Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Too Much Stuff

In the past week, I have flown just over 7000 miles. On 6 airplanes involving four airports. There are road warriors out there that will scoff at those numbers, but for a normal human that is a lot. I don't actually mind flying, but I despise airports. Here are a couple of reasons why.

The airline industry is the only industry that raises the price of a ticket, the closer to your departure time. This makes no sense. You want to fill those seats, You don't want a plane flying with empty seats. It costs the same to fly from New York to San Francisco regardless of how many seats are filled so you might as well fill them. It makes no sense for the price to go up.

During the great recession airlines added baggage fees to cover the cost of fuel, but now fuel is cheaper than it has been in quite a while, but of course they haven't removed the baggage fee, which would make you think that all these people carrying on their baggage are doing so to save money. The by product of everyone carrying on their baggage is a bad experience for everyone. It takes longer to get on and off the plane, and the plane and the terminals are way more crowded.

You are a prisoner of the airport. I had a nalgene bottle confiscated because it had liquid in it. I couldn't pour it out - without going out of the 'secure' zone and back through security again - and I couldn't drink it. Of course I didn't have time to go back through security. Flying out of Atlanta recently, I realized I had forgotten to put a beloved pocket knife in my checked bag. So I put it in the bottom of my little 18 liter backpack and hoped it would be obscured by my iPad, charging cable. I figured if they found it I would just say I forgot it was in there and they would confiscate it. If they saw it, they never said anything.

Really? $12.00 for a crappy sandwich? really? $6 for a yogurt? Okay.

But the thing I really hate about airports, is it makes me realize how much stuff we Americans have. We have way too much stuff. I overheard a woman on line at TSA saying that she had packed five pairs of shoes. Five. Unless she was moving where ever she was going that is too many. She also mentioned that two of them were boots! I had figured the people carrying on their baggage had done so to not check bags, but no, they are doing both, and packing huge suitcases. I really don't understand what people are packing? I just did a two destination trip for work. To California (warm) where I would be trained on GoPro and paddling then to Nashville (cold) to teach. My checked bag had my teaching materials, a drysuit, paddling shoes, two changes of clothes, a rain shell, and a fleece. I used a medium sized duffel for all of that. My carry on was 18 liters. Now, I don't know where people were going, and how long they were staying places, but the average sized suitcase I saw was giant.

Do we really need all this stuff? When I got home, I felt remarkably like doing a purge.

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