We’re a nation of drivers, no doubt about it.
Don’t believe me? During the first five months of the year, Americans flew 321 billion miles. They drove 1.1 trillion miles. (It’s not a perfect comparison, since these are calculated slightly differently, but you get the idea.)
Last holiday weekend, less than eight percent of travelers flew to their destination. Almost 9 out of 10 drove.
You might not arrive at that conclusion from reading most travel blogs or magazines, but it’s true. For all the fretting we do about the indignities of flying, we sure don’t do very much of it.
All of which made me wonder: How far would you go to avoid a plane?
We’ve had two public urination incidents on planes within the last week.
That’s not quite a trend, but all we need is for one more copycat drunkard to relieve himself on a flight for my good friends at USA Today to put this issue on the front page.
Peanut allergy is the most common cause of food-related death, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Given that, is it responsible for airlines to continue serving their passengers peanuts on planes?
The Transportation Department is considering a rule that would prohibit peanuts from being served on commercial aircraft, even though it has partially backed off on the proposal, because it lacked the authority.
Some say it’s about time the government takes action to protect passengers with allergies. Others say it’s an infringement of their rights to eat whatever they want, whenever they want.
It’s easy to be an airline industry critic in an era of “no waivers, no favors” and fees on top of fees. It’s easy to paint airlines as heartless corporations that treat us like self-loading cargo.
But every now and then, you hear a story that turns you into an adoring fan. Like Nancy’s story.
Before I continue, I should mention a few things: Nancy is a faithful reader of this site, and I agreed to use only her first name because of the brutal nature of the crime and the age of the victim. Second, I’m not an emotional, John Boehner-type, but I can’t read her story without getting a little teary.
So you’ve been warned: Grab a tissue.
Editor’s note: This is part twelve in a series about the Transportation Department’s sweeping new airline passenger protection rules. You can read the entire document here (.DOC). Please take a moment to comment on these proposed rules at Regulationroom.org. The future of air travel depends on it.
Ban peanuts? Really?
That’s the first reaction I get when I mention the final, and perhaps the most ridiculed, of the Transportation Department’s proposed new rules. Seriously — why would the government do away with peanuts on a plane?
What could be worse that screaming babies on a plane? Screaming babies in a movie theater, according to a new survey by Baby Orajel teething pain medicine.
Asked in which of the following situations would you least like to encounter a crying baby, a majority — 56 percent — answered “movie theater.” About a quarter (22 percent) said on a plane, with the balance going to a religious function (12 percent) and restaurant (10 percent).