Is Air Travel Getting Worse?

Is air travel getting worse?

I dream of a time when I can take a roundtrip flight somewhere and not somehow be made to feel like a cow being dragged through a slaughterhouse. Maybe you remember my last great flying experience.

Earlier this week my wife and I were flying back to New York from a conference in Arizona. We assumed our seats would be together because we booked the tickets together and the travel agency said they’d be together. But after waiting on an ungodly long line to check in, we found out our seats were not next to each other; we were given 2 MIDDLE seats in adjacent ROWS.

I asked the lady at the check-in counter why our seats weren’t next to each other, and she said, “Seats are not confirmed until you check in.”


I asked why this was the case, and the lady could only say, “It’s company policy.”

That’s all you can say to explain why I can’t sit next to my wife on a plane? You can’t even treat me like a fellow human being and give me a reason?

I told the lady it was my policy to not fly on airlines that didn’t even pretend to give a damn about me.

Goodbye, US Airways.

Seriously – in this age of advanced customer service, with all this technology, why is air travel getting worse?

A few more grievances I have with airlines, that companies in other industries would not get away with:

  • Why aren’t there outlets on planes for us to charge our phones and other devices? I was on a BUS that had outlets the other day. A BUS.
  • Why must they overbook every flight? Can you imagine making a dinner reservation, showing up on time, then being told by the host that your table is taken because you didn’t come early enough?
  • Why are there middle seats? A normal person simply can’t fit in these seats anymore without twisting into a pretzel. C’mon
  • How come most planes still don’t have WiFi? Again, I’ve been on BUSES with WiFi.
  • Why isn’t there some pay option to go through security faster?
  • Why are there still flights over two hours long that don’t have on-board entertainment? Even if you can’t show a movie for some reason, can’t you give me a decent magazine? Need I mention BUSES again?

It’s not only the amount of incompetence that bothers me. It’s how we all just tolerate it. We wouldn’t tolerate it in any other industry!

I couldn’t wait to get back to work making sure that our Steiner Sports customers are treated like the good PEOPLE they are.

Of course, Louis CK might tell me to shut it. In the clip below, the comic explains his theory that none of us should complain about flying. (This is a very funny monologue, but if you are pressed for time, skip to the 2:00 mark for his take on flying.):

Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy from dave abbey on Vimeo.

Do you think air travel is getting worse? Have the airlines dropped the ball?

Or should I take Louis CK’s advice?