Drive, take the train, bicycle, walk or just stay home – send a message: optout of flying – air travel used to be pleasant
Source: American Spectator
Just Stay Home
By Jed Babbin November 15, 2010
The trade association of U.S. airlines — the Air Transport Association — says that it expects that about 24 million Americans will take to the air over the Thanksgiving holiday. That would be about 3 percent more air travelers than flew last Thanksgiving. I hope they are wrong. Travelers should drive, take the train, bicycle, walk or just stay home. Just don’t fly. If we stay on the ground, the message may finally get through to our government: stop harassing us and concentrate on finding the bad guys.
Air travel was almost pleasant in the 1970s and ’80s. The food — at least on airlines other than the now-defunct Eastern Airlines — was pretty decent, service existed and all in all it wasn’t too bad even for those of us shuttling between Washington and Los Angeles every two weeks. It got steadily worse because the airlines were going broke in the 1990s and now — since 9/11 — only fools travel when they don’t absolutely have to.
There are two ideas which dominate US airline security, and both are false. The first is that every air traveler — be it a four-year-old girl or a 24-year-old Yemeni man — is an equal risk. The second is that it more important to keep dangerous objects off the plane than to keep a dangerous person on the ground. And plans based on these assumptions are metastasizing into a burden on air travel that will damage our economy severely.
We have been dutifully marching through magnetometers for decades. After 9/11, were grimly tolerant of the new searches, taking off our shoes, divesting our laptops of their cases and even leaving liquids and cigar lighters in the checked bags. But last Christmas, none of that prevented Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding a Northwest flight with PETN (a very concentrated and powerful explosive) sewn into his underwear. Were it not for the action of a young Dutch filmmaker — who, if memory serves, leaped over several rows of passengers and forcefully doused Umar’s drawers — a lot of people might have been killed.