Obviously the recession has much to do with it, but I do wish it would occur to our great captains of the airline industry that one reason people are flying less is that the experience has become so incredibly shitty. Some of this is not the fault of the individual airlines, such as stupid security theater, but plenty of it is. I mean bag fees, what the fuck? And it isn't simply the money, it's the extra hassle and just general sense of being screwed and harassed throughout the entire process.
When ARE the airlines (to say nothing of the people in charge of Homeland Security) going to realize that the more they crap all over people, the less people will fly? Why am I still taking my damn shoes off, for example? Why must we take our 4-year-old's shoes off? Why is it that when we finally get on the plane, we barely fit in the seats? How tall and heavy do the airlines think the average person is, anyway? My husband, around 5"8 and still as skinny as he was in his 20s -- he barely fits. Me, 5"3 and certainly overweight but nowhere near obese -- I barely fit. My knees practically hit the seat in front of me. Do the airlines think most adults are not over 5"3? I weep for these poor 6"4 guys, folding their entire bodies, origami-like, in a vain attempt to fit in the coach seats. Deep vein thrombosis, here we come!
And then, say you're going from Boston to Los Angeles. Would you like to have a drink of water over the next 6-plus hours? Well, good luck with that, if you lacked the foresight to bring your own bottle of water.
Anyway. None of these are new complaints. It's just amazing how, even in this economy when you think they'd want to encourage people to fly, the whole experience just gets worse and worse.