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Old 01-22-2018, 12:00 PM
12,281 posts, read 18,401,528 times
Reputation: 19102


Some of this is simply misperception by the consumer.

The below gives another spin on the topic:

While pointing out the flaws, mostly as a result of personal anictdotes that get huge coverage, it also points out the pluses: relatively low cost compared to history, safety improvements, technology improving the flight entertainment, and the reality that consumer complaints, delays, and missed flights really haven't increased that much from previous years.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:17 PM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,901 posts, read 9,665,859 times
Reputation: 4982
I fly domestically four or five times a year, and have been since I retired seven years ago. Additionally, I've flown three international flights in the last four years (and planning the fourth for this year). I've never experienced any of the angst that the OP is complaining about.

When I plan my trips I spend a lot of time looking around at airfares, although I can't say that I've ever figured out exactly how to get the best fare at the best time. And I reserve either an aisle seat or upgrade to Economy Plus/Premium seating to avoid being crammed into a sardine can. Surly employees? -- never once! Maybe it's because I smile at them and am polite when asking a question?

Sure travelling by air is a PITA these days, but it would have to get a whole lot worse to keep me from going where I want to go!
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:04 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,552 posts, read 39,934,465 times
Reputation: 23678
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
We've been planning for a trip the past month or so, to Belgium and the Netherlands for spring. But the thought of dealing with airlines and their terrible service
I fly every week, sometimes 4x / week I don't have this issue and I am not a 'frequent traveler on all my airlines,

... with vanishing fares,///long lines - such as a two hour customs line we were in (US no less) ...

The worst for me is all the fare games carriers play - low fares often won't book, prices seem to be all over the place, both in city pairs and day to day on a particular city pair and so forth. I usually feel like a chump when I finally book.

Has anyone else changed travel plans in order to avoid airlines?
Follow the frequest traveler / road warrior sites for instructions, BUT,,, some airlines set cookies and you will not be able to get that fare if you dilly-dally- around and come back later under same browser / login.

Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
...and airlines never push out a low fare that gets cached and withdrawn a short time later? Heck, I've even seen this game on airline sites. It is a game, to get folks to spend more than they planned.
Glad others still find it tolerable. Maybe you've never overnighted in an airport on the floor, or had flights so delayed that you missed overseas connections.
I can't count the number of nights I spend in airports / yr... Price of admission for the fast travel. (sometime slow due to delays. (23 hrs of delays on a 5 hr flight this weekend due to weather, airport repair, ... Such is life... not the problem of the airline, just a bad trip (My first significant delay in the last yr). International airports often have 'day hotels' ~ $10 / hr)

If you don't like it... take the options! Amtrak!
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:15 PM
6,290 posts, read 3,460,061 times
Reputation: 5716
I'll offer OP a similar response as I to provide people not wanting to visit Australia as "the flight is too long".

"Yes, it's long. It's uncomfortable. But look at it as transportation, not the destination. You'll get over it."
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:26 PM
32,071 posts, read 32,968,461 times
Reputation: 14950
Originally Posted by citizensadvocate View Post
Of course there are other alternatives to airlines, i.e cruise lines especially Cunard's Queen Mary 2 which makes regular transatlantic crossings. Though it would cost more in time and money. There are people who do frighter cruises as well for those who want an alternative to crowded with tourists cruise vessels.
Cruise lines are not a practical alternative to all overseas destinations. Not everyone has the time or the money to spend on long ship voyages instead of flying.
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:02 PM
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,389 posts, read 1,666,771 times
Reputation: 7987
From before 2001 to 2014, I never traveled once by air, and dreaded the idea of dealing with security regulations. Then I started traveling again, and have flown in and out of more than 20 countries, and it is no real problem at all. TSA people were pleasant in every country, customs and immigration people have been no problem, and airline staff on the ground and in the air have been efficient and solicitous. And international air fares amazingly cheap.

Airports could be better designed or signposted to help passengers find their way around, and it would be nice if you could get something besides American franchise junk food in airports like Bahrain. But aside from that, I have no real complaints about flying.
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:44 PM
2,546 posts, read 1,637,007 times
Reputation: 2034
I would say Customs in US is better and faster now than before. I used to dread coming back to the US with long lines and stupid interrogation by custom agents
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:55 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,185 posts, read 7,061,671 times
Reputation: 6571
Last road trip we took ended with us speeding out of Sonoma County because it was on fire. All trips come with risks, life is too short to get caught up in the what ifs.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:10 AM
345 posts, read 154,743 times
Reputation: 601
Nope, would never change my travel plans to avoid dealing with airlines. Have been on all sorts - from excellent to not-so-good. Research the airlines - specific flights even have ratings. Fly out of a smaller airport - usually nice staff and doesn't seem to have as many delays. Fly economy plus if you can afford to but only on a very long flight. Prices can vary greatly - I almost always book far out so I can get a decent fare and more importantly, the flights I want (i.e. nonstop). I usually bring some food on because that's the one thing I don't like about flying.

I have spent a night on the airport floor - not fun but wouldn't let it ruin my trip or cause me not to fly.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:41 AM
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,069 posts, read 19,002,971 times
Reputation: 24167
Nope, and I doubt I ever will until my aching joints won't tolerate coach seats. (My cheapskate mentality prevents me from upgrading, and probably always will.)

I have ZERO problem with added security on flights or airports. Thank you for caring about my safety. I dearly wish we had such restrictions and cautiousness BEFORE 9-11. They already did in other countries.

There ARE airlines I try to avoid for lack of customer service, but if there is a significant difference in price, I'll put up with it.

I have only one single gripe about airline travel: the price gouging for food and drinks at the airport. THAT pisses me off.
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