Air Travel, Have You No Shame?

Ah, air travel -- remember when you used to be America's collective hard on? Shiny planes and beautiful women serving indulgent meals high in the sky? All sparkly and futuristic -- a polite, intelligent colonizing of that vast, silly unused space: air! You were technology and enterprise and exploration; you were Horace-Greeley Manifest-Destiny we-touched-it-so-we-own-it America! A space race for the layman! Luxury in the clouds! Civilization in the sky!

And now: look at you. All dry and cramped, crowded with hundreds of ridiculous, tiny torture seats, each smaller and scratchier than the next. You're all jutting edges and paper butt-guards and nose-guards and lice-guards, all bacteria and anonymity. You're squishy meats packed into pale juices, brown and wet and slimy. You're sodium and landfills and sludge and leftovers. You're so miserable that "uncomfortable" has become a polite euphemism uttered only by weird optimists who are too nice to call you North Korean cat puke. You are the Sochi Olympics of travel. You are the propped-up facade of the town of Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles -- fake and dry and hot and shallow and painfully unrealistic. You are horrible, air travel.

Rock Ridge: Exposed!

And why? Why have you fallen into such gross disrepair? Out of quintessential movie-villain-level evil. You condemn a huge number of people -- as many as 500,000 people at any given moment -- to be pathetically pretzeled into too-small seats and pay $6.00 for raisins just so you can make a little bit more money. There is no honor in your pursuit. There is no nobility of air travel. There is no balance of capitalism and market pressures and consumer needs and oil prices. There is only collusion and monopoly and the sick, underhanded agreement between all of you that you will charge more and deliver less and cram cram cram your metal tins full of fattening, sweaty bodies ad infinitum!

And god forbid our travel plans change! Have your travel plans ever changed? No? Of course not. Because that never happens. Because nothing ever goes wrong or unexpected. Because one of YOUR FLIGHTS has never BEEN LOST OUT OF THE DAMN SKY.  Car broke down? Meeting got moved? Death in the family? FUCKING FLIGHT GOT DELAYED? $200 to change. Next.

But it's okay, because I'm a loyalty member. I am loyyyyallllll to you, forever. I have your credit card, which I use exclusively. I spend thousands of dollars a year on your credit card, a card emblazoned with your name and your brand so that every time I SWIPE I am doing a tiny little bit of consumer-driven advertising for you. I wear the number you've branded me with (true story - my actual Skymiles number has "666" in it) with pride! I only use your airline. I use your airline when other airlines are cheaper. I use your airline when other airlines are more convenient. Because LOYALTY.  I use your airline because I get points with your airline and I have a credit card with your airline that  someone one time told me would get me something free with you that should've been free in the first place. I am so epically loyal.

And what's this? It's not enough? I'm a member, but not a medallion member? I'm a medallion member, but not a Silver Medallion member, because the lowest goddamn rung on your inflated, impossible, imaginary totem pole can only be earned with one million trips around the sun?!?! THE BURNING HOT SUN?!?!

Or $47592349414 dollars a year, in dollars. Not points. Or 12930810238912936123000892363 in points because the point-to-dollar ratio is SOMETHING MADE UP BY AN AUTISTIC KID WITH AN ABACUS? Or infinity times my frustration level because I will never get there, not to your points threshold, not to my destination, not back to sanity at any time in the near future.

Remember that time I called your customer service hotline one minute after it opened and there was a 40 minute wait for service?

But free drink tickets sometimes though.
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