Perhaps it's the curmudgeon in me but, seriously, can the world of business travel get much worse? It wasn't that long ago that one actually was offered a meal on a plane--a bad meal, mind you, but a meal nonetheless. Now, airlines begrudgingly offer drinks and perish the thought of bartering for a small bag of stale pretzels or peanuts that no one eats unless they fly more than three hours one way.
So here, once again, are some of my idle observations and musings about the world of business travel, given recent experience.
- Have you ever wondered what the guy running the carry-on luggage, x-ray machine is really looking for? I mean, why does it take so much time to look at the innards of a Kirkwood carry-on roller bag, retail price $100? On a recent journey, travelers were actually queued up as we all waited for our bags, laptops, and shampoos and gels (all neatly packed in a ziploc bag, as per TSA requirements), watching the agent who ran a machine that doesn't seem that hard to operate. Speed it up, for cryin' out loud!
- The TSA agent who recently checked my license and boarding pass, before allowing me to enter security at Kansas City's airport, actually sounded like one of those World War II German train stewards--"May I see your papers, please?" She grilled me on where I was going, whether it was business or pleasure, and if I had anything to declare. (Okay, maybe she didn't ask me that last part but she was incredibly intimidating--I felt like if I said the wrong thing I'd be whisked into the closet detention area with the single light bulb hanging down.)
- On the positive side, I'm very appreciative of the US Airways flight attendant who purposely was getting military personnel upgraded to first class.
- I couldn't help but snicker yesterday when entering terminal C at DFW Airport and spying a Salt Lick Barbeque, Popeye's and Dickey's Barbecue, all within 100 feet of one another, with a McDonald's sandwiched in between. Cholesterol overload, anyone?
- And, finally, we are all captive on these small and smaller tubes of flying metal. Is it really necessary to lean your seat back as if you're in your Barcalounger at home watching the big screen? Suck it up like the rest of us...