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Journal Journal: North American Air Travel Woes

My wife is in the process of travelling from Ottawa Airport, through Philadelphia PA, to Richmond VA Airport, then on to Charlottesville VA, to visit our grand-daughter.

We left home this morning at 07:30 to get to the airport for the suggested 3-hours-before-flight check-in time.

Her flight to Philly has been delayed, so that now she won't reach Richmond until 17:30 (That's 5:30 PM for the 24-hour-clock-challenged out there); it's another 2 hours, depending on traffic, to Charlottesville.

They don't feed you on aircraft any more, so she took a ham sandwich for lunch. She was told she couldn't take it on the plane. Four hundred plus dollars for a ticket, and you don't get fed...

A trip by car takes about 12 hours, and will use about 4 tanks of gas, at about $25 US each.

The automobile is more convenient - leave when you want to, not according to some arbitrary schedule.

The automobile is cheaper - 1/4 the price, and you can stop and eat pretty much any damned thing you want.

The automobile doesn't restrict you to two 50-pound suitcases, and you can even take a bottle of water with you...

The automobile doesn't require you to stand in the long Security lineups. Granted, you're in the Customs and Immigration Border Crossing line, but you're sitting down in the car. You typically don't have to empty your pockets into the x-ray scanner bucket, or prove the laptop is real. Nor are you (generally) frisked...

So, the question I pose is: Have the airlines succeeded in rendering themselves obsolete? Is air travel now so cumbersome as to be "not worth it"?

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