Do you like to fly?
When I started thinking about it I realized that question is more complex than it initially appears. Some, the "White Knucklers", will immediately answer with a resounding NO!
But my question today really refers more to "traveling by air" than the physical act of flying.
The whole process of flying somewhere with the airlines, for me, is rapidly approaching the point where I'll have a decision to make-
Is this time savings worth the trouble?
And that question will ultimately be determined by the number of hours spent devoted to the entire process... planning, packing, and the total movement to go somewhere. I fear as travel becomes more and more complex, folks like me will just determine it's not worth the trouble at all.
Going somewhere requires you to think ahead about what you'll need when you get there.
Heavy clothing? Shorts and polo shirt? Both? Skiing? Golf?
And for Sara Jean... Special Shampoos/hair stuff, face cleaning stuff, face painting stuff, eye enhancing stuff, moisturizers, tanning stuff... I could go on and on but you get the picture. We MUST have it all. And what about packing it? Will it explode do to changes in pressure? How to prevent that?
The flight departs at 1730 hours. We have to back-plan from that point. We need to arrive at the airport at least an hour before departure. I like to fudge that a little when, like last evening, we're leaving on Friday or Sunday night, because there are always more people trying to get outta Dodge. Yesterday I allowed 90 minutes.
The drive to the airport at BigTown takes two hours. What if we have tire trouble? What if there's an accident along the way that traps us in a jam? I allotted 150 minutes for the drive. That makes our "getting there on time for departure" time 240 minutes... 4 hours. To depart at 1730, we have to be out the door at 1330 hours.
But we have two dogs to think of now. Dropping them off at their respective caregiver's homes adds another 30 minutes to the plan... out the door at 1300 hours.
At some point you begin to wonder, "Is it worth this?" And I think the answer to that question more and more will be "No".
A comfortable drive to Los Angeles would take 3 days and would put close to 2100 miles on our car. Coming home would double those figures. Driving here was not an option. But what about shorter trips?
In the four hours it takes to drive to the airport, make our way through the security check and board the airplane, we could be 240 miles down the road to our destination in our car, and in many cases the dogs could come along. If you then add the flight time to the destination and the time getting from the destination airport to the place you really want to spend your time, you have a matrix for the "travel by air?" decision.
For me, the breaking point is now somewhere around 1,000 miles + -.
Trips less than 1,000 miles will be driven. Trips over 1,000 miles MAY be driven if the destination airport is not close to where we need to be.
Airlines are in a dilemma and have to be pulling their hair out-
They have to insure folks arrive safely, but the checking-in and security process is already cumbersome and looks like it will get worse. Add to their woes the increasing costs of fuel and insurance, and you have some understanding why you're now packed into an airplane like a sardine in a can.
Thinking about what I've written above I realize the question is not really "fly or drive?". It's really "fly or don't go at all?".
More and more, I think the answer may be "Let's just stay home."
This is the change. Where's the hope?