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With more passengers, fewer flights and crowded planes, it’s no fun flying

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Overbooked flights. Skimpy legroom. Storage bins packed to the max. After 17 years of weekly business travel, David Bewley couldn’t stand the hassle anymore and quit his job as a franchise business consultant (www.kansascity.com) 기타...

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mldavis2
I am 6'4" tall with long legs. I don't fit into steerage seats any longer. On the last airliner I entered last year, my knees touched the seat frame in front of me. Since I am retired, my air travel has dropped significantly. In addition, I only fly when I can't possibly drive. Last year I made three trips from the KC area to the east coast, and I did not fly. I had the time, more luggage space, adequate leg room, control over departure and arrival times, and comparable expense including a comfortable overnight stay and good meals.

Things will have to get a whole lot worse before the public will value adequate comfort above low price. Forcing seats together and then charging extra for legroom is great, but unless you buy tickets months in advance, those seats are long gone. On retirement income, I cannot afford double prices for a blue carpet into "1st Class."

Most of my flying these days is on my flight simulator. Screw 'em.
nasdisco
Chris B 2
Sadly US carriers take their bad US habits on international flights. It gives people a horrid impression of the USA.
TiredTom
no tradition of train travel in most of US...Europe/Asia different - the've always ridden in trains - East corridor an exception to the rest of US
preacher1
You also have to remember that those of us that remember pax trains prior to AMTRAK are now in our 60's and 70's. Hell, we have a whole generation or more that has never seen or used a hard wired phone or TV with only 3-4 channels.
amiablebird
ironically trains perform best for trips under 500 miles, while the airlines are sick of any flight under 500 miles (and they don't help all the congestion baseside, either): they fit nicely together
preacher1
Sad part is, that is how hey should have structured it in 1971 or pre AMTRAK, before the advent of he regional airlines and traced into the downtowns and out to the hubs. That would have put more money into the hubs as well as all would have been O&D traffic to/from there./
preacher1
I was in Germany as an Army Brat in 1958, and in it's rebuilding years after the war, their train travel would make ours look like child's play. Even the military chief of staff had a private train (I said train, not private car) rather than a plane. The Airline infrastructure just wasn't there. Lufthansa was in it's infancy and the infrastructure eventually came around, but I am talking the days of the Trans-European express, TEE. It was something to go out to a gatehouse and normally gates were lowered one block at a time. When the TEE was coming, they'd go down about 5 miles up and down the railroad.
Moviela
I can agree about the lack of legroom. I remember my first flight when I could stick my legs straight out and not touch the seat in front. I was five. Today I feel cramped in what most airlines call first class. I think one's mood is altered when you have to make your way to the airport and some cop is shooing you away from the curb while you are trying to get the bags out of the car. Then there is the line to turn in the bags. Even if you printed your boarding pass at home you wait. After the wait, they don't take the bags, they tag them and make you schlep them to another line where the TSA has set up shop. When finally the bags are off, you get in another TSA line for shoe business and frisking. This can take up to two hours. Prior to the TSA, a man in a hat took your bags at the curb and for a small gratuity tagged them and got them on the plane. You then handed a paper ticket to a counter agent (or in the lounge or the gate) and you got a paper boarding pass. You strolled to the gate (or lounge) with family or friends who waved you onto the jetway. You were rested and relaxed. Most of the time there was an empty next to you, or a passenger who like you was neatly dressed and polite. Now there is more decorum in a biker bar.

The strange thing is I can wriggle into the seat of a C152, and fly for two hours and feel wonderful the whole way. No TSA makes for a great trip.

I wish more places had outbound luggage service like Hong Kong. You turn in your bags at the train station and you don't see them again until your destination. I wish there were more hotels like Disney World where you turn in your bags at the beginning of your flight and they magically appear in your hotel room.

I loved it when First was only 50% more than coach. Today's nonsense where economy is $800 and First is $10,000 is crazy.

I want my 70's back!
mldavis2
Clear proof that the terrorists are winning.
TiredTom
sadly true... yep, I'm 68 and remember them well
marxnsparks
A perfect article. At some point trains will make a renaissance in a big way. Don't think so? Walk into a US airport and take a US commercial carrier service on a regular basis. The experience is downright despicable.
preacher1
While trains might come back on some of the regional corridors, true cross country won't happen on account of time. That said, a lot of long distance train ridership now is not end to end but between on line cities. It will be whatever the market will bear.
stansdds
I agree with this article, flying is no longer the fun way to travel. You end being treated like cattle going to market.
TiredTom
flew for 20+ years - every other week - UA premier exec 100K, Alaska Air top tier - they always treated me well - in 2004 came home from a trip and told my wife I couldn't do it anymore - people used to ask me what I did for a living...I replied, "I wait in line"..... wait for boarding pass, wait for TSA, wait to get on plane, wait to get off plane, wait for luggage, wait for car rental bus, wait at hotel counter etc etc etc. I fly for pleasure(hah!) couple of times a year now and dread it... just got caught in UAs computer glitch - 2 hrs Sacramento, 8 hours Denver....
preacher1
ref the computer glitch, at least you got to move in between. Some ere set all day.
tedbrussels3001
The best way to deal with this is to fined other cheaper budget carriers who fly within the USA they don"t have to b American to fly them sooner or later the major carriers see this and get worried. Take Lifthansa real rip off"s in airfares that's a major contender her in the. USA

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