I'm not saying that I will never fly again but I am emphatically saying that, until something changes in the Land of Corporate Greed, I don't plan to buy any more airline tickets. I am on strike against the airlines. Last January, in the dark and cold of winter, I thought a trip to Chicago in the summer would be fun. Now that June has arrived, I wonder what the heck I was thinking back then? Now, a trip to Chicago sounds exhausting and expensive. A big expense (in my budget) is the $330 airline ticket.
Here's the question: Can anyone out there give me any reason why the airlines get to be so unreasonable about the return or exchange of airline tickets? A reasonable explanation will have nothing to do with "national security". It infuriates me that I can buy a ticket on January 4th, 2013 for a flight on June 27th, 2013 and, no matter what happens, I am stuck with that ticket. I don't get why there can't be a refund on tickets purchased so far in advance? Oh, that's right, Corporate Greed. Someone will throw out "national security" as an explanation but that is so lame. If I get my ticket refunded then my name is out of the system. Where's the problem? Hotels will often have a 72 hour cancellation policy (money refunded if cancellation is within 72 hours of scheduled stay). Why can't there be a 72 hour window in which an airline refund is not allowed rather than a forever window? Why do airlines get to rip the public off like this?
Equally appalling is that I can't even give that ticket to someone else. This is infuriating. Again, I don't buy any "national security" excuse. If I want to give my ticket to my friend, why can't I contact the airline and have the name changed on the ticket? When boarding, the ticket holder will still have to show photo id. What is the deal on this? Right, Corporate Greed.
In addition to these horrible business practices, the airlines stuff people and bags into those planes. They also have the nerve to charge you for your suitcase. Yes, it infuriates me. They try to sell you cardboard that passes as food for some ridiculous price and, in general, act as if they are all that so that you can get from one place to another in a timely manner.
As for me? I've decided that, for the most part, "a timely manner" doesn't matter any more. I like travel. I like broadening my world and exploring other places and ways of living. But, I refuse to support the airline industry. I will go by car, train, boat, foot, or bike. I will not plan to fly again.