I’m flying out to the red, red west tomorrow and Delta has managed to reschedule our flights about a dozen times as they try to manage their schedules. So, I can’t check in and e-ticket. Fine, I’ll call. Hold time is 4 hours and 23 minutes. I guess I will just leave extra early tomorrow so I can have the agent ticket me.
I feel lucky to be traveling Delta — American just cancelled over a thousand flights. The reason for American’s cancellations is that they retired a bunch of older planes during peak COVID and their pilots aren’t re-trained yet for newer planes.
Domestic air travel in the US was already unpleasant pre-COVID. Pointless security theater, terminals that are glorified bus stops and always crowded, and airlines that seem to spend most of their time trying to fuck another dime out of their customers are something that regular air travelers were used to tolerating. Like people who don’t want to go back to their shit jobs, I think people who got accustomed to an old miserable experience are having a hard time adjusting to the new miserable experience.
The people having ragegasms aren’t only COVIDiots who are watching too much Tucker Carlson — one of the recent incidents was the result of an off-duty flight attendant apparently having a mental health issue. That said, convincing a bunch of people that wearing a mask for a few hours was worse that slavery and the Holocaust combined sure isn’t helping.
I’ve done a shitload of flying in the last week and a half: TLV-LHR-JFK-ATL-DAY-ATL-LAX-HNL-ITO, most of it on Delta as it happens. Just as a data point, I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised. People have been well-behaved and mask discipline is pretty good, both in airports and on the planes, despite the fact that, yeah, wearing a mask for 20+ hours without respite does get kind of wearisome. My lips start to chap and juicy sneezes into a mask are gross.
But it was nothing like the MAGAt hellscape that social media had made me fearful of encountering. Even when my 1030 pm flight was delayed until 230 am, people were very chill, so much that the lead flight attendant thanked us when we landed. Finally.
You will note that the standard pre-takeoff spiel by the cabin crew now includes a warning that failure to comply with mask rules may result in removal from the flight, banning from future flights, and Federal criminal charges.
My 17 year old son was flying on his own to Charlotte on American. They asked him to switch because they were overbooked. He would now have a layover in Hilton Head. Weird.
Anyway, they get to Hilton Head and there was no aviation fuel. They didn’t bother to communicate whether they would be able to get him to Charlotte until a plane showed up. They then flew on fumes to Charleston to refuel. His scheduled arrival of 8:00pm was now 12:00AM.
When I called American to try and help my son – who was panicking, because he’s not used to this shit – I got a callback 14 hours later. When I explained what happened and asked why I should ever fly with them again, the “service” rep hung up on me. I wasn’t shouty or anything.
I don’t see how American can survive without immediate reorganization. It’s just a wretchedly run airline.
Yesterday I flew from Atlanta to Boston on Delta, my first flight since March 2020. The Atlanta airport was crazy busy and it took 30 minutes to get through security, even though I had pre-check. Almost everyone was good about masking, and on the plane they made several announcements about keeping your mask on. Every seat on the plane was taken, surprising for a Thursday the week before a holiday weekend. I guess everyone is trying to make up for a year+ of no travel….
ETA: Yes, what Joey said. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone was calm and behaving well. Even in the craziness of the airport.
On my flight last week from Dallas to Anchorage, the pilot came on and in a rant that reminded me of a spoiled child, told us that the guv’mint was forcing him to tell us all to wear our masks throughout the flight. There was nodding agreement from the passengers around me. Does he also think it’s a huge imposition to wear a seat belt or not smoke?
I sent a complaint through the airline’s website pointing this out and got a form letter response. I’ll be interested if I hear the same whiny whimper on the flight home.
The first time I flew, I wore a hat and gloves and was treated like royalty for the regular fare. They didn’t have all the subdivisions then, maybe didn’t even have first class.
I think about that sometimes.
Flown a couple flights on United this month and it was easy and fine. (You wouldn’t think American could be bad enough to make United look good but that’s been the trend for the last several years.)
Protip: when you can’t get through on the phone, send a Twitter DM to the airline. They can do a surprising amount that way, especially if you have a specific request and provide your frequent flyer number up front. Delta’s Twitter people in particular have been excellent, and a lifesaver to me when I otherwise would have had 2+ hours hold times. Of course, this is all pre pandemic, I don’t know what things are like now.
Snarki, child of Loki
“I guess I will just leave extra early tomorrow”
Hopefully you won’t be pre-poned.
I had the unpleasant Southwest experience last week. Flight cancelled Wed as we were riding a shuttle to the airport from an off-site parking facility. Rescheduled to Thursday night, then Thursday a.m. they rescheduled us to Friday morning, but they sent the text at 5:30 a.m. to check in 24 hours ahead at 6. I was asleep. Ended up in C boarding. So our vacation/family visit was shortened by two days. Thanks Southwest. Coming back we endured several southwest employees sitting behind us loudly talking shop and one who had gone to the gala 50th anniversary thing last Saturday. Nice timing for that.
Also, the Las Vegas airport is a craphole. One would think it would be much nicer given all the money there. Tone down the friggin’ gambling machines
ETA: Also apparently my five years of TSA Pre-Check had run out, so I had to endure the normal security theater with all the other steerage. The horrors! (it was fine. Going for the Global Entry this time when I renew).
@Cheryl Rofer: Ah, the memories. My first airplane flight, probably around 1968, was a big occasion and we all got dressed up for it. I think I even got a new dress for it. So funny to think of that now…
I saw recently when purchasing a plane ticket that United and some other airlines now have an even shittier economy class ticket category (simply called the “Fuck You Program”, I presume) where there’s even an extra fee for a carry-on bag.
Go to the boneyard, you boneheads, and…
@Hawes: When American and US Airways merged, it amazed me that they went with American for the name of the merged airline. It was like choosing to call yourself Shit Airlines.
@Snarki, child of Loki: I was pre-poned once–now I know the word! My flight was delayed, and I was relaxing down the terminal in a quiet area. Walked back to my gate and they were boarding–they had moved the flight up again! Could have easily missed it.
Or it might be like Citizen Dave’s story, where they kept cancelling flights and rebooking passengers until they got a full plane.
Family get together 800 miles away in September. I have a ticket credit from a COVID caused flight cancellation in March 2020 but still thinking it may be better to drive.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
I’m feeling more and more fortunate that our cancelled 2020 vacation was via Icelandair. Hoping to cash in the voucher in 2022 and get to Europe in two leisurely hops with a stay of a few days in Iceland.
Minimum of dealing with domestic airlines or my fellow Americans.
Don’t actually know anymore where I want to go. The original was Germany and possibly Holland.
The Moar You Know
If you think flying as a passenger is bad, you all should give being flight crew a shot one day. I am from an aviation family; dad flew for 40+ years, father-in-law flew for 40+ years, mother-in-law was the head of the flight attendants union for one of the carriers that is now American. I think she’s got more seniority than anyone in the family, almost 50 years. Oh God, the stories. People are awful.
It does not have to be like this, but the people who own and actually run the airlines are perfectly fine with it, because y’all keep buying tickets. Until that changes, nothing will change.
PS worst airline hands down is British Airways. Some of the shittiest passengers too.
@citizen dave: That’s why you have to pay close attention to the airport PA system, so when it goes “MWA FWA FWAMNA BWA, FWA KWASAAWAA, PWAJA GAA” you know to head to your gate.
@Matt McIrvin: ??? Shit Airlines was the proper name of US Airways, and the current management of American in their unprecedented degree of badness is the US Airways brass. American was an iconic, historic airline brand that I don’t think came to be associated with awfulness until fairly recently.
ETA: Another US Airways bean counter is now also running United and doing his best to eviscerate the benefits for its most loyal flyers.
I’ve just had to fly back and forth to Phoenix on Southwest for the past two weeks; my second return flight is this evening. The flights have been typically miserable rather than atypically miserable. People were being very sloppy with their masks- pulling them down to talk, bringing on snacks that they ate very slowly as an excuse for leaving their masks off, etc.- but other than that it’s been OK. I would definitely not want to fly if I weren’t vaccinated, not that my boss would have asked me to.
I did notice that the security theater seems to have been slightly lessened. They didn’t hassle me about liquids, and the general effort seems to be to push people through as quickly as possible rather than hold things up.
@Ivan X: The only experiences I’d had on American prior to the merger were profoundly unpleasant, whereas US Airways had been at least mediocre.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@The Moar You Know: I’ve enjoyed Air France, but the last time I flew them my wife and I had to deal with 7 hours of the people in front of us putting their seats back nearly horizontal so we had only a tiny wedge of space for food and seeing the TV screen.
You get one guess as to the nationality of those people and how attempts to negotiate went.
This is why we rarely make ourselves known to other Americans when we hear English near us in Europe.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Matt McIrvin: I’m pretty sure US Air is the shitty company that used to be Allegheny Airlines, not so fondly nicknamed Agony Airlines.
Jill Conner Brown – of Sweet Potato Queen fame – said that when she went to a Mississippi casino she was treated like royalty because unlike most of the meth addled ‘customers’ , she had all of her teeth – also teef.
One mental health issue among thousands of reports of anti-mask rage over the norm issues. How is this argument any different then blaming mass shootings on “mental health” or “bad actors?”
Far more likely it is the anti-mask propaganda and some mental health sensitive at-risk types latched on the rhetoric. At the end of the day, take away the propaganda, you take away the problem. Yelling fire in a crowded theatre is not free speech, nor is spreading lies or believing them when it endangers public safety.
no excuse for this behavior.
Just One More Canuck
@evap: My first flight was on a Canadian Forces transport from Edmonton to Cold Lake (northern Alberta) for a hockey tournament – not exactly a luxurious experience
So has anyone travelled Greyhound lately? Been a few years for me.
See comment #19 by Moar
@Sure Lurkalot: That’s a dilemma. You want to use the credit, but… My wife and me love the control and experience of driving if it’s not too far.
I’m headed west not terribly early in the morning, Delta out of Logan, and can safely say I’m doing so with no small degree of trepidation. But that’s what edibles are for ;)
And after adjusting for inflation, your regular fare ticket probably cost at least as much as a first class ticket would today. Modern airfare is ridiculously cheap when you consider all the costs involved in flying, which is why airlines are regularly on the brink of bankruptcy. I too wish the flying experience were nicer, but then I wind up hunting for the cheapest possible fare and not getting what I refuse to pay for.
Yeah. I’m about to leave on a two-week vacation that became a driving vacation because although I’m vaccinated, I’m not yet ready to fly. So off to Wisconsin we drive. That said, I’m taking my sweet time to get there. Trying to find interesting things to do on I-80 in PA along the route has been a challenge. I might die of boredom before I get to Youngstown.
@Ken: Yes I know, but it seems in the last few years in many terminals they only make announcements in the gate area, not the whole terminal. Although eventually if you’re missing you usually hear your name all over the place.
Back in the daze when we could laugh about such foist-whirled problems, I seem to recall the trenchant valediction was
Dorothy A. Winsor
I learned a new COVID thing today. A new lady in my gym class said she’d developed “COVID shoulder” after getting the vaccine. She had shoulder pain and limited range of motion. I thought it might be vaccine BS so I looked it up when I got home, and it turns out there is such a thing. The shot is supposed to go into the muscle but in a small number of cases, it hits the bursa and you get long lasting, serious inflammation. So the content of the vaccine doesn’t cause it; the administration can. So if you hear about this one, that’s what it is
I recently flew Alaska Airlines to San Jose del Cabo, and a flight attendant just flatly announced at the start of the flight that anyone not wearing a mask properly would be reported to law enforcement. No coddling, just bam… Which I found reassuring—clear instructions with clear consequences.
There were plenty of air rage incidents before COVID. The extra stress of COVID restrictions is just making everything worse and providing a target for people’s anger.
@Cheryl Rofer: I remember the days when there was always one FA who was an RN.
Anyhoo, whoever upthread said their lips are chapped should buy a pack of mask brackets.
I am pre-dreading flying to London. I wish they’d all sell business class seats for a reasonable amount, like TAP Air does.
We just got back this week, round trip on Southwest from a blue state (CA) to a blue state (WA) and back. Our experiences in Sac Int’l and SeaTac were excellent. And both flights were excellent. No delays, TSA pre-check lines were fast and everywhere, in both airports and both flights, no one was without a mask. No complaints and no hostilities. In SeaTac, we saw maybe 2 people with their masks under their noses.
I guess not everyone had such a good experience with flying recently.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@The Moar You Know: The people who run the airlines should be required to fly coach on their own airlines. Only. Always.
The last time my gate changed- last week, in fact- I got a message on my smartphone a couple of minutes before they announced it at the gate. It was nice, because it gave me a chance to get a better seat at the gate we switched to.
@The Moar You Know: Fellow airline brat here; both parents worked for TWA, so I grew up flying space available, and getting to watch the deterioration of service from the early 60s to, well, now.
People are far bigger assholes in public nowadays in general, and in planes is even worse that on busses. There’s a pervasive “Republican” attitude (“I got mine, fuck you”) to simple things like standing in line; let alone sitting cheek-to-jowl in a pressurized metal tube for 3 hours, AFTER the nudie-scan at TSA. I’ll be really glad to see if there are lasting consequences to being asshats on planes; removing the worst miscreants from the flying public would certainly be an improvement.
The last plane trip I went on was an epic journey to Singapore and back in late January 2020. (The day I left was the same day the first known COVID cases in Singapore entered the country.)
It was via Heathrow, and the transatlantic leg was on Virgin Atlantic. Never again. I have never seen economy seats that were crammed so tightly on any plane before–I felt mild claustrophobia just being in them for a moment, let alone six and a half hours. It really felt like those semi-standing seats the industry keeps threatening us with.
The long leg was on a Singapore Airlines A380 super-jumbo and was really nice–probably my first and last chance ever to fly on an A380, though I didn’t know it. There were a lot of stories about how COVID-19 would probably be the end of the A380–it was designed for a market that no longer exists, was never cost-effective for most of the airlines that ran it, and they’re mostly focusing on more fuel-efficient twin jets now and phasing out jumbos. But it sounds like Singapore Airlines will be keeping a few around.
On the flight back, the Singapore Airlines leg was delayed somewhat and between that and customs/immigration hassles, we missed the Virgin Atlantic flight, but SA was amazingly good about sending someone with their passengers to look after us and make sure we got re-booked. It mostly gave us time to get a long lunch at the Heathrow Wagamama.
@Matt McIrvin: “When American and US Airways merged – ”
It saved a friend and I the trouble of arguing whether to refer to the latter as Useless Air (my choice) or U Scare (hers).
I’m antique enough to recall when Piedmont Airlines, with the best safety record in the nation, was gobbled up by Allegheny, with the worst. (Something about flights in & out of Appalachian airstrips that ended when the flat land dropped into a hollow. That was the excuse anyway.) The latter eventually became Useless Air.
Yikes! I’m flying American July 1 and have already had the flight changed once. My wife and I are heading out to the B&B in California where we got married on the front porch six years ago. We decided that at our age it would be good to wed on a major holiday if we were to have any chance of remembering our anniversary in the years to come.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Yes, I think that’s right. Allegheny and Piedmont (and maybe another?) made US Air. My wife was a phone reservations agent for US Air for 5 years in the 1990s. Not to offend anyone, but her conclusion was that the worst people–at least phonewise–were Long Islanders.
smedley the uncertain
@citizen dave: I find that any destination within a 1000 mile radius or so is a wash compared to flying. That includes a one stay over half way and meals. The big advantages are ; every one gets a window seat, I know where my bags are (no extra charge), and we can divert if something piques our interest. Oh, it’s all first class, I rent a car that I could not afford to buy. Time enroute is not much longer than flying and I arrive in a better mood considering I don’t have to get up at 0 dark thirty to get to the airport in time to be frisked, hassled and delayed.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: And be in boarding group C, behind the guy with a huge carry-on bag who opens every bin on the way down the aisle to see if there’s room for it, before reaching the back of the plane and then trying to go back upstream with the bag.
Not that I’m still annoyed…
Mike in NC
We flew to Florida about a month ago and pretty much everybody was OK with following the rules. Terminals were very crowded, but travelers and airline passengers all wore masks as directed. One thing I’d noticed over the past few years is that as airlines start to charge more for checked baggage ($30 on average now), more and more people decided they’d take their luggage as carry-on, no matter how big or heavy they were, so there’s less space for everybody else. Not uncommon to see jerks with two suitcases and a backpack trying to stuff them into the overhead bins.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
I have heard people who have pre-existing joint problems complain they’ve been exacerbated after the vaccination. It could be some kind of autoimmune issue.
The best airlines for me are Air New Zealand and Emirates, though I have to say that, while looking a bit downtrodden, every flight on Turkish Airlines was great.
I booked a flight for our family to Iceland in October on Icelandair, and was very excited to see that currently they are still not permitting travelers from the United States who are not vaccinated to travel to Iceland. I will be very happy if that status quo remains through the autumn.
I panicked when I saw that you had to await the results of a Covid test before being allowed to travel further out into the country because we’re hoping to get onto the Ring Road the first day, but I see as of July 1 if you are vaccinated you no longer have to be tested upon arrival. Hooray! Though I’m going to make sure the paperwork is in order before we leave. ?
But Garland isn’t doing anything about voting rights….
@Matt McIrvin: As far as I can remember, Useless Air had and deserved an even worse reputation than American.
Is that like preheating your oven? (h/t George Carlin)
Still disappointed he didn’t do it yesterday.
Bruce K in ATH-GR
Oddly, I’ve had decent experiences on British Airways (chosen because of transatlantic flights that landed and took off from BWI). My vaccination/helping-parents-move trip to the US this spring was on a mix of United and Lufthansa, and maybe the international flavor of the flights helped weed out the worst of the GQP-esque attitudes, because except for one idiot who grabbed my seat on the Athens-to-Munich leg of the journey despite her own seat being open and the rest of business class being empty (my parents subsidized my ticket and insisted on business class for reasons of safety, because I hadn’t been vaccinated yet), there were no problems.
@Peale: I 80 does go through most of the forest area of PA, but I would highly recommend a detour to Williamsport. Very pretty town along the Susquehanna River. Another place, that would also be a detour, would be Rickets Glen State Forest — wonderful hiking trails with lots of falls. If it would not put too much time on your trip, Rt 6 is absolutely beautiful and you can hit the “Grand Canyon of PA”
While slinging feces at “mainstream Democrats”.
I need to plan a trip from Massachusetts to Michigan some time this summer. Normally flying would have the edge, but at this point I’m *strongly* leaning toward the 14-hour-or-so drive. Avoiding the plane is nice, but not paying sky-high prices to drive in somebody else’s car at the other end is even better. The big question is whether I’ll be splitting the trip at Southern Tier’s brewhouse (if I’m by myself) or at Cedar Point (if my daughter’s with me).
I second your recommendation for Williamsport and Ricketts Glen. My family is from Williamsport, and I have camped more than once at Ricketts Glen, and yes, they’re both worth a visit.
@smedley the uncertain: A thousand times this. Traveling from New Orleans to Providence is $600 plus 7 hours transit plus all the time to get to and wait at the airport before the first leg. So what is that…10 hours of misery minimum? And two of us are going. A car takes more time but is less than half the cost. Food’s better, it’s more comfortable, and I can talk to my partner without shouting over the scream on the engines in the poorly insulated cabin. And if we play our cards right, we can get excellent bbq in three different varieties along the way.
And where are the show trials and auto da fés?
(Or is it autos da fé?)
@Dorothy A. Winsor: I’ve also heard of “COVID vaccine arm” which is a delayed return of shoulder soreness about 8 days after getting the Moderna vaccine. (There are reports with other vaccines but it seems to mostly happen with the Moderna, for some reason nobody understands.) But that’s pretty mild and resolves in a day or two. I did not get it, though I may have had a delayed resurgence after about a week of the stomach wobbles I felt the day after getting the Moderna.
@Nelle: I’ve had good luck with Qatar, though I find the seats on Emirates to be too thin. I’ve had excellent service with Turkish, and after spending 9 months at a time in Pakistan, the layover affords me decent local beer and that weird Turkish pretzel equivalent.
@FlyingToaster: TWA was my airline back in the day when I sold advertising and was on a flight every weekend. Bought the very reasonably priced card for the VIP lounges, and that was some excellent service. It felt very civilized!
Stop selling alcohol in airports and airplanes. Stop it.
@TheflipPsyD: I used to live in western Mass and my mother lived in northern Illinois but not Chicago. Route 6 was my favorite route, it then I was never trying to make time.
@Paul T: I don’t think that will happen as long as the income exceeds the costs, especially since so much of the cost is intangible. And I expect the THC vendors are starting to eye that space, though Federal laws will have to change first.
@Roger Moore: The site of my recent knee surgery seemed to ache a little more in the day after my shots, but it was mild and temporary.
@Obdurodon: I’d suggest riding a train but Massachusetts to Michigan seems to be kind of tough.
Let’s see … reasons not to fly:
(1) I’m retired, and normally not time-constrained.
(2) I enjoy road-tripping, and have a brand new, comfortable car that came with three years of free electrons.
(3) Between my stent and continuous glucose monitor, I’m guaranteed to get “secondary screening” (aka molestation).
So if the trip doesn’t involve crossing an ocean, forget flying—and if I can’t get there in business class on Lufthansa …
Several years back, I had a job interview in AR the day after Memorial Day, so my flight was Memorial Day. My plane was hours late, so I took an alternate flight to the nearest big city, but when I got there all the car rentals were closed due to the holiday. Fortunately, someone was able to somehow reach the rental car place to confirm I had a car reserved, and I drove an hour to the other city. The nav killed the battery in my phone, and I couldn’t find a charging cable anywhere (the airport was a low-end one with a few vending machines).
Anyway, on the flight back to Houston, there was a major storm in Houston, so they diverted to Dallas and circled for an hour waiting on the storm *there* to subside. When that failed, we flew all the way back to AR (instead of, say, San Antonio or Austin). I had no more rental car at that point, nor did I have a hotel, and I was nearly broke then, so I couldn’t get another. That episode was enough for me to turn down the job.
My DTBF is about 11 hours now, up from 5-6. I’m rapidly approaching FIIFE, especially now that I’m retired.
(DTBF = Drive Time Before Flying)
(FIIFE = Fuck It, I’m Flying Everywhere) (At least CONUS)
@Ivan X: For all the handwringing about Scott Kirby, he hasn’t been as bad as one would think given he worked with Doug Parker (American’s CEO) for a long time. I do think the previous United CEO (Oscar Munoz) might have instilled into him that customer service was a bit more important than American let’s on.
I have flown predominantly United since I finished college, and it has been miles better since the old Continental CEO, Jeff Smisek, got canned. He was the absolute worst, and a lot of his bad decisions are ones that United is actively trying to undo (like leaving JFK).
Pilot friend was recently going from SFO to Germany. They had pulled away from the gate when they were told a passenger was refusing to wear his mask. Mind you, he would have been wearing one at the airport, through security, at gate check-in, etc. but now nope, it’s Freedom Time®.
After serial refusals they returned to the gate where he was “welcomed” by security. They pulled away and then had to return to get his stuff from the overhead bin. They then had to refuel because they had used too much fuel puttering around SFO. Responding to a second gate request, to get his stuff from under the seat, revealed a McDonald’s bag, which they quickly tossed in the trash and told the gate crew, “Nope, nothing there.” Finally they were off to Germany, quite late, which the Germans on board weren’t happy about (if you know nothing of Germans, this is the kind of things with which they are not fond/do not understand).
In conclusion, flying for a living isn’t as fun as it looks.
Mohawk maybe? I remember student standby on Allegheny in the 70s. I spent many nights, including a Christmas Eve, sleeping on the benches in Pittsburgh after getting bumped there when changing planes.
One of the A380’s failings is the requirement to land on big, reinforced runways a lot of airports aren’t willing to invest in. “How many people can we possibly cram onto one airplane?” might have been better discarded from the design criteria.
I used to fly for my job, when I worked in pro sports.
I flew often enough that the Hertz attendant once told me as I was checking in, that I was in the top 5% of Hertz renters, that’s how much I rented cars. I flew so often in and out of my home airport, on the same flights that the flight attendants would recognize me. I knew the best airport to fly in and out of. None. I’ve slept on the floor of the Atlanta Hartsfield terminal enough times that I think they were ready to put up a sign reserving my space.
I flew. A lot.
It was not the wonderful experience that the commercials used to lie about. It was a bus with wings. Nothing more. Sometimes less. If you expect more, you will be disappointed. Ginormously disappointed. Actually the last bus I rode on was better, I had more room, and it was on time.
OTOH, I did, on occasion have interesting, and yes, a lot of not so interesting seat mates. The guy who could type about 50 words a minute on a BlackBerry. The guy who was pissed that I fell asleep and wasn’t pissed that we sat at the airport for a long time after they closed the door. The guy from Germany who now lived in New Zealand, where we were on a 13 hr flight to. The kids were the most fun.
Flew on Frontier, Islip to Orlando, two trips there and back in the last few weeks. No problems at all. Admittedly, Islip is a small airport.
@Paul T: That was another odd addition to the pre-takeoff spiel, a sentence to the effect that it’s illegal to drink alcohol that you brought onboard yourself.
Side note: when did LAX become such a dump? The carpet in Terminal 5 looks like it needs a crime-scene cleaning.
I would suggest that if time allows taking Rt 6 all the way across the state. Plenty of sights (don’t miss the PA Lumber Museum. Really!) and the whole trip has a throwback-to-the-60s vibe.
But it would take at least a day and a half to do the full length of PA properly.
Amen! “I’m gonna be in a cramped seat for a few hours. Might as well get drunk and be an asshole.”
Hoo-boy, I sure hope this really happened.
@Spanky: I was FIIFE before I had a kid. Now that I am going to own a car, I will probably be more comfortable doing 3-5 hour drives. Flying to Boston will probably never happen again for me in a long time, even though I would much rather do the short 30 minutes in the air vs. hauling up I-95.
Shit, that was supposed to be FIIDE. I don’t wanna fly anywhere.
They should remove these people and throw away their luggage on arrival.
When was LAX ever not a dump? I was always willing to endure a plane change in order to fly out of John Wayne.
@mrmoshpotato: I appreciated that, too, as I knew exactly what that meant! I have lots of allergies and when mask wearing first started I was kind of at a loss as to how to sneeze.
@trollhattan: Not only that, an A380 is best boarded with a two-story gate, which can be hard to swing.
The A380 was supposed to be a 747-killer, but the 747’s heyday was waning by the time it went into operation. Airlines are moving gradually away from the hub-and-spoke model that makes it make sense to cram 400 or 500 people onto one plane. Also, safety regulations changed such that it became more possible to fly twin-engine jets over the ocean, and they’re far more efficient than planes with more engines
It’s a nice plane to ride on, though.
You’d have to be from my neck of the woods to know this, or even to care; but Singapore Airlines’ name is customarily shortened to SIA, just as Malaysia Airlines is customarily shortened to MAS. When the joint national carrier Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) was split up in the 1970s, one side took the name Singapore International Airlines and the other named itself Malaysia Airline System.
The policy should be no mask required if you bring your own air and sealed enclosure.
Mike in NC
@trollhattan: Just started a new book: “Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda“. It seems that his father was a sleazy lawyer who then became a shady realtor. Miller also read and listened to Rush Limbaugh while in high school and college. No wonder he gravitated to the Trump-Bannon neo-Nazi orbit.
When we were in Spain in 2019 we rode the Renfe AVE high-speed train from Madrid to Valencia. It really made me appreciate what we could have instead of all this. Wonderful train. My only complaint was that I couldn’t get the wifi to work (my not being a Spanish citizen turned the sign-in process into an unnavigable maze).
@Baud: Doing it on Friday ruins the weekend for the defendants. Garland is just that vicious.
Renting a car at LAX is among the worst travel experiences I’ve had. Will be flying to Pittsburgh for a wedding in Youngstown next month. Not looking forward to it, although to be fair I’m now starting to get depressed every time I’m off Cape. For our son’s wedding in Brooklyn in August, Alice and I will take the Acela. There is no GOOD way to travel between Greater Boston and NYC, but Amtrak is the least bad.
Personal question, Mistermix: are you flying from ROC? I’m going there in Aug for a family thing, didn’t remember that Delta flies there. Probably I’ll fly from LaGuardia. I hope they have scheduling worked out be then.
@Amir Khalid: Whatever their abbreviation, they get high marks for service.
@mrmoshpotato: Agree; recommend replacing with THC options. My uncle was a police chief who dreaded dealing with drunks due to the unpredictable violence, but said breaking up pot parties back in the day was very mellow. He just remembers the giggling. It would make flying way more pleasant if those who wanted to get a bit altered had a better choice.
I flew to the US via LAX quite a bit in my journo days, and it was a dump every single time I came through. Especially the Tom Bradley terminal, which MAS was assigned to. It’s been 20 years; nice to know that some things about America haven’t changed.
@Paul T: On my Southwest flight to Kansas City in May, they only served Coke, Diet Coke, 7-Up and water. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t order a chardonnay, but it’s just as well since I didn’t want to take off my KN95 mask anyway. Still, I hate it that a few assholes who can’t hold their liquor have to ruin it for the rest of us.
@The Moar You Know:
Back when they were BOAC, the joke was that it stood for “Bastards On All Continents.” My sole experience with them, though, a couple of years ago, was unobjectionable, perhaps because I opted not to fly steerage.
There is no law against it, and this quote has been used for 100 years to justify free speech squelching, see Schenck vs United States.
Popehat does a good takedown on this subject, if I can find the link I will post it here.
@ian: Also, it’s not “crowded theater”, it’s just “theater.”
Those are still the only 4 choices on SWA for beverages. (We flew earlier this week). Plus, they recommend holding up the appropriate number of fingers for your beverage choice so you don’ need to talk to the flight attendant through your mask.
I never dressed up to go flying, but I distinctly remember a time when the person at the window seat could get out without the people in the middle and aisle seats standing up and moving into the aisle, they just had to move their legs to the side. I also remember that the aisles were wide enough that a person could squeeze past the refreshments cart. Now the aisle is only wide enough to let the cart through. I plan to do some traveling next year, and I’m dreading the flying part of it.
I love that daily BA flight from BWI to Heathwick or Gatrow. BWI is very easy to reach from either Baltimore (I-95, BW Parkway, Amtrak, MARC commuter or light rail) or DC, and it hosts so few international flights that customs/passport controls are usually a breeze. Were it not for the extra cost I’d take it every trip over. The BA folks have been good to me.
 On one flight east the passengers were understandably groggy from the usual sleep problems overnight when the plane landed and a perky voice on the intercom announced, “British Airways welcomes you to London Heathrow Airport” –
Which got everyone to sit bolt upright, as we were shedjeweled to land at Gatwick. A few seconds later a different voice (no doubt the senior FA) announced we were in fact at the proper airport…but it scared the crap out of all of us with connecting flights.
 I would normally drive from my Baltimore rowhouse to my brother’s place in Columbia MD and leave the car there while he chauffeured me over.
 Vs Greyhound to Port Authority 42nd St, E-train to Queens to AirTrain to JFK. But I have an ace in the hole, a college buddy who lives about 6 blocks from an E-train stop who I don’t see often enough – I usually stop off with them for a day or two in either direction. Which might be especially important if there are last-minute changes or cancellations.
 On the same flight as in , an FA scolded us to pay attention during the security briefing, even if we’d flown on this type of plane before, inasmuch as … After several unsuccessful attempts to pronounce “Each has its peculiarities,” she spluttered, “They’re all different!” I tell you, that flight was comedy gold…
 Once while checking in I consulted a seating chart and said to the clerk, “It looks like my seat is in front of a bulkhead.” And explained that the bulkhead was not shown on their website, and that I really really really needed to be able to recline as much as possible. “Don’t worry,” she replied, “we’ll find you an aisle seat that you can recline.” And they did. In first-class. Woohoo! (Which experience, FTR, finally established that there is no way I can sleep more than an hour or two on a transatlantic flight no matter how comfy and roomy my seat is. Damn!)
@Just One More Canuck: “My first flight was on a Canadian Forces transport from Edmonton to Cold Lake (northern Alberta) for a hockey tournament – not exactly a luxurious experience”
That was deliberate, to get you into the mood :)
Burbank is way worse than LAX. Is there some crazy reason they didn’t knock down that terminal building fifty years ago?
Very interesting article. Thanks for the link.
Also greatly appreciated his digression on Buck v Bell.
I dressed for my first flight (a family holiday to Medan, Sumatra) in bell-bottom jeans and platform shoes. In my defence, I was 14.
@Roger Moore: If you fly from a big airport, this may be true. Flying from a small town that is 400+ miles from a big airport, the cost for steerage is about the same as when I first flew in 1979
James E Powell
That’s how I remember it, but I’m old and I no longer trust my memory. I do know that I used to love flying and now I hate it. Every part of it except that it’s the only fast way to get from one end of the country to the other.
@Eljai: the last time I flew from the big island to LAX, jerk across from me loaded up on drinks then threw up in the aisle somewhere over the Pacific. What’s worse is he totally denied culpability when asked by the Flight Attendant
This, almost more than anything else, is why I hate flying. It is too often just a generally unpleasant experience.
@Amir Khalid: Bell-bottoms, you say?
I have actually had more good experiences than bad on Southwest. The worst incident was not really Southwest’s fault: trying to fly home to Manchester, NH airport from Denver International, we had a hotel room right next to the airport but discovered that 2 hours was not enough time to get through the apocalyptically mobbed security and baggage check, and missed our flight–along with about half of the other people in the entire airport.
Everything was so slammed that we ended up settling for any flight that would get us out of Denver in a generally eastward direction, and ended up spending the night camping on benches in the terminal at Chicago Midway. For the next leg, we had to split up–my wife and kid got seats on flights from Midway through BWI to MHT, whereas I ended up going through Nashville to Boston Logan and they had to come and pick me up from there.
(I’ve never really been to Nashville, but they’ve got a nice little airport.)
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
I haven’t flown again yet but what amazed me prior to the pandemic, and I doubt it’s gotten better in the interim, is how shitty many American airports have gotten. O’Hare, Boston Logan, all the DC area ones…they are just nigh on run down dumps these days with bathroom facilities nearly inadequate for the volume of people the airport has to service. They really are not much better than bus terminals. I was in Brazil in 2018 – Recife and Rio – and the airports in both places were just as nice as O’Hare. I know Brazil is more developed than many lesser developed nations but still…things should be nicer in the richest country in the world. But we accept it because the super-rich never use the regular airports so they never have to deal with the shittiness that the rest of us put up with. And they have all the money that could be used to upgrade and expand and make less shitty the places the rest of us have to use.
@Roger Moore: This is the argument one gets whenever one compares flying back in the good old days when there was leg room comfy seats and real food and now. “Well, only rich people could fly then, you elistist snob.” Still doesn’t explain how the experience gets incrementally worse every year after being “egalitarian” for about 40 years now. Doesn’t explain the unbundling of every single cost down to the carry on bag. What’s next…a surcharge for a seatbelt?
I said the same thing about AA a decade ago. Yet they’re still here, sadly, because it’s likely that their direct competitors for their core routes and hubs are America West and United, airlines that I find to be even more wretched. (NB: this is all based on my travel heydays, which were some time ago. YMMV these days).
@Uncle Cosmo: I don’t know why, but even though BWI is actually the busiest of the DC-area airports, I’ve had less trouble or unpleasantness there than I ever had at National or Dulles. They always seem to get you through security/bag check pretty fast, and the amenities are pretty good.
The only thing is that the car-rental facility is an immense distance from the terminal and you have to figure in a quarter-hour or so for the shuttle bus trip to or from it, if you are making use of it.
The DC-3 was a miracle. If you think today’s travel experiences are bad try rail travel in the twenties. The ad copy was big on electric fans for the first class trains. I can’t imagine the stifling body horror of grinding across Missouri in July.
@burnspbesq: I don’t get to LAX too often. I think the last time was when the new international terminal was BRAND new, as in, cables still dangling from conduit brand new, and at the time I thought it was pretty nice.
Youth sports, forging future citizens.
“Half-Mexican” full-time jerk. And let’s hear it for coach! Bet he gets a raise.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Where they’ve improved is in ways to take your money: most of them have large shopping-mall-like concourses behind the security gates where there used to be very little, because they know getting through security is so onerous that people want to get it over with early and end up spending a lot of time back there.
But at many airports, actually getting through check-in and security is still a nightmare, 20 years after 9/11. I think Denver International was one of the last major airports to open before 9/11 and the centralized design is just all wrong for the way they run these lines now. It takes three fucking hours to get through. You could fly somewhere else in that time.
@trollhattan: They throw tortillas and marshmallows at the Rose Parade.
Rose Parade 2013: Hurling soft missiles is parade route tradition
They were making a big deal out of cracking down the year we were there.
I flew back from visiting my mother on the other side of the country in May, just after Delta allowed people back into middle seats, and it was an ordinary level of unpleasant other than I had 2 layovers instead of my usual one. I’m thinking of going back in the early fall and these reports are giving me pause.
As to American being in trouble from their current massive incompetence; unfortunately it’s not so, since the airline industry in the US is mostly a network of near-monopolies. Delta is the only airline to fly within 100 miles of my mother, in spite of her living in a small city. Even metropolises often have more than half their flights by one airline, and when there’s meaningful competition, there’s still only four. It’s just too close to a monopoly for market mechanisms to force bad companies to fix themselves.
@L85NJGT: I flew home in a C 141, luxury flight but I was glad to be on it.
I flew home in a C 141, luxury flight but I was glad to be on it.
@L85NJGT: I can imagine it was similar to New Delhi to Agra in late May, before monsoon breaks the heat.
Did anyone else fly “non-scheduled airlines”?
When I was a kid they’d ship me from Midway to Lax on them.
If there is money to be made, our overlords will find a way to squeeze it out in any and every way possible.
And some that really aren’t.
It *can* be fixed. LAX was a check-in horror for years after 9/11, but they’ve reorganized the airport for clearance and I don’t think I’ve had to wait in line more than 15 minutes for years now. Basically, they repurposed a lot of what was something else (probably offices, from the look of it) into passenger clearance.
Now getting to the airport with Uber & co jamming up the road is a different story. I’m very grateful I can almost always fly from John Wayne. Maybe it’ll get better when they open the light rail stop in a few years.
Amazing the DC-3 is still in use. Have read about companies that will update them with modern instruments, controls, etc. Still gorgeous seen in person when they’ve had the aluminum skin polished (which must be one thankless task).
You probably would have been happy being on a raft towed by a destroyer as long as it was bringing you home.
DM the airline. Much quicker response. I never call anymore…
@Nicole: I am thinking about an October trip to Iceland too. I haven’t pulled the trigger on the tickets because I’m undecided still but time is running out if I want to find a flight for the days I have available. How long are you planning on staying?
@Rand Careaga: My last experience on British Air (Denver to Heathrow) was in steerage and it was awful beyond words. The plane was ridiculously old, loud and creaky.
Locals always have good slogans for airline acronyms. I went to Roatan in the Honduras and two airlines that flew there were LANSA and SAHSA, which the bartender at the resort said stood for “lost and never seen again” and “stay at home and stay alive.”
@japa21: Well, it was good enough for the POW’s so it was damn sure good enough for my sorry ass.
I would highly recommend getting TSA pre-check if any of you haven’t done so already. It’s $85 for 5 years and you can renew online without an additional background check.
At Sac Int’l, the wait time in the TSA pre-check line (two weeks ago) was zero minutes. At SeaTac, it was less than 10 minutes.
Race to the bottom has destroyed air travel.
@raven: That’s kind of how my grandmother took her kids on vacation. They flew standby on military flights, on account of her being a retired officer. She and the 5 kids would pack up, head to the base, and wait for a flight with 6 open seats. Where were they going on vacation? They never knew. Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, hot, cold, no idea. So they packed for everything. They’d have to wear parachutes on the plane back then, because those were the rules. The military hadn’t moved to commercial flights for sending troops to posts, so they’d be sitting there with a bunch of 19 year olds heading out to their new post.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:
I’ve seen airports with restrooms worse than the destroyer I was stationed on for 2 yrs. That used salt water to just flush everything into the ocean. It was cleaned every day, it still wasn’t enough because there were over 80 people that used it and there were 4 stalls. Every airport and train station I’ve ever been in has the same problem, too many customers, too few possibilities. Our world was designed around a lot fewer customers and it seems that the last and least thought was given to exhaust system needs.
@Matt McIrvin: I flew on both American Airlines and USairways before the merger, and to me it was a toss a coin type of decision as to which airline was worse, though the edge probably belonged to American.
it always made me snicker when the stewards said the USairways slogan at the close of their announcements, because when they said “Remember USairways begins with U (you), it often sounded like they were saying euww.
I’m flying for the first time in 7 years in a couple of weeks — from Tampa to Seattle. Leaving on a Thursday and coming home on a Wednesday. Hope nothing gets canceled or otherwise fucked up. I’m stressed out enough because I hate to fly.
@Martin: So they flew out of military air bases like Travis and McCord. That is an awesome story. I found a stock photo of a 141 troop flight, they must have had a ball on them!
@Ruckus: Restrooms??? You’re gettin soft ol swabbie!
@raven: I’ve jumped from a C141.
ETA: Actually, on a C141, you just walk out the door. Not as fun as a C130 where you actually jump.
@trollhattan: So, throwing tortillas is a very old tradition. At my employer, it was most common among the engineering students at graduation, and a few decades ago I was tasked with enquiring if there was any racial element to it.
It was pretty clear the tradition was a practical one, not a hateful one. Easy to smuggle in (see also: inflatable beach ball), aerodynamic – you’d be surprised how far a tortilla will fly, doesn’t hurt when you get hit by one, you can write messages on them, you can use them as a snack in a 2 hour ceremony, they’re cheap as shit, and for an outdoor event, they’re quickly biodegradable, so you don’t feel bad littering.
None of the latino students took offense, they fully understood the practicality of them – they’d been throwing them their whole lives as well.
@Fair Economist: I do like the single Uber/Lyft pickup spot at John Wayne as well. But the best pandemic airport has got to be Long beach! People, after screening, you can sit outdoors. You board outdoors. I love that. And the car valet where they also detail it for you is very reasonable for short trips.
@Juju: I was flying from Phoenix to Pittsburg on US Air. They stews got everything stowed and we took off. When we got in the air the guy in front of me opened the bin and his laptop fell out and knocked me cold! The stews freaked out (they had stowed it) and gave me whatever first aid they could on the gash in my head. They keep asking if I wanted an ambulance. I said “mam, it’s three hours to Pittsburg, I’ll either be ok or dead!
@Omnes Omnibus: Down the ramp in the back right? We watched a guy at Campbell jump and no chute opened. Curahee!
looks like side door. Have you seen the film of the jump at Corregidor? 500 ft.
@Scout211: I agree. I just renewed my TSA pre online and I consider it money well spent. When my first Uber driver canceled and the second showed up 40 minutes late, I was still able to sweep through security in 10 minutes and board my plane.
ETA: After decimating the local taxi service, now Uber is having trouble finding drivers due to the shitty pay and work conditions. Who could have predicted?
That all sounds right to me. Though the 2019 destruction of MileagePlus (both on the award ticket prices side, and the status earning side) still causes me great pain as a regular United flyer.
Your first comment has to be manually approved, but after that they show up right away.
The only good thing about the modern flying experience as compared with the olden days (pre-1990) is that no one is allowed to smoke cigarettes on planes anymore. Even outside of the smoking section, you could still smell the smoke. Yuck!
@raven: A comment or two of yours had the wrong nym, so they went into moderation.
@WaterGirl: yea, a 1 on it right? I just redid em.
The person who solves the airport surface traffic problem should get a special Nobel Peace prize. Or perhaps a Fields Medal, it’s about as difficult as any of the Clay Millennium Problems.
@raven: Ooooh my dad jumped onto Corregidor in WW2. I’ll check that link out from home later.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: There is an old, old political cartoon that shows a rich businessman being forced onto one of his his own railroad coaches. This is back in the day where sloppy maintenance of tracks and trains caused numerous derailments and deaths, though…
ETA: It’s been 31 days since Vance convened the grand jury. Is this an average amount of time? Fast? Slow?
@raven: Well, this was back in New York, so I think it was almost always out of Mitchel. They lived in Carle Place, which is just up the road.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: I think there was an old joke that went USair means Unfortunately Still Allegheny In Reality.
@Pappenheimer: Back in the day, huh.
That’s some currently active track in Ohio.
@Spanky: The grand jury was empaneled for either 4 or 6 months, which is kind of unheard of. And they meet way more often than usual. So, I don’t think slow or fast, but I think there’s a fuckton of stuff being looked at and unusual due diligence considering it’s a former President.
@raven: Side door at the rear.
Not sure about that. Have crossed oceans on a destroyer several times and inside it soon becomes just another day, but being towed by one is an entirely different thing. We once towed a destroyer escort, which is/was a smaller version and which only had one engine room/prop, rather than the two separate ones we had. Their one failed for some unknown reason so we towed them for I think it was about a day and a half when we met a sea going tug that took them the rest of the way. Poor bastards were rocking and rolling far, far more than we were. Sort of like a roller coaster ride – on steroids. Way too many steroids. A raft? Yeah that would be a lot worse. A lot.
@Julie: I think one other improvement is online ticket sales. For all the annoyance of navigating the maze of deals and seat selection, it was worse when you had to go to a travel agency and wait in line to carry out that whole negotiation with an agent who had access to the magic terminal.
@Matt McIrvin: Just FTR, when BWI was built, its name was Friendship International Airport. Maybe there’s still a bit of that attitude in residence. I think Baltimore’s Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court (whose name BWI now also bears) would approve.
@germy: I never been all that amused by Bierce.
@VeniceRiley: Really, the Rock Force? My dad landed the 1st Bat on the second day because it was felt that thee element of surprise was lost and the casualties were too great to risk. I have the original footage from the national archives and am am member of the Corregidor Historical Society. I’d love to chat with you markann at the google mail thing,
@Omnes Omnibus: got it
Did Weisselberg flip on Trump?
He’s been with the Family for decades. I’m curious if he’s still loyal.
I’ve been in airports a lot worse than LAX. Also, LAX gets just a bit of traffic. 2019 they had over 88 million passengers. In 2009 they had 56.5 million. I have no idea how that compares to other airports but that’s a few bodies.
@germy: Rumors are that he hasn’t. Guessing this is about adding more potential charges to Weisselberg to get him to flip.
He’s been described as “close-lipped” by the media.
Weird. I am on American right now and they are trying. No cancellations or any issues and I have been travelling with them through the pandenmic. Anyway, the flight attendents are doing a good job in a not good situation.
James E Powell
President Joe is doing exactly what he said he would do. Republicans can’t deal with it.
I am stressed out because even though we have a rental car reserved, we did not pay for it in advance, and I fear it will not be there. We have a 4 hour drive after we leave the airport.
ProPublica has obtained new details about the Trump White House’s knowledge of the gathering storm, after interviewing more than 50 people involved in the events of Jan. 6 and reviewing months of private correspondence. Taken together, these accounts suggest that senior Trump aides had been warned the Jan. 6 events could turn chaotic, with tens of thousands of people potentially overwhelming ill-prepared law enforcement officials.
Rather than trying to halt the march, Trump and his allies accommodated its leaders, according to text messages and interviews with Republican operatives and officials.
@James E Powell:
So, (1) the GOP claims most of Biden’s plan isn’t “infrastructure,” (2) Biden agrees to a deal with them on “infrastructure,” and (3) the GOP is not upset that the Dems are going it alone on the non-infrastructure pieces?
@James E Powell:
Obama should tell the fuckers to cry harder.
Wait – tons of fascist Trump trash trying to overthrow the government could turn chaotic?
Fuck me sideways! ?♂️
I’m going back CA -> IA in a week to live with my elderly mother for a month or two and help her with the seasonal work.
I’m driving there, and driving back.
Used to fly round-trip four or more times a year. Pandemic has given me a horror of indoor crowds, masked or not, and flying suxxors anyway, especially for those of us who are fat, as I am.
@Marion323: Come on, don’t ruin the fun!!
@Omnes Omnibus: Ok, Joe should tell them to cry harder too, but both were subjected to 8 years of “NO!” from these fuckers.
@Baud: not = now
Northern or southern CA? Ever been through Glenwood Canyon on I-70 in Colorado?
@germy: And then of course there’s Ghouliani’s “trial by combat.” ?
@Matt McIrvin: Trivia: My home terminal, Indianapolis, was the first US major (if you consider us “major”) airport designed post-9/11. So TSA security area was designed in rather than retro-fitted. The runways stayed the same and the new terminal was placed in the middle of the runways. (“mid-field terminal”)
Reading some of the comments about other terminals, it’s no wonder Indy gets voted the nation’s best airport year after year. Lots of room and roomy bathrooms, etc. Only two areas of gates, A and B. Now, you just need a reason to BE in Indy.
New Orleans finally opened their new terminal–haven’t had the pleasure yet. The old place was a dump for sure.
@raven: AWESOME. Emailed ya!
Worst for me was Kansas City. Split up into little waiting areas serving a couple of gates each, with a vending machine or so.
I do like BWI. That was where DHS practiced efficient processing of lines with advice from the Mouse machine. The lines move fast.
Republicans have agency.
Northern, so most likely boring I-80, which is very familiar. I’m inured to Nebraska.
Yeah, I’ve done I-70. And Hwy 40 through Craig. And 550 through Ouray on the way to Durango.
But I’ve never done 50 through Gunnison, and would like to. Probably do that on the way back.
Chauvin’s sentencing, the DOJ suing GA, infrastructure bill maneuvering. It’s a busy Friday news-wise. But no new thread in hours….
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
“David Duke and Michael Flynn may say things that make us raise our eyebrows sometimes, but General Milley’s comments on race are worse and give us grave concerns about liberal authoritarianism. Pentagon action on these issues must be curtailed.”
– by Glenn Greenwald and J.D. Vance
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
@VeniceRiley: May I share your email address with raven? He would like to connect with you by email.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
I…I don’t know if that’s parody.
The far Right are putting spies among people in their own country, including spying on the conventional Republican Party.
I still don’t have a real sense that people appreciate the level of threat to the country far Right anti-democratic entities pose. I don’t know what to do about it- I don’t even know what to tell people in power I want done about it. We’re no longer in the realm of “politics”, really.
He should check his own Twitter.
@germy: Vance can, of course, go fuck himself.
@citizen dave: From about 1999-2002, I spent a lot of time repeatedly traveling from Boston to Boise, Idaho on business. I thought Denver International was okay but that was because I only experienced changing flights there, not originating. Even so, it could be difficult to make a connection if the gates were way out at the ends of two different terminals–the distances were immense.
But the little Boise airport was fine until after 9/11, when they suddenly had to vastly expand security procedures at an airport that only had two metal detectors. I remember flying out of there in late 2001 and having to wait in a line that wound completely around and through the airport’s adminstrative offices and then went down the stairs to the baggage-claim/car-rental area. Fortunately, I’ve heard they rebuilt the area to put in more gates.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
The Onion can shut down….
I don’t know. If they’re giving us $10,000 to listen to us about climate change, it’s not such a bad trade off.
O. Felix Culpa
I just flew JetBlue for the first time to NYC and back. Not luxurious, but fine and on time both ways. Mask-wearing was strictly enforced and, as far as I could see, complied with.
Schiphol is my favorite airport. When I was traveling for work to Africa (mostly eastern and southern countries), I would always fly KLM if possible. The service was good and Schiphol was a lovely airport to spend time in. Had to fly American and British Airways (via Heathrow) once, which was seriously miserable.
@Gbbalto: That KC airport terminal design is the worst. It’s on my list as a place to avoid. It may work for the locals with close parking or something, but I’ve hated the couple times I’ve passed through connecting.
Unscheduled charters were big in the regulated era to destinations like Vegas.
Then there were outfits like Seaboard World, doing contract work for Uncle Sam. They managed to land a DC-8 coming from the U.S. onto the air strip at Marble Mountain instead of DaNang. Oops.
@WaterGirl: please do. I emailed the address above too. Tell raven to check the spam folder!
If anybody finds the video, please post!
Well, it’s partly our decadent and extremely low quality inherited wealth Right wing nutcases. Can’t they go back to lolling around on yachts and attending parties? What happened to fun rich people?
@James E Powell: This is such bullshit. It’s been reported for weeks this was exactly the path they were pursuing, and all of a sudden GOP Senators are shocked? How does this shit get reported?
Oh yeah. Ever flown out of the now-closed “old” airport in Bangalore? Pre-1990 John Wayne and pre-expansion San Jose weren’t much fun, either. And then there’s LaGuardia.
Going through security anywhere in the fall of 2001 was a nightmare. Especially if you had one of those newfangled iPods, which nobody working for TSA could be convinced contained a hard drive instead of a small block of C4.
The Pale Scot
Pictures Amir, pleez have some pictures :)
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
LaGuardia truly sux, especially if your connecting international flight is at JFK.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Yes indeed, Agony Airlines. My marketing prof in business school told us how the name USAir came to be. Agony Airlines had an awful reputation, so management did some consumer research asking people their impression of various airlines. USAir got very high grades — note that it didn’t exist at the time — and, voila!, USAir was born.
It’s easier for us on the West Coast, but my advice is if at all possible always fly Alaska.
Yeah, I think TWA designed it to be a “modern” quick-park-and-board setup, but if that even ever worked, today it is dreadful. I believe they’re in the midst of replacing it.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
“My husband is a person of color and I am Jewish. How dare you accuse me of support for white supremacy for my very principled and money-making stand decrying criticism of white supremacy.”
– by Glenn Greenwald
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
“America has long been a terrible place, so it’s business and government institutions shouldn’t be allowed to change for the better.”
– by Glenn Greenwald, Michael Tracey, Jimmy Dore and Naomi Wolfe
James E Powell
The AP article completely accepts the Republicans’ claims based on anonymous sources. Beltway SOP.
@burnspbesq: The gate I had to go through at the other end was THE gate used by some of the 9/11 hijackers, and security wasn’t as much of a nightmare there as it was in Boise.
The Pale Scot
My sister the flight attendant says that during the pandemic SW expanded another 8Gs/year of flights to/from 20? new airports. To man the flights SW instituted mandatory shifts and mandated that calling in sick would require them to see a company doctor, on their dime. (That Dr would not prescribe any medication, they’d have to see their own doctor for that. The response was to just not show up. The penalty for for not actually being sick is 1.5 points, to not show up at all is 2.5. So Fuck It the Fs said.
As the parable goes; A group of peasants were required to show up and do labour for the king, the penalty for being late was death. This group had been hindered by weather and weren’t going to make the deadline. One of them said, friends, what is the penalty for being late? Death was the answer. What is the penalty for revolting? Death was the answer.
a couple of weeks ago i flew to Belize with 3 companions on American and had no particular issues at all.
United is my favorite to hate: they’ve lost my luggage 100% of the round trips i’ve taken with them.
@Scout211: shh. The first rule of pre check is that you dont talk about pre check.
There used to be a website, don’t know if it’s still a thing but it was called “sleepinginairports”. Basically it rated various airports around the world for sleeping over in the lounges and departure areas to catch an early flight the next day, saving on the cost of a hotel room. Western airports were generally OK, airports in some of the less-developed countries not so much. The worst-rated was in Papua New Guinea as I recall (Port Moresby, perhaps?). The poster who wrote a report on his attempt to overnight there described the thieves, the cockroaches and the gang-vs-cops gunfight that left three dead on the lounge floor not far from where he was camped out.
Compared to that the condition of the carpets in a US airport rather pales into insignificance.
So it seems now. But in ten years, one of them be working for a Democratic candidate, and they’ll get a phone call reciting “The woods are lovely, dark and deep…” and then they’ll go shred all the campaign mailers.
The Atlanta terminal wasn’t bad at all to sleep in. After 11 it got pretty quiet, no one fucked with you if you were out of the way, and it was pretty clean, the restaurants were open early, the food was immensely better than the navy (and I survived that!) and I never missed my flight in the morning. I got far more and better sleep than using the airlines crappy motel all the way across town.
The only issue was the learning curve that sleeping on the floor was not the end of the world, and being in the navy pretty much had cured me of any pretense of being better than a dog and therefore allowing me to sleep where ever and when ever I could.
I fly almost never but right before the pandemic – late Feb 2020 – I flew from NJ to my company’s new office in Nashville. First time in the refurbished Terminal C at Newark but I was impressed. I know it’s all to get you to spend money but there were literally hundreds of free to use tablets and more charging stations than needed. You could order food and drink from any of the terminal restaurants on the free internet tablets and they bring it wherever you are sitting. Again, don’t fly much at all so maybe this is common these days but still impressed. The security BS and way too narrow seats in the plane still suck.
In the 60’s when it was new.
@Matt McIrvin: that was kind of a reverse takeover, because the USAirways execs ended up in control of the merged company.
@Benno: (if the thread isn’t dead) I live in Boston and have a friend in Peoria. Can’t remember which route I took, the time I drove out to visit, but if I do it again I’ll try 6.
(The last time I visited, I took Greyhound. Bad mistake; it was July 2016, and the return trip included an Indianapolis-to-Philly leg. Yes, the timing was the worst possible. Bus was filled with anti-Hillary Bernie bros on their way to the Democratic convention.)
@Joey Maloney: DAY is a great airport. Love that’s it’s only 15 minutes from the house.
(actually HP’s wife writing this)