Traveling today, our airline story.
It's the first of March 2020 and we are excited about our upcoming trip to Italy. March 2nd, 2020, it is canceled and the travel world as we know it is no more.
We are still trying to get our refunds from Qantas, British Airways, or Expedia on all the canceled trips, but more on that next time.
It's March 17, 2023, and we are finally heading off on our trip to Italy.
Albeit at nearly double the cost.
Travel is significantly more expensive now and often with fewer services and conveniences. The airline industry has lost its mojo and is a long way away from getting it back.
This is the fourth international trip we have taken in the last 9 months and similar issues have been encountered on all. Without naming names, or maybe we should... things are just not what they should be. Getting definitive information on things like visas and masks or vaccination status is nonexistent. Now, what to do about covid is not necessarily an airline thing, but it affects the process and peace of mind for all who travel. The visa issue is another thing. Other issues like all the add-on fees for if you want to, you know eat on a 6-plus hour flight or carry on a bag of heaven forbid, check a bag. We thought we had bypassed all of this by purchasing at a higher fee through an airline direct and checking the list of what came with the tickets. Turns out that if they pawn you off later to a "partner airline" you now are under the partner airlines rules. Also, Canada to the USA is a domestic flight according to one airline and no meals are served. Well unless you consider an $8-$10 hand them your credit card for a slice of cheese pizza or a Korean chicken burrito meal.
While we are on the subject of meals I think they have found the lost meals of the 90s and are now serving them. Of the 28 or so international flight meals consumed, none were of the same quality as the previous decades worth (approximately 180).
So let's talk carry-on luggage! There are posted sizes and weights as well as the number of items. As an example - Personal items included - Purse/computer bag Carry-on bags included* 1st checked bag:** $175 *Carry-on bag included for up to 15 lbs 22"x15" **Checked bag can weigh up to 50 lbs
With this information, why do folks with a backpack double the allowable size of a carry-on plus a personal item the size of a carry-on as well as a couple of jackets and an extra large shopping bag feel entitled to not have anything at their feet? With that, it also takes forever for all that stuff to find a home. Can you say delayed takeoff? It's no wonder flights can't stay on schedule.
Speaking of schedules, the lines and boarding process has devolved into a Neanderthal circus. What should take a quantifiable amount of time takes at least double that. TSA has also been accused by many of having very inefficient processes and while that is true they have become more and more different than the rest of the world. Every single checkpoint globally has different rules and procedures; a significant number of them have no postings, and often those that do are only in one or two languages. This combination just adds to the inefficient chaos!
My wife has a solution though. At least for the boarding and TSA stuff. The airline industry needs to hire some kindergarten teachers. Think about it. They would make sure there were clear and consistent instructions for all so the TSA process would be smooth. They are great at getting straight and well-spaced lines and not allowing cuts making boarding easy and orderly. They will kindly enforce the carry-on bag rules so that there is not the chaos of 4 items for a lot of folks jamming up the storage and causing all kinds of hunting for overhead bin space. We'd be happy to broker an arrangement to make this happen. I'm shitting bricks in anticipation of this corrective eventuality.
Oh, in case you were wondering, Italy was amazing, and even with the less-than-stellar flight travel experience, we can't wait to go back.