The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 August 2006

Land rovers

I haven't bought a plane ticket in five years or so, and I don't particularly regret it: there are vanishingly few instances when I need to be halfway across the continent in a single day, and recent "advances" in passenger screening, by most accounts, have fallen somewhere between merely obtrusive and obsessively counterproductive. "And besides," I am wont to remark, "my car has never lost my luggage."

So I drive, and so does Bill Quick:

I, for instance, wouldn't dream of flying to Los Angeles any more. I drive. Yes, I admit I began that policy back when smoking was banned on all airlines, and checkin security was just beginning to become onerous. The time tradeoff, in exchange for being able to inhale the intoxicant of my choice, as well as travel in large-seat air conditioned comfort with my own music seemed reasonable to me. Today, air travel has only become worse, to the point that there soon won't even be a time tradeoff on any flight under, say, five hundred miles. Come to the airport three hours, four hours, five hours early and prepare to be treated like cattle by a bunch of unionized morons? Thanks, but I think I'll pass.

And I think, if this goes on, more and more people like me will pass as well. Why does the government take the easy way out of harassing people, rather than actually doing things that might be effective, like arming pilots, armoring cockpits, and instituting high tech substance-catching and people-profiling systems?

Because it can.

Personally, I'm in favor of having those morons ionized.

In the meantime, I take comfort in the recently-revealed knowledge that I can go 400 miles on a single tank of gas (presently $50ish).

Posted at 8:26 AM to Dyssynergy

Yep. We're pretty sure we will never visit the relatives in California, or Idaho if they move there, other than by driving there from Massachusetts. Even if it takes renting a car (or camper) and driving non-stop in shifts to cut down the time factor.

Plus we get to see the country if we don't take it too fast; not like such trips will be frequent. Better to take a week each way and only a few days there than fly.

Plus the price of four or five round-trip tickets should cover a lot of driving and even motel costs. Indeed, I suspect that will make the main price time, not money.

Anywhere much closer than that? No contest. Indeed, I'm already from a family where the demarcation for fly versus drive have traditionally been Florida, and that a tossup and mainly to have more actual time there. When I drove to Ft Myers it was 1375 miles.

With modern electronics, and kids who will like to read when they're older, "are we there yet" should be much reduced from when I was a kid.

I'd fly if I really had to, but for quick emergency trips I'd probably go halfway across the country or down the entire east coast by car before I'd think about flying.

Posted by: Jay at 9:52 AM on 13 August 2006