Calendar

October 2021
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

The Archives

Subject Matter

Procrastination by way of rant

I’m getting ready for the annual Green Ronin Summit in just under a month and have a to-do list that started at three legal pages long (both personal and business-related). Needless to say, it’s going to be a challenge to blog very much. I broke off from GR business today when Kate got home from school and worked on a couple of items from the list but it’s slow going. I should be upstairs folding massive amounts of laundry so I can uncover my bed in time to sleep… but I worked hard all day and I am procrastinating. Folding laundry is so dull.

So, a rant to get my blood pumping.

On our most recently flight (that would be returning from the Alliance Open House in Las Vegas) I ended up on an airline I rarely fly with anymore: US Airways. We hadn’t packed too heavily for the trip but did have enough things with us (odds and ends from the show, a few extra books and whatnot) that each of us had one checked bag. At US Airways, you have to pay $15 to check a bag. ANY bag. Then, when we were aboard the plane, we were informed that in order to have any beverage, you’re expected to pay. Water? $2. Soda/juice? $2. Coffee, $1. A Bud Light could be had for a mere $7. No free “snack” either, only a $5-$10 “snack pack” option. Then, adding insult to injury, once the plane was in the air video screens dropped down to broadcast commercials for Coke (and other “sponsor’s” goods). Wow. What a load of crap.

Airlines are in dire straights and have been for some time but so are everyday people who are being squeezed more and more as well. People can’t afford heating oil for the winter, aren’t able to pay their mortgages, have seen their retirement accounts shrinking amidst the Wall Street mess. Thanks to the TSA or Homeland Security or whoever decided that liquids and gels are some sort of legitimate threat (Salon had an excellent series of articles on this, calling it a “trumped up ruse.”) but now passengers are faced with being both unable to bring their own FREE water from home and being forced to pay for it either inside the airport or on the plane itself? What if the flight is delayed while you are trapped in your seat in the sweltering plane for an extra hour (as happened to me this summer)? What if you were just taking a short hop that turns into something bigger? What if you intended to stop on your layover to buy yourself some food and water but instead had to run the entire length of the Dallas airport like a marathon sprinter with a computer bag slung across your back? No water for you unless you have $2 in your pocket? Outrageous.

And while we’re at it, a pox on this whole damn “snack pack” thing as well. Just let me bring my own peanut butter sandwich, don’t give me that peanut butter is a gel BS, and let me avoid your weird and creepy concoctions of pretzels and bread crisps with cinnamon sugar, or the combo of chips, some greasy salami, almond-honey butter on sesame crackers or whatever else the lowest bidder agreed to stuff into a “snack pack” to substitute for a meal. I’ll pack a lunch if that’s what I need to do, but let me meet my own needs! That means if my TMJ is acting up (a condition which is not made any easier when I have to grit my teeth through the entire airport security experience, by the way) I might want to bring a nice, delicate pudding cup, a soft PB&J, a banana or (if it’s particularly bad) some sort of enriched beverage that doesn’t need to be bitten or chewed at all. Nuts, pretzels, beef jerky… that’s not going to be any help to me, thanks. But no, my pudding cup isn’t allowed through security. It’s absurd.

Finally, on this particular US Airways flight, in addition to all the irritations about food and drink, we were also on a plane with a group of chuckleheads who had been in Vegas for some sort of frat boy bachelor party or something and were loudly continuing to hoot and yuk it up a few rows ahead. While I was fishing around in my bag for my earplugs, I dropped one and was looking for it under the seats when a flight attendant stopped to “help”. I’d already done a pretty thorough search (even pulling the cushion up) and wasn’t able to find it, told her multiple times that I didn’t need help, but she kept insisting she could help. Finally I broke down and showed her my remaining earplug. “You expect me to find that on THIS carpet?” she exclaimed. Through gritted teeth I said, as neutrally as I could, “NO, I don’t expect you to do anything! As I said, it’s FINE, I’m FINE, I don’t need ANYTHING. Thanks.”

US Airways really hit all my buttons and I left swearing that I was not going to fly with them again. Unfortunately, they’re not alone in this behavior… all the airlines are doing it to one extent or another. Still makes me mad, though, and I have to think it’s not going to help air travel (or the economy) in the long run.

Ok, I have too much laundry to sort. Must get back to it.

40 comments to Procrastination by way of rant

  • I really used to think flying was a treat (and it IS – just on international flights- Air New Zealand FTW, Aer Lingus coming in a close second) but domestically it’s hell on earth now.
    I was never given such a hard time through security as I was through Phoenix- fucking cowboys down there made me throw out pre-packed blue corn scone mix.
    Fuckers!

    This paying money for WATER is as horseshit as it gets.

  • I really used to think flying was a treat (and it IS – just on international flights- Air New Zealand FTW, Aer Lingus coming in a close second) but domestically it’s hell on earth now.
    I was never given such a hard time through security as I was through Phoenix- fucking cowboys down there made me throw out pre-packed blue corn scone mix.
    Fuckers!

    This paying money for WATER is as horseshit as it gets.

  • I really used to think flying was a treat (and it IS – just on international flights- Air New Zealand FTW, Aer Lingus coming in a close second) but domestically it’s hell on earth now.
    I was never given such a hard time through security as I was through Phoenix- fucking cowboys down there made me throw out pre-packed blue corn scone mix.
    Fuckers!

    This paying money for WATER is as horseshit as it gets.

  • I really used to think flying was a treat (and it IS – just on international flights- Air New Zealand FTW, Aer Lingus coming in a close second) but domestically it’s hell on earth now.
    I was never given such a hard time through security as I was through Phoenix- fucking cowboys down there made me throw out pre-packed blue corn scone mix.
    Fuckers!

    This paying money for WATER is as horseshit as it gets.

  • Southwest has not, as yet, started to nickel and dime their customers with all these penny-ante BS fees, and they’re perfectly happy for you to pick up your own food and drink (inside the Safety Zone, please!) and bring them on the plane. Now that every person in line gets a specific spot to stand, instead of the A/B/C cattle call, that aspect is less painful. Actually enduring the flight in the too-small seats is still painful, but I’d much rather put up with that than endure the steady wallet-drain that is flying on almost every other carrier these days. An experience like yours would not only make me supremely stabby, it would have me firing off a letter to every customer-service address I could find, prominently featuring the line, “Not only will my family and I stop flying your airline until you reverse these customer-hostile policies, I will encourage all of my friends to do the same and to pass this along to THEIR friends.”

    I keep hoping jetBlue will start service between Austin and the West Coast, but I just don’t see that happening in the near future.

    Honestly, though, I’d rather drive. Takes longer, spreads the monetary pain out over more time instead of a single gouge into your spleen, but I don’t have to put up with anyone else, I can get whatever snackie cakes I want, and I burn through audiobooks like you wouldn’t believe.

    • Just thought I’d chime in with another recommendation for Southwest. They’re usually cheap, accommodating, and as far as I know, still give you free drinks.

      The overall lameness of flying, though, is why I’m grateful my one con of the year is within driving distance.

  • Southwest has not, as yet, started to nickel and dime their customers with all these penny-ante BS fees, and they’re perfectly happy for you to pick up your own food and drink (inside the Safety Zone, please!) and bring them on the plane. Now that every person in line gets a specific spot to stand, instead of the A/B/C cattle call, that aspect is less painful. Actually enduring the flight in the too-small seats is still painful, but I’d much rather put up with that than endure the steady wallet-drain that is flying on almost every other carrier these days. An experience like yours would not only make me supremely stabby, it would have me firing off a letter to every customer-service address I could find, prominently featuring the line, “Not only will my family and I stop flying your airline until you reverse these customer-hostile policies, I will encourage all of my friends to do the same and to pass this along to THEIR friends.”

    I keep hoping jetBlue will start service between Austin and the West Coast, but I just don’t see that happening in the near future.

    Honestly, though, I’d rather drive. Takes longer, spreads the monetary pain out over more time instead of a single gouge into your spleen, but I don’t have to put up with anyone else, I can get whatever snackie cakes I want, and I burn through audiobooks like you wouldn’t believe.

    • Just thought I’d chime in with another recommendation for Southwest. They’re usually cheap, accommodating, and as far as I know, still give you free drinks.

      The overall lameness of flying, though, is why I’m grateful my one con of the year is within driving distance.

    • Just thought I’d chime in with another recommendation for Southwest. They’re usually cheap, accommodating, and as far as I know, still give you free drinks.

      The overall lameness of flying, though, is why I’m grateful my one con of the year is within driving distance.

  • Southwest has not, as yet, started to nickel and dime their customers with all these penny-ante BS fees, and they’re perfectly happy for you to pick up your own food and drink (inside the Safety Zone, please!) and bring them on the plane. Now that every person in line gets a specific spot to stand, instead of the A/B/C cattle call, that aspect is less painful. Actually enduring the flight in the too-small seats is still painful, but I’d much rather put up with that than endure the steady wallet-drain that is flying on almost every other carrier these days. An experience like yours would not only make me supremely stabby, it would have me firing off a letter to every customer-service address I could find, prominently featuring the line, “Not only will my family and I stop flying your airline until you reverse these customer-hostile policies, I will encourage all of my friends to do the same and to pass this along to THEIR friends.”

    I keep hoping jetBlue will start service between Austin and the West Coast, but I just don’t see that happening in the near future.

    Honestly, though, I’d rather drive. Takes longer, spreads the monetary pain out over more time instead of a single gouge into your spleen, but I don’t have to put up with anyone else, I can get whatever snackie cakes I want, and I burn through audiobooks like you wouldn’t believe.

  • Southwest has not, as yet, started to nickel and dime their customers with all these penny-ante BS fees, and they’re perfectly happy for you to pick up your own food and drink (inside the Safety Zone, please!) and bring them on the plane. Now that every person in line gets a specific spot to stand, instead of the A/B/C cattle call, that aspect is less painful. Actually enduring the flight in the too-small seats is still painful, but I’d much rather put up with that than endure the steady wallet-drain that is flying on almost every other carrier these days. An experience like yours would not only make me supremely stabby, it would have me firing off a letter to every customer-service address I could find, prominently featuring the line, “Not only will my family and I stop flying your airline until you reverse these customer-hostile policies, I will encourage all of my friends to do the same and to pass this along to THEIR friends.”

    I keep hoping jetBlue will start service between Austin and the West Coast, but I just don’t see that happening in the near future.

    Honestly, though, I’d rather drive. Takes longer, spreads the monetary pain out over more time instead of a single gouge into your spleen, but I don’t have to put up with anyone else, I can get whatever snackie cakes I want, and I burn through audiobooks like you wouldn’t believe.

    • Just thought I’d chime in with another recommendation for Southwest. They’re usually cheap, accommodating, and as far as I know, still give you free drinks.

      The overall lameness of flying, though, is why I’m grateful my one con of the year is within driving distance.

  • What really burns me up is that this whole mess is immune from the free market. Imagine if someone built a private airport and said, “We’re not going to put up all these ridiculous security measures. You still can’t bring weapons into the airport, but you can bring water and a sandwich. You can wear your shoes. And nobody is going to ask to search inside your bra.”

    Many people would choose it over the idiocy that’s forced on them now, even knowing that they’d be “less safe” according to the TSA.

    But nobody is allowed to do that.

    Dammit.

  • What really burns me up is that this whole mess is immune from the free market. Imagine if someone built a private airport and said, “We’re not going to put up all these ridiculous security measures. You still can’t bring weapons into the airport, but you can bring water and a sandwich. You can wear your shoes. And nobody is going to ask to search inside your bra.”

    Many people would choose it over the idiocy that’s forced on them now, even knowing that they’d be “less safe” according to the TSA.

    But nobody is allowed to do that.

    Dammit.

  • What really burns me up is that this whole mess is immune from the free market. Imagine if someone built a private airport and said, “We’re not going to put up all these ridiculous security measures. You still can’t bring weapons into the airport, but you can bring water and a sandwich. You can wear your shoes. And nobody is going to ask to search inside your bra.”

    Many people would choose it over the idiocy that’s forced on them now, even knowing that they’d be “less safe” according to the TSA.

    But nobody is allowed to do that.

    Dammit.

  • What really burns me up is that this whole mess is immune from the free market. Imagine if someone built a private airport and said, “We’re not going to put up all these ridiculous security measures. You still can’t bring weapons into the airport, but you can bring water and a sandwich. You can wear your shoes. And nobody is going to ask to search inside your bra.”

    Many people would choose it over the idiocy that’s forced on them now, even knowing that they’d be “less safe” according to the TSA.

    But nobody is allowed to do that.

    Dammit.

  • When I went to visit my boyfriend, it was US Airways I had to fly. I packed everything into my allotted (still free, thank goodness) carry-on luggage. Unsurprisingly, there were a LOT of carry-ons on these flights, and some folks ended up having to check a bag or two. Most of these folks were the ones who seemed to think that things like those big suitcases and garment bags could qualify as a carry-on (that really gets on my nerves), but a few I knew had to be folks unlucky enough to be far enough down on the cattle call list and therefore all the carry-on compartments were full, with not enough room under the seat in front of them for modest carry-on luggage to fit. (That space does fit those “personal items” just fine, of course.)

    Also, by the time I’d arrived in GA on the flight out, I felt pretty well dehydrated. I don’t have any money, period, so couldn’t afford to even buy myself some tea (which was $1).

    If I can, I’d like to avoid US Airways in the future as well. The trouble may be that they’ll have the cheapest airfare, making it by default rather unavoidable. *sigh*

  • When I went to visit my boyfriend, it was US Airways I had to fly. I packed everything into my allotted (still free, thank goodness) carry-on luggage. Unsurprisingly, there were a LOT of carry-ons on these flights, and some folks ended up having to check a bag or two. Most of these folks were the ones who seemed to think that things like those big suitcases and garment bags could qualify as a carry-on (that really gets on my nerves), but a few I knew had to be folks unlucky enough to be far enough down on the cattle call list and therefore all the carry-on compartments were full, with not enough room under the seat in front of them for modest carry-on luggage to fit. (That space does fit those “personal items” just fine, of course.)

    Also, by the time I’d arrived in GA on the flight out, I felt pretty well dehydrated. I don’t have any money, period, so couldn’t afford to even buy myself some tea (which was $1).

    If I can, I’d like to avoid US Airways in the future as well. The trouble may be that they’ll have the cheapest airfare, making it by default rather unavoidable. *sigh*

  • When I went to visit my boyfriend, it was US Airways I had to fly. I packed everything into my allotted (still free, thank goodness) carry-on luggage. Unsurprisingly, there were a LOT of carry-ons on these flights, and some folks ended up having to check a bag or two. Most of these folks were the ones who seemed to think that things like those big suitcases and garment bags could qualify as a carry-on (that really gets on my nerves), but a few I knew had to be folks unlucky enough to be far enough down on the cattle call list and therefore all the carry-on compartments were full, with not enough room under the seat in front of them for modest carry-on luggage to fit. (That space does fit those “personal items” just fine, of course.)

    Also, by the time I’d arrived in GA on the flight out, I felt pretty well dehydrated. I don’t have any money, period, so couldn’t afford to even buy myself some tea (which was $1).

    If I can, I’d like to avoid US Airways in the future as well. The trouble may be that they’ll have the cheapest airfare, making it by default rather unavoidable. *sigh*

  • When I went to visit my boyfriend, it was US Airways I had to fly. I packed everything into my allotted (still free, thank goodness) carry-on luggage. Unsurprisingly, there were a LOT of carry-ons on these flights, and some folks ended up having to check a bag or two. Most of these folks were the ones who seemed to think that things like those big suitcases and garment bags could qualify as a carry-on (that really gets on my nerves), but a few I knew had to be folks unlucky enough to be far enough down on the cattle call list and therefore all the carry-on compartments were full, with not enough room under the seat in front of them for modest carry-on luggage to fit. (That space does fit those “personal items” just fine, of course.)

    Also, by the time I’d arrived in GA on the flight out, I felt pretty well dehydrated. I don’t have any money, period, so couldn’t afford to even buy myself some tea (which was $1).

    If I can, I’d like to avoid US Airways in the future as well. The trouble may be that they’ll have the cheapest airfare, making it by default rather unavoidable. *sigh*

  • I had to fly US Airways for all three legs of this last trip. They’re the absolute worst. I’m avoiding them if I can in the future.

  • I had to fly US Airways for all three legs of this last trip. They’re the absolute worst. I’m avoiding them if I can in the future.

  • I had to fly US Airways for all three legs of this last trip. They’re the absolute worst. I’m avoiding them if I can in the future.

  • I had to fly US Airways for all three legs of this last trip. They’re the absolute worst. I’m avoiding them if I can in the future.

  • Let me know if you need summit prep help. -mls

  • Let me know if you need summit prep help. -mls

  • Let me know if you need summit prep help. -mls

  • Let me know if you need summit prep help. -mls

  • Folks are switching to bus and rail instead of plane. You could look into it.

    An alternative would be to get together with others, rent a minivan, and car pool to your events.

  • Folks are switching to bus and rail instead of plane. You could look into it.

    An alternative would be to get together with others, rent a minivan, and car pool to your events.

  • Folks are switching to bus and rail instead of plane. You could look into it.

    An alternative would be to get together with others, rent a minivan, and car pool to your events.

  • Folks are switching to bus and rail instead of plane. You could look into it.

    An alternative would be to get together with others, rent a minivan, and car pool to your events.