The “Friendly” Skies?

Memorial day is the traditional start of the summer.  It is also the beginning of travel season.  Whether by planes, trains or automobiles many of us are heading somewhere this summer.  Since 9/11 flying the friendly skies has been anything but.  This weekend my daughter and her husband came to visit, and picking them up at the airport got me thinking about air travel.

You really have to be savvy and very patient to navigate the new fees and restrictions of the various airlines.  Low cost airlines such as Allegiant and Spirit are charging for making reservations on the phone or online, printing boarding passes at the airport, checking baggage, carry-on baggage, water, soda, seat assignments etc.  Complimentary pillows, blankets, or snacks are a thing of the past.

Allegiant Air at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport

Allegiant Air at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport (Photo credit: JL Johnson | User47)

United Airlines has made headlines lately with their decision to no longer allow families with small children to pre-board. The claim that they are doing it to simplify the boarding process has to bring a laugh to anyone who has watched as families have tried to settle onto a plane with kids, diaper bags, backpacks, car seats, toys and food to try to keep small children entertained.  It is anything but simple.

All airlines are facing the weight limit debate, or should overweight people pay more for a ticket or buy two seats.   Everyone has an opinion.  A clear and consistent “size” policy by airlines would go a long way towards restoring some of the civility in the debate.  Publicly humiliating passengers is not the way!

But the thing I hate the most about airports these days is when I have to take my daughter there after a wonderful visit to put her on a plane that is going to whisk her much too far away!

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