September 11, 2019

Travel: Who in The World Would Want to Travel by Commercial Airlines Anymore?

Airline Travel.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
British Airways.

Decades ago, airline travel used to be an experience one looked forward to.  Then air travel began to  remarkably changed following the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:  ongoing security measures, extreme airline cutbacks in comfort and on-board services, and a new culture of cutting the base price of a ticket while charging extra for most other things, including checked luggage.

But new miseries have now only add to the dreaded airline travel factor.  Take San Francisco International Airport.  It's busiest runway is currently shut down for some 3 weeks of repairs.  In the first 4 days of the shutdown (which began last Saturday), more than 1200 flights in and out of SFO were cancelled or delayed.  And often delayed for a number of hours.  Travelers are stranded at the airport, with a particular onus on those attempting to fly home or make connecting flights.  For added misery, airlines are not paying for any overnight hotel rooms for stranded passengers, because the cancellations are the fault of SFO, and not the airlines. How's that for a way to treat your customers?  Someone ... either the airlines or SFO itself ... should pay for rooms and meal vouchers for air travelers that are stranded overnight.  And the problem is not expected to get any better during the runway shutdown.  Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle article labeled SFO a "massive mess".

And then there is British Airways.  Their pilots went on strike this week Monday and Tuesday.  This forced British Airways to cancel nearly all of its 1700 or so flights over these two days, affecting some 197,000 ticketed customers.  And more cancellations were expected throughout the week.

So I'd say we have not one, but two Massive Air Travel Messes.

Ugh.  More misery for air travelers.

I will travel by air if I have to, but that's only for business purposes.  As far as my leisure travel, our lovely 3 night car-driven getaways to beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea, with dogs Sid and Lexi in tow, are the perfect getaway for me.

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