There are no bad owners, only bad dogs


We need to talk.

Dear travel industry:

You offer a service that we, the traveling public, need. We form contracts with you in order to obtain that service. It is a simple contract: We give you money and you take us to the place we want to go at the time we want to go there. It is a simple, elegant, functional commercial intercourse in which we engage. There is no sentiment nor hidden meaning.

I need to go to location X on Tuesday.

Give us $500 and we'll take you there on Tuesday.

Here you go.

Thank you.

See? Very straightforward. I don't care if you like my shoes or not when I'm traveling; you have certain rules that I am happy to follow. Done.

In a separate, but related, issue, are you aware, travel industry, that we live on a planet that has an atmosphere? This atmosphere allows us to live here. It has its drawbacks, though. It produces a thing we call "weather." Have you heard of weather? Sometimes it rains.

I have been under the impression that airplanes are able to fly in the rain. I have seen this occur on many occasions. I am not referring to thunderstorms and their accompanying lightning, but to simple rain. I have seen airplanes both take off AND land in rain. I have even seen this occur in snow.

Can you explain to me, therefore, why you stranded me for so very long at RDU, commonly known as the Raleigh-Durham airport, on Wednesday? It was crowded. I was tired. I had nowhere to sit, not that an airport chair is comfortable anyway. The problem was caused by rain, and then compounded by a mechanical problem. I know that shit happens, but aren't you prepared for mechanical problems to happen occasionally to mechanical devices such as airplanes? Preparation, to me, implies that you will have all of the requisite parts nearby, along with the human capital that knows how to attach said parts to the airplane.

Did you know that there are premium services in other sectors of your industry that allow people to pay extra to gain some convenience, such as toll lanes that charge more? I would be happy for EduMart to pay more for my travel if a) you could take me to the place I need to go at the time I need to go there, b) deliver my luggage to me via the conveyer belt instead of by some dude in a pick-up truck at 1:30 a.m., and c) put me on a flight that has no babies aboard. I like babies ok; I'm not anti-baby in a broad sense. I do, however, object to being forced to listen to the piercing screams of other people's toddlers for hours and hours while I'm held captive.

I really feel that you're mismanaging your end of this relationship. I give you the money, but you almost never hold up your end of the deal, and when you do, you find some new way to make the journey unpleasant.

Charging $8.25 for a glass of airport wine is a little cruel, as well. I'd really like to break up with you, but then I'd have to drive to South Dakota, and I'm just not going to do that.


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