, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Rather than driving or flying (well, have to do that once this year, but that’s on the company dime) I’m taking the train. It’s about a day’s drive from where I am to visit family — timewise and dollarwise the train is slightly more expensive (doing it solo) but there’s much less hassle & wear and tear on the vehicle.

Plane travel has gotten to be so much more of a hassle: no more pocket knives (any terrorist who tries to take over a plane with a Swiss Army Knife is going to get his behind kicked by travelers who are now going to be delayed by a day) absurd security measures (seriously, take off my shoes, can’t take toothpaste or shaving cream) and this is on top of worse service (no food or charged for food), mysterious delays (just be honest please), a cattle herd mentality, multiple plane changes (which is why I try to avoid checked luggage where possible) at opposite ends of the airport.

The root problems are:
1) poorly run airlines
2) poorly run airports
3) increased fuel prices
4) government mandated security measures that just add a layer of unpleasantness to an already unpleasant experience.

rbj on May 30, 2008 at 10:00 AM

In San Diego we call it a STAY-cation! Nobody wants to fly anywhere and we can’t afford to drive anywhere either so we will be staying home for our vacations!

Vntnrse on May 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM

I know they need heightened security, but i do have a nagging question: Just how many bo,b carriers have they actually caught? I’m guessing none….maybe it’s about deterrence hmmm….

max1 on May 30, 2008 at 10:05 AM

The security doesn’t bother me, but the price does. I used to be able to get decent tickets for under 200 round trip. It took some searching and leaving at just the right time, but they were out there. I haven’t found one since, and I’d really like to take a trip soon.

I wonder, has rail use increased in this same time period? It seems to me traveling by rail is probably far more relaxing in general.

NotCoach on May 30, 2008 at 8:52 AM

I checked it out recently, and despite taking almost 15 hours longer to reach my destination, rail travel was actually more expensive then flying.

TheSitRep on May 30, 2008 at 9:06 AM

That’s elitism Obama wouldn’t even say.

Esthier on May 30, 2008 at 10:06 AM

I used to take a short hop to NYC for business. Now I can drive, take a bus or train and be there faster than flying.

Wade on May 30, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Southwest doesn’t fly to Atlanta, it seems? But they are dirt cheap to Philly, so I may need to look into that.

Oh, but you have to wait in line to get seats, right? That was fine when my youngest was a baby and we got on the plane first but he’s 3 now, so I don’t think we get to cut in line.

MamaAJ on May 30, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Driving is a much more pleasant option, even if it takes longer. You can take all the luggage you want (including toiletries, which have become a nightmare for female fliers) and see the scenery. You don’t have to rent a car when you arrive, either.

I would add that XM satellite radio helps alot.

BigD on May 30, 2008 at 10:11 AM

I just flew to Poland and back (from Chicago) last week. What hassle? The only problem was a cancelled flight from Krakow to Frankfort, but that was Lufthansa’s fault (and the tire’s fault).

Security lines aren’t bad if you allowed enough time before your flight. Seats are fine if you’re not too overweight (and if you are, you can pay more for more room). Nobody’s forcing you at gunpoint to pay five bucks for a warm bloody mary.

Don’t like to fly? Then don’t.

And the government should completely stop subsidizing airlines (and car manufacturers, and Amtrak, and farmers, etc.). If an airline can’t stay in business without MY TAX MONEY paying for it, let them go out of business.

Let’s stop treating companies like pandas!

playblu on May 30, 2008 at 10:11 AM

A couple weeks ago I went back to Iowa (I live in Portland, OR) for a job interview and I decided to drive the 1900+ miles each way rather than fly.

Afterimage on May 30, 2008 at 10:15 AM

The problem with air flight is that it is cheap enough so that low class people can afford it. If they raised prices it would insure a better class of people on board.

When I was stationed at Pendleton I would take the train to LA or San Diego because it cost more than the bus. The train carried a much better group of folks making for a more enjoyable trip.

TheSitRep on May 30, 2008 at 9:06 AM

I’m not entirely certain I can agree with that.

Oh, not because of some stupid “class envy” BS, but because, even with higher airfares, They would still have to let Rich Hollywood Liberals on the flights. The LOWEST class of humans on the planet.

wearyman on May 30, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Air travel is service that is very elastic and has significant supplementaries to it. Of course people are voting with their feet when costs go up.

And costs are going up yet you suggest what, giving people more room which translates into less revenue per flight? Or not charging for snack boxes on a flight when people are allowed to bring snacks on the plane? Or not charging the person with two bags more than the person with one or none?

Your complaint should be with Congress, and especially with the Democrats in Congress, for pushing our economy to the point of both high inflation and recession — the airline industry is most sensitive to energy costs — with restrictive energy legislation.

Dusty on May 30, 2008 at 10:21 AM

I looked into taking Amtrak from south Texas to Pennsylvania last summer. It would have cost us 2500$ to go round trip for 4, and it would have taken almost 36 hours, with a 14 hour layover in Chicago in the middle of the night.

Yeah. Right. The train. Uh huh. maybe if you live on the east coast, but not in flyover country.

pullingmyhairout on May 30, 2008 at 10:23 AM

I am among those who avoided air travel and drove instead. I faced a flight through St. Louis that ALWAYS had an extended layover. It meant an 8 hour trip, by plane. I could drive myself there in 8 hours and wasn’t stuck in an airplane or airport. To me the advantage of the car overwhelmed the air travel. On occasion one of the legs of the flight was canceled and I would have to wait for the next flight. Didn’t have that problem with the car.

I am in agreement with some others here that the government IS the problem in air travel, as it is in soooo many other aspects of our lives. The airlines are rent seekers who jump through all kinds of hoops to keep competition out. I recommend people read Herb Kelleher’s book about the beginnings of Southwest Airlines. He chronicles all the obstacles he faced with the government and lobbyists to keep him out of the air.

Terri on May 30, 2008 at 10:25 AM

I would add that XM satellite radio helps alot.

BigD on May 30, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Get to listen without searching for ‘Quinn and Rose’ and ‘Glenn Beck’ and ‘Dave Ramsey’ and ‘Dr. Laura’ for the wife.. that’s good for a day…. I do not listen to the leprechaun (BO’R) unless I can help it..

DaveC on May 30, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Air travel dropped sharply over the last twelve months, with 41 million fewer trips. Surveys show that passengers have become fed up with hassles at the airports and with higher costs and poor service

Not at SWA, our planes are full.

Tony737 on May 30, 2008 at 10:29 AM

ANWR isn’t in the US?

dominigan on May 30, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Since when is Alaska not part of the US????? That is where ANWAR is, might want to check your geography….

Charger73 on May 30, 2008 at 10:30 AM

They would still have to let Rich Hollywood Liberals on the flights. The LOWEST class of humans on the planet.

wearyman on May 30, 2008 at 10:16 AM

I thought they all flew private jets now?

Try Air Tran’s business class. Really.

funky chicken on May 30, 2008 at 10:34 AM

I remember 10 to 15 years ago my dad refused to fly SWA, and called it “cattle car airlines.” Now that the big carriers have sunk to SWA’s level, it’s all he flies.

Why pay double the money for the same experience?

At least on SWA you may get a pilot and stewardesses with senses of humor. whoops, yeah, flight attendants. Interestingly enough, they still call them “stewards” in the Air Force.

funky chicken on May 30, 2008 at 10:38 AM

I’ll be doing a 4,000 mile drive this summer from Texas to the northeast and back. If you listen to the news reports there should be less traffic than in recent years, but my guess is the difference isn’t going to be noticeable (though to be honest, a little less traffic on I-81, I-78 or I-40 wouldn’t hurt my feelings, and if not, there is a four lane “back road” option via Kentucky, West Virginia and western Maryland that avoids a lot of the truck traffic).

As for air travel, when you fly Southwest, you pretty much know what you’re getting for the cheaper prices from the start — limited amenities and six-across seating in the 737s. As long as their on-time record is good you don’t feel as if you’re being cheated or abused (and because they tend to fly out of the “old” airport in many cities that other airlines have moved away from, the arrival/departure parking lot hassles normally aren’t as bad).

jon1979 on May 30, 2008 at 10:43 AM

I refuse to go anywhere without my Swiss Army knife. I feel naked without it. Besides, my name isn’t Ahmed or Mahmoud, I know the difference between a beard and looking like Sasquach, and I shower daily, so I see no reason to be made a victim of PC.

I weep for any country that can be brought to its knees with pocket knives, nail clippers, and bottles of hair gel.

Driving might take longer; but you see more, the food’s better (whether you take your own well-stocked cooler or eat in restaurants), and the whole vehicle is essentially a suitcase. If you have no room in the bag for that extra pair of shoes, just tuck it under the passenger seat.

Here’s another tip:
If you have a minivan (or something larger), go buy a Coleman camp toilet. It’s about the size of a small cooler, and is a completely self contained flush toilet. Especially for women and children, it beats the hell out of using nasty public toilets at rest stops. Best $65 I ever spent!

CurtZHP on May 30, 2008 at 10:44 AM

It kinda defeats the purpose of flying if you have to sit at the airport waiting for your flight longer than the flight actually lasts.
I want to fly, but they treat you like cargo if you’re lucky, a criminal if you’re not. You’re always delayed, especially if you’re going to a big city. And they charge so much for the privilege. Like was said before, its cheaper and more pleasant to drive, especially if you have a family.

They need to overhaul the FAA, replace the antiquated airtraffic system with a modern computerized system, that can take advantage of computer graphics and show planes in 3 dimensional spaces. They need to expand existing airports, and build new ones. Frankly our entire transit infrastructure needs an overhaul. How come our spend happy Republicans couldn’t spend on that? They also need to reform the landing fee system, especially overseas, which really hobbels air carriers.

Iblis on May 30, 2008 at 10:44 AM

“Airport security has intensified, and that has created hassles, but the alternatives wouldn’t make me more likely to get on a plane, either. If people get to the airport earlier, delays at the security checkpoints cause much less stress. I suspect that “hassles” occur when people try to cut their time too closely and start getting agitated about missing their flight.”

Why are you making excuses for DoT and the Bush administrations PC blunders on this? You don’t win a war with metal detectors. The real problem is allowing thousands (or millions) of fifth-columnists in the country from hostile nations as in OIC members. Then Bush wants to play the PC game of not “profiling” his Saudi friends. Bush needs to stop holding hands with our enemies and start returning fire. Internal security is a joke, airport security is a joke.

Kalapana on May 30, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Okay, this is funny. Having checked SWA and AirTran, I found really cheap fares for the 2 places I want to go, so I’m more likely to fly after reading this thread!

MamaAJ on May 30, 2008 at 10:47 AM

stenwin77 on May 30, 2008 at 9:20 AM

Seconded regarding Allegiant and AirTran, but I have to put Spirit in place of Southwest. Not only are they less expensive, but flying out of small, unpopular airports (which for me are exactly as far away as large, popular airports, just in the opposite direction) makes it all worthwhile.

James on May 30, 2008 at 10:49 AM

A massive industry, controlled almost entirely by the government and unions?

What could POSSIBLY go wrong!?!

ChePibe on May 30, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Not flying to visit my mom is not an option.

If you think so, go ahead and try driving from Corpus Christi, TX to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

newton on May 30, 2008 at 10:49 AM

rockmom on May 30, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Amen.

I just told grandma after our trip from Chicago to her home near Vegas that once a year is it for us. We have a one year old and now most airlines don’t even let you board early. I end up having to hall all the stuff we need through a half full plane bumping into people as I go. Security is always fun with a stroller and car seat. Then there is the small seats when I am 6′ 2″. Grandma is still spry enough to fly here once and a while.

Bill C on May 30, 2008 at 10:57 AM

For those of you too young to remember, back in the early 70s I used to fly coast to coast on Continental – when they had a piano bar in the rear of the coach cabin…

And how much was a plane ticket back then?

I am an infrequent flier but when I have had to fly it’s been fine. Yes, delays are annoying. But with the internet travel sites, I have always been able to find reasonable fares given how expensive fuel is. And especially when compared to what the big airlines charged before deregulation.

bigbeas on May 30, 2008 at 10:58 AM

I don’t hate the hassle of security so much (except that I always lose my deodorant and have to buy more — do they make deodorant in smaller than 3 oz bottles?), it’s the missed connections and overbooking that bother me.

Every single flight I’ve taken in the past two years has been overbooked, and people end up getting left behind. I’ll pay $100 more for a non-stop flight, just to be sure I’m not going to get stranded in East Nowhere.

Tanya on May 30, 2008 at 11:02 AM

Three months before “9/11,” the cover story on either Time or Newsweek was about the trend in poor airline service. The need for more security since then, it seems to me, can provide airline employees with an excuse to get carried away. Just try and express concern about something, and getting justified with annoyance at the lack of response, without being perceived as generating “probable cause.”

In college, I used to take the Greyhound or Trailways to go from one city to another. They were starting to spruce up their image back then. I think that’s going in reverse now. Let’s just say if I were a woman, I wouldn’t take a bus trip alone. And if it weren’t so damned expensive (aside from the well-traveled routes up and down the East Coast), I’d consider taking a train.

When I go from DC to Ohio to visit family, I drive. Even with gas at five dollars a gallon, I’ll drive.

manwithblackhat on May 30, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Half the problem with flying is the f*cking idiots who refuse to check their luggage!

When I was flying 4+ days a week on business, you couldn’t have forced me to check a bag at gunpoint. That would put me in baggage claim for eight hours per week, if you count both ends of the flight.

And then they lose your luggage and you have to go to a 7am meeting with the CIO in jeans, and look like a disrespectful idiot.

So you can check your f*cking bag, honey. Business travelers are going to keep them close by.

Tanya on May 30, 2008 at 11:07 AM

I’ve never waited more than 15 minutes in a security line, and that includes a few trips to NYC. No, for me, the main annoyance of flying is the liquid rule. Some of the things that I have to carry along do not fit well into 3 oz containers, and I have more than will fit in the little ziplock bag. Plus, every trip involves filling the little bottles with little funnels the night before… it’s like 8th grade science class in my bathroom.

When they rescind that rule, I will be a happy panda.

blueguitarbob on May 30, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Yes, the TSA, and the philosophy behind it, is a big reason for the downturn. Air travel has been designated an exercise in political correctness rather than a commercial venture. Every time I fly I see some elderly couple getting the third degree–because anyone younger would pop the agent in the nose. Once the TSA guy watching the x-ray machine had a patch over one eye! Can’t discriminate against the blind! Needless to say, many of us were stopped for “suspicious items” in our carry-ons and this made the line worse.

For shorter trips that you can drive in 5-10 hours, we always drive now. At least we are in control there.

PattyJ on May 30, 2008 at 11:11 AM

I’d rather drive or videoconference or not go. Thanks.

indythinker on May 30, 2008 at 11:18 AM

I still enjoy to fly…but I don’t travel domestically. And once you get to Narita, Schipol or Ruzyne, things significantly improve.

Asher on May 30, 2008 at 11:21 AM

There may be fewer people flying but yet, the terminals always seem to be packed.

TimBuk3 on May 30, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Too bad we now have to buy our own food when we fly. Drat. Sadly, when I go by car I have to pay for my own drinks and food along the way too, only I can’t blame someone else for the cost.

Lily on May 30, 2008 at 11:25 AM

LAX is one of the worst, btw. And I’ve spent 7 hours there on a layover.

Not that long layovers bother me that much…espcially if it saves me 100-200 dollars as opposed to a more direct flight. I’d fly in the hold of a 747 if it would save me a couple of hundred bucks.

Asher on May 30, 2008 at 11:26 AM

One of the worst public policy errors of the lats 30 years was deregulation of the airline industry (under the Carter administration, IIRC). Yes, ticket prices dropped, but the quality of service dropped even more. Consumers haven’t helped matters by demanding the cheapest possible fares at the expense of decent service. The result is that plane travel today is not much different from bus travel – same level of discomfort, same delays and inefficiencies, and pretty much the same price. Meanwhile, the heavily regulated airlines of Europe, like SwissAir, continue to offer world-class service to their customers.

Deregulation works well in many markets, but the airline industry isn’t one of them. Only ideology blinds us to this obvious fact.

Re-regulate the airlines!

sauropod on May 30, 2008 at 11:32 AM

What should the airlines do:

1) Do not charge extra for checked luggage.

2) Give a discount to all travelers with only one carry-on bag.

3) Have more flights that go spoke to spoke and avoid hubs. Those flights are less delayed.

4) Ignore complaints about security being too tight. That security is necessary.

5) Implement racial profiling for Middle-East and Muslim-looking younger male travelers. Closer security checks for them, and lighter security checks for Grandma.

6) More room per passenger, even if it means fewer seats per flight.

7) Do not overbook flights.

8) Do not use the small planes. Every plane should be the size of a 737 or bigger.

9) Be on time and reliable.

10) Sell ticket packages that include parking, airline ticket, a snack at the airport, a snack in the plane, and a rental car all in one.

indythinker on May 30, 2008 at 11:32 AM

When I was flying 4+ days a week on business, you couldn’t have forced me to check a bag at gunpoint. That would put me in baggage claim for eight hours per week, if you count both ends of the flight.

And then they lose your luggage and you have to go to a 7am meeting with the CIO in jeans, and look like a disrespectful idiot.

So you can check your f*cking bag, honey. Business travelers are going to keep them close by.

Tanya on May 30, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Holy cow, isn’t that the truth. I dread having to check my luggage.

If you travel overseas and your connecting flight is in Gatwick or Frankfurt, whatever, and you have less than ONE HOUR between flights, your luggage will almost definitely be ‘delayed’ for at least a day because it’s impossible for them to transfer your checked luggage in that amount of time to meet you at your final destination.

So after a total travel time of 18-24 hours (from the time you took your first cab until you get to your hotel room) you’ll have nothing except what you brought on board. And since you’ll be scruffy, stinky and tired, that’s probably the worst time to be without your clean clothes and toiletries.

That’s why people hate to check their bags….geez.

Asher on May 30, 2008 at 11:35 AM

I’ve been FedExing my luggage for years. Arrive at hotel, luggage is waiting. When I’m ready to leave, pack up and the concierge will arrange for FedEx to pick it up. Get home, luggage is waiting.

Couldn’t be easier, and the price is reasonable for the hassles you avoid.

RushBaby on May 30, 2008 at 11:47 AM

I love to fly…but then I’ve got better room for legs and shoulders in my Cessna 182 than cattle class on the airlines. Get there in about the same amount of time and for about the same money too.

I recently priced three options to Orlando for my family of four (driving the SUV, flying cattle class, or flying myself). All came out to about the same cost, flying both ways about the same total time if we’re not lolly gagging (and about 8 hours faster than driving), and we have the opportunity to lolly gag along the way if we wish.

Want to screw with the airlines? Get your own plane. Your pilots license can be yours for the cost of that 60″ plasma screen TV (~$8-10k) and a reliable, efficient plane for about the cost of a nice SUV. It isn’t free, but nothing worthwhile is.

MMW on May 30, 2008 at 11:49 AM

I also question the methods and lack of hard data cited by ABC. How does a passenger survey replace airport usage statistics, airline-booking stats. etc. Most major airports are currently working on or have just completed runway and terminal expansion projects. As for passenger sentiment, you get what you pay for as many have pointed out, when I can fly nonstop roundtrip between BOS and MIA/FLL for under $250 on AA or Delta I don’t complain! The MSM will continue to find new and creactive ways to bang the drum of economic gloom now that Iraq isn’t providing enough liberal talking points to keep the sheepeople inline.

All Hail…aah…F’em!

dmann on May 30, 2008 at 12:00 PM

Yet another example of government failure.

There are plenty of technological ways to streamline airports, and still have great security. Biometrics should have been implemented immediately. But instead we got the bloated TSA, and politically correct strip searches of grandma. And rather than point out the gorilla, the airlines largely go along with the TSA BS, and then institute their own nuisance policies driving customers further away.

This is what happens when freedom leaves a market.

JeffB. on May 30, 2008 at 12:01 PM

indythinker on May 30, 2008 at 11:32 AM
—–

Indy,

Concur. I wonder why airlines don’t make the inter-hub connections a “shared resource/shared expense” between them. i.e. I want to fly from Norfolk, VA to Rockford, IL. I can fly on a small jet from Norfolk to DC, change planes to a big jet from DC to Chicago, change planes again back to a small jet to get to Rockford.

Better idea – mixed-mode travel! Take a TRAIN from Norfolk to DC, fly from DC to Chicago, then take another train out to Rockford.

Just a thought.

Mew

acat on May 30, 2008 at 12:01 PM

If you travel overseas and your connecting flight is in Gatwick or Frankfurt, whatever, and you have less than ONE HOUR between flights, your luggage will almost definitely be ‘delayed’ for at least a day because it’s impossible for them to transfer your checked luggage in that amount of time to meet you at your final destination.

Asher on May 30, 2008 at 11:35 AM

.
LOL, in over 200 flights in the past 5-6 years, my bags have not kept up with me two times: once on a 1 hour CO flight from home to Tulsa, and once on AmWest from Denver home. All of the internationals, even the Siberian and western Chinese podunk airport personnel, managed to keep my bag on track with me. Maybe I’m just lucky.
.

I’ve been FedExing my luggage for years.

RushBaby on May 30, 2008 at 11:47 AM

.
Hmm, interesting idea. I should look into that, especially since I usually work a full day after checkout, and lug the stuff with me that whole time.

Think_b4_speaking on May 30, 2008 at 12:12 PM

I’ve never waited more than 15 minutes in a security line, and that includes a few trips to NYC. No, for me, the main annoyance of flying is the liquid rule. Some of the things that I have to carry along do not fit well into 3 oz containers, and I have more than will fit in the little ziplock bag. Plus, every trip involves filling the little bottles with little funnels the night before… it’s like 8th grade science class in my bathroom.

When they rescind that rule, I will be a happy panda.

blueguitarbob on May 30, 2008 at 11:09 AM

You obviously have never flown out of the D terminal in Philadelphia. I have never encountered a security line of less than 40 minutes there. It’s stupendous. The last time I flew out of that terminal I arrived at the airport 90 minutes before my flight time and I almost missed the flight. I have been in a 75-minute security line in Philadelphia. They now have had to hire more people to start pulling folks out and taking them to the front of the line if their flight time is near, because so many people have missed flights. And don’t even get me started about the baggage service there. Nobody I know has not had luggage lost at least once coming in or out of Philly.

My favorite experience in Philly is getting there in plenty of time and finding ALL of the parking lots completely full, and the airport refuses to allow you to park in the daily or hourly lot at the economy rate (the daily lot rate is $17, pretty steep if you are off for a week to see the parents) so you have to go off to one of the off-site lots and pray you can get their lazy asses to get you back to the terminal in time for you to make your flight. I don’t live anywhere close to mass transit so I have to drive to this shithole airport. Then I get to wait in the 45-minute security line, and go to the terminal that has no food stalls whatsoever……

Oh wait, I forgot about the time I got tagged for “extra security” (I am a 50-year-old white female) and after the 45-minute security line I waited thirty minutes for them to find a female security officer to frisk me. Missed my flight that time and missed a very important company meeting.

rockmom on May 30, 2008 at 12:34 PM

If you travel overseas and your connecting flight is in Gatwick or Frankfurt, whatever, and you have less than ONE HOUR between flights, your luggage will almost definitely be ‘delayed’ for at least a day

I’ve never had that problem at Frankfurt, because I’ve never successfully made a connection there. I’ve missed my flight every single time. Man, that place is vast (and badly arranged).

Apparently it’s just as badly arranged on the baggage-handling floors.

Tanya on May 30, 2008 at 12:39 PM

8) Do not use the small planes. Every plane should be the size of a 737 or bigger.

Ha. That’s like 120 seats, right? The place I’m flying next week, the whole airport wouldn’t hold 120 people. :o)

Tanya on May 30, 2008 at 12:45 PM

My favorite experience in Phillywas leaving!

dmann on May 30, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Simple solution:

Stop giving visas to Muslims. It would save our economy billions.

But like all communist regimes in history, the socialists embedded in our government are using strategic demographic warfare against us by relocating Muslims and other non-white/Christian/capitalists into areas where they can sway the vote for the dark side. They would be happy to tank our economy if the Muslims give them both the power and the excuse to do what they want.

Spartacus on May 30, 2008 at 1:09 PM

But like all communist regimes in history, the socialists embedded in our government are using strategic demographic warfare against us by relocating Muslims and other non-white/Christian/capitalists into areas where they can sway the vote for the dark side. They would be happy to tank our economy if the Muslims give them both the power and the excuse to do what they want.

Spartacus on May 30, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Since each state is still a microcosm of the country (as intended) it is interesting to observe Michigan and Minnesota in their race to hand over their societies and culture to the Muslims and others. Let’s build the fence/wall quickly so we can contain it and observe from afar.

Terri on May 30, 2008 at 1:26 PM

If people get to the airport earlier, delays at the security checkpoints cause much less stress. I suspect that “hassles” occur when people try to cut their time too closely and start getting agitated about missing their flight.

Arriving early is itself a hassle. The earlier you have to arrive, the longer you’d be willing to drive instead. I blame the TSA for 90% of the malcontent.

Mark Jaquith on May 30, 2008 at 1:28 PM

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