Sunday, June 24, 2007

Planes, trains, automobiles

They all bite. Especially planes.

I've just returned from a week-long visit to my family and, much as I loved seeing everyone, I am so glad to be home. The visiting part is great, but getting there and back is a slog through hell.

American Airlines no longer flies from our local airport, so using AAdvantage air miles now involves a two-and-a-half hour drive to Chicago O'Hare, listed recently in U.S. News and World Report as the second most miserable airport in the country. (Detroit -- my alternative possibility -- is number one. No help there.)

O'Hare lived up to its reputation, too, with long lines, surly security people, a late departure, packed waiting area, and every single seat on the flight filled. The only thing missing was a cattle prod. AND, get this: No more free peanuts. On the flight back from Raleigh Durham, they were hawking snacks at $2-$3 dollars a pop. Not that we're going to die from munchie deprivation, but is it really so much to ask?

Ah well. Could have been worse. I did not get bumped off, trapped on the tarmac, or stranded overnight. None of my seatmates had screaming babies. Nobody barfed or tried to blow us all up. Still, it's sad that any experience short of a total disaster is now a "good flight".

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