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Sep 26, 2016

We Are Not A Civilized Society, Not Even Close

We Are Not A Civilized Society, Not Even Close

It is the 21st century. We consider ourselves advance. With advancement in technology, transportation, medicine, and science, we are doing a lot of things on tiny gadgets. We are communicating instantaneously from around the globe, traveling vast distances in shorter time, live longer and healthier lives, and know a bit more about the far universe around us.
This is far from the truth when it comes to air transportation.
Humans are able to fly. And we are able to fly across the entire planet Earth. However, the experience is far from civilized for 99% of airline travelers.
Interestingly enough it was more civil back at the start of air transportation era. Less crowding, more polite and courteous crew and passengers, no exorbitant fees. Granted the system was used sparingly by few people who could allow themselves the luxury.

These days the experience of flying anywhere on commercial airlines consists of finding a place to stop vehicle dropping you off without getting screamed at, dragging your bags to check-in counter, hoping and praying that the scale will be good to you and show that your bag is not overweight, hoping and praying you still have or will get good seats, and then the herding.

Seems like through out the airport, you are always following the crowd. A large crowd. To get on the plane you have to wait in line that is unruly, jetting for position. To get off the plane, you wait squashed down under the overhang for folks to move along at snail pace. Then its is a mad dash along with the stampede to go find your bag that hopefully made it there at the same time. And then there are the huge lines to the boarder control where everybody is shuffled along either by staff or by ropes. And another one. And then once you have your bag and out, you get rewarded by standing in one more like to get transportation to at last take you to your destination.

When you decide to take a trip and to do so via a plane, you get

Limited amount of stuff you can bring
- which I understand. As it is another human, at least for now, that is throwing loading your bags onto the plane and would need to be considerate for them not to hurt their backs moving your overweight luggage

Fees for booking, fees for changing, fees for bringing a bag, fees for staying warm, fed and listening to "free" entertainment onboard
- No more such thing as bringing a free bag. Even JetBlue now charges you for every bag you decide to check-in
- If you, for any reason, need to change your tickets, you better have a really good reason or find a way to hack the system
- Blankets, actual food versus some small pack of peanuts, and headphones are all the items you have to pay for on the plane

Scanners and Pat downs
There are too many stories about folks being improperly handled, insulted,embarrassed, and harassed at the security checkpoints. Just take a look at the blog by consumer advocate Chris Elliot with stories about the TSA experience

Flying Connects Us
Air transportation connects countries and continents. The fact that it is becoming faster and more available makes the distance between different countries and cultures negligible. It also would be great if with the innovations in flying, the system would also be transformed to be more civil. Before we are all driving automated and flying cars.

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