I love to go places, meet new and interesting people; eat exotic and strange foods; experience other cultures first hand; learn new things and see the many wonders of the world. I love the people, the smells, the views and the sounds. But I really hate travelling!
There was a time when I enjoyed travelling: Packing up; going to the airport; checking in; going though security; buying overprized food in the lobby; get on the flight; eating bad plastic wrapped food on the way; watching old movies on small screens and then finally getting to my destination full of excitement and joy – but not anymore.
Travelling has become a nightmare.
In the past 5-10 years – speeding up after 9/11, travelling globally has become more and more of a hassle. Pricing (on most of the routes and classes I travel) has gone up with up to 50%, the service level has dropped dramatically and the time it takes to get through the many security checks has reached a ridiculous level.
It’s sad. Travelling should be fun and a joy and with the price I have to pay today for decent business class tickets much better food, functional seats and modern entertainment systems, free massage and a blow job before landing should be included! It’s not. You are lucky if you get as much as a kind smile from the stressed out airline employees, a clean seat that actually works with and old entertainment centre and eatable food these days.
The increased security at airports is off course not the airlines fault. That’s due to stupid politicians that jump on just about anything that hit the front page news. The fact is that its not terrorism that kills people – most people in our part of the world die from car accidents, extreme sports, bad fat food, smoking and other unhealthy habits. Not from stupid and extreme religious or political fanatics that gets away with terror.
It is actually kind of strange. So many more people die from just car accidents but yet far more people fear terrorism. Imagine if a similar level of restrictions and control was enforced on cars as we see in the airports now. I do think we could reduce the number of dead and injured people in car accidents could be reduced dramatically if we where ready to accept strong enough restrictions.
To start with we could reduce speed limits much. We could also demand alcohol locks on all cars (a device that blocks you from driving if you have been drinking) and we could monitor all cars with GPS and automatically issue very large fines every time any car speeded, crossed red lights etc.
It would become just as much a nightmare to drive your car as it is getting through the airports today – or worse. So let’s hope politicians don’t go down that route! It’s not that I don’t want the number of car accidents down – I really do, but I think we need to find better ways than totally destroying the joy and comfort of driving a car.
Terrorism is a terrible crime. No doubt about that! And we should take all reasonable and responsible steps to protect us against it. Off course we should. But if we burden ourselves with to many restrictions and time consuming security checks the terrorists have kind of won their war on us. We should not let them do that.
Nobody likes to think about the risks of getting hurt or killed – not by deceases, car accidents or terrorism. But no matter what we do there will be risks left in life. Realistically we won’t be able to stop all car accidents or terrorism – at least not if air travel or car driving still have to actually function.
I just think it would make better sense to focus more on where it really matters. Fear alone should not dictate the priorities. I think it should be far more based on statistics. And if you look at them we could ease up a bit on flight security and maybe tighten it a bit more on cars. From the point of view that “we don’t want to get killed by other peoples stupid actions” it would make more sense. With much less intrusive restrictions we would simply safe far more people from tragic and crazy actions if we prioritized a little different.
To the families and friends that loose one of their loved ones I don’t think it matter much if the tragedy was due to a drunk driver or a stupid terrorist.
This will off course not improve the service level, comfort and pricing the airlines offer. This really needs to change too in order to regain the joy of global travelling by plane (and who really wants to boat around the world?).
So to summarize: I really hope our government agencies will soon find ways to make the necessary security checks a lot easier and much faster to deal with. I don’t want to be in the airport 2 hours in advance! Second, the airlines have to lower the prices and offer better service. In the past few years they have done the opposite and (big surprise!) it just doesn’t give them more passengers and profits.
When that happens I will probably to more global travelling and I am sure many others will follow. And I think that would be good.