Monday, January 21, 2008
Coming Up: Annus Horribilis
Annus Horribilis is what the Queen of England, in a speech, called 1992 -- a year in which several of her goofy children got divorced, her favorite castle caught fire and her wack-job ex-daughter-in-law, the Princess of Pluto or whatever the poor girl regarded herself as, really began wigging out on hysterics and high colonics.
But at least the Queen had good air transportation, not to mention plenty of spare castles, a hat full of diamonds, and some very excellent horses. (Which she, unlike Pony Boy Sarkozy of France, can actually ride with skill). And by the way, am I the only one who thinks Pony Boy Sarkozy's new main squeeze looks a little like Michael Jackson in some photos? (Above)
But I digress. Forget the Queen of England.
Because if you hated 2007 in air travel, you are really going to hate 2008.
I've been at the news game since Christ was a corporal, and I have never heard so much dark muttering about air travel.
First and foremost, there are these imminent airline mergers. Last week, the Wall Street Journal (Incidentally, I worked there when their slogan was "The Daily Diary of the American Dream," and you weren't supposed to giggle at it) stuck this front-page blurb headline on a story about imminent mergers of airlines: "Friendlier Skies."
Friendlier? For who? Not for you and me, they won't be. Mergers will mean: Fewer available seats. Lousier service. A collapse of frequent-flier programs, which already have one foot in the grave. Less service to and from mid-size and smaller cities.
Oh, and more money for airline executives and those who might happen to own airline stocks.
Meanwhile, they're still stranding passengers on tarmacs. I've had e-mails from people stuck on planes in Atlanta that day and night for over 10 hours.
This situation just gets worse in 2008, and airlines have done virtually nothing to remedy it.
Take the Queen's lead. Get a horse.
Meanwhile, I'm going to be more closely following in months to come the actions of airports, which understand customer-service better, and whose executives are trying to get ahead of the problem, though they have tread very lightly around the airlines.
With the new capabilities on Randy Petersen's Boardingarea.com, I will instruct myself on how to upload various texts to make things more reader-friendly. For now please excuse my cutting and pasting the following news from airports: