Americans took 41 million fewer flights this past year, and 25% say it was because of the hassles involved, according to a new survey. [CNN]

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  1. Bladefist says:

    yup. Government regulation, fees, fees, fees, lines, waiting, waiting. Did they never think it wouldn’t catch up to them?

  2. SaveMeJeebus says:

    You can only fuck over people so much before they finally just don’t come back. Kind of like a corporate battered-wife syndrome or something.

  3. billbillbillbill says:

    I would disagree since I have flown less due to cost. We used to find all sorts of awesome deals but they have all but dried up. Every once in a while, a good Southwest deal comes around.

  4. ohyeahright says:

    File under “Thank you, Captain Obvious”

  5. Even with high gas prices, car travel is pretty darn consistent and predictable. And I don’t turn to my wife and find out she paid 50% less than I did. Consistent fare structure FTW.

  6. typetive says:

    I definitely fly less due to the hassles. The hassles of security, the hassles of the airlines not honoring seat assignments or handling delays professionally. Now with cutbacks the schedules are really unappealing and the prices are 50% more than I was paying 18 months ago.

  7. thewriteguy says:

    The era of affordable airline travel for the common people is over.

    Maybe the upside will be a return to the ’60s era of air travel where service, comfort, amenities and hot young stewardesses in go-go dresses is the norm.

  8. I have found trains to be a much more plesent mode lately. not nearly as fast, but even in the steerage seats you get a level of comfort that is absent from air travel. what with being forced to sit in urin-soaked seats by unertraind, underpaid, bitchy flight staff that are more likly to have you arrested when you land than thank you for flying “X” brand airline. then there’s the game of “what innocous item has the TSA decided is a terroristic implement today?” game that we all get to play when packing. if i absolutly have to fly i’ll take alska airlines as far as i can and figure out the rest from there. never again amercian airlines, you hear me?

  9. darkrose says:

    @billbillbillbill:

    I got a trip from PHL to JAX on Southwest for $75 with fees and everything just last night (1 way ticket). For the middle-end of July. They are doing a fare sale right now.

  10. zentex says:

    I definately stopped flying across country because of all the BS that’s involved with flying

  11. jojo319 says:

    I quit flying because of all of the above. On top of the fees, parking sucks and costs a fortune. It’s another industry that adopted the “you have no choice, so deal with it” attitude. I’m sure they’ll get a government bailout at the end of the day. So we’ll still pay all the fees, it will just be in the form of taxes. I get irritated just thinking about it. Sales tax is already going to be 10.25% here in September.

  12. Illiterati says:

    Stopped flying due to the BS and the money. Got a seriously bad flu a couple years ago while on a trip and had to go home early. That put me on the terrorist list or whatever and it’s been a hassle to fly ever since. During that flu-addled flight, US Airways sat me in front, facing the flight attendant, who was instructed to watch me the entire time because I was a security threat. I was also not allowed to leave my seat during the flight. I guess vomiting on a plane is the new terrorism?

  13. smith186 says:

    I started driving to visit family for the holidays instead of taking a flight because driving for 14 hours was the less miserable option.

    And every time you think they’ve made things as bad as they can, they find some new way to make things worse. It’s only a matter of time before they remove the padding from all the seats to cut down fuel usage.

  14. homerjay says:

    @smith186: It can be worse. Three simple words: Standing Room Only

  15. Monty says:

    I suspect those of us that are eco-nazi’s might also factor into the change. Driving to your destination (provided you are not alone in a Yukon) is far better for the environment, not to mention less expensive.

    Oh, and let’s not forget .. You don’t have to remove your shoes before entering the vehicle. Unless you went to the beach and you don’t want to get the floor mats dirty. Can’t help you with that, though.

  16. lincolnparadox says:

    You combine the hidden fees with the 2 hour security window, the lack of comforts for anyone in business or coach. The late/overbooked flights. The general apathy of the staff, especially Customer Service Agents. Flying sucks.

  17. magic8ball says:

    @Illiterati: I would think that even the TSA could figure out that having the flu != terrorism, so I’m really perplexed as to what their actual reasoning for putting you on the “scary people” list was.

  18. Tmoney02 says:

    I’m puzzled why the airline industry who is losing money and business left and right and crying about it don’t actually look at this and say “wow, we need to fix this.” Especially considering it is the one thing that they could easily fix.

    Review your terminals and check in systems (including the staff) to make sure they are as streamlined and as helpful as possible. Upgrade the terminals to make waiting the least painful possible, more comfortable seats, more entertainment, maybe drinks. (I guess make a large scale version of the special lounges you can get access to at the big airports). Work with the government to help streamline security procedures.

    If people are going to have to wait around for 2+ hours just to board a plane and sit for another 2-3+ hours, you don’t want them to get bored or annoyed and start associating that feeling with your company and industry, which is exactly what is happening. The airlines don’t really care though, they just focus on the things outside their control such as gas prices.

  19. thewriteguy says:

    @homerjay:

    Expanding upon your subway analogy, imagine the interior of the plane totally gutted out like a military cargo plane.

  20. ExecutorElassus says:

    @homerjay: you mean the system Airbus has been working on for two years now? Airbus was working on it first in Asia, but I’m confident that US carriers will start taking it more seriously now that fuel costs are higher.
    Woohoo! Now I like flying even less!

  21. homerjay says:

    @ExecutorElassus: Remember when flying was fun and exciting? It wasn’t that long ago, really. Now I’d rather have a rectal exam.

  22. thewriteguy says:

    True dat. Rectal exams are uncomfortable, but the procedure goes by quickly and the doctor is usually very considerate of the process. Total opposite of the airline travel experience in America.

  23. zargag says:

    I live in Canada and fly a bit internationally. I will spend hours looking for flights that avoid the US because of the hassle. Ever tried to transfer at LAX? US airlines are their own worst enemy.

  24. Trai_Dep says:

    @thewriteguy: Which actually would be a trade-off worth contemplating. I recall reading of airliners that had grand pianos in their bar area (swoon) to compete. Sigh – the Golden Age of air travel.
    Unfortunately, I think the way the airliners are going is LESS service at HIGHER cost, with the TSA doing their damnedest to make the concourse as Kafkaesque as possible.
    As a result, the only people flying will be those who’ll be fired if they don’t.
    Not a good business model for the airlines to adopt, so I guess they’ll squat on the same ash-heap of history that the SUV is climbing.

    On the bright side, there will be some wonderful Harvard Business School case studies on how the US and its carriers jointly destroyed their airlines.

  25. Mr. Gunn says:

    I’m part of that statistic. I’ll happily drive 8-10 hours to avoid getting on a plane, and won’t lose that much time doing so.

  26. silver-spork says:

    My husband and I just got back from Boston – we opted for a six-hour train ride back to Wilmington rather than taking our chances flying in and out of PHL. Any delay at either airport, and the total travel time is easily over the time it takes to take the train.

    The train we were on was completely sold out. I know that the Boston-DC corridor is the only profitable Amtrak route and hopefully it will become more profitable so that they can improve some other routes.