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William C. Altreuter
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Friday, December 23, 2005

The last time I flew, I ran onto the plane with my shoes in my hand. I'd over-slept, and knew I was in trouble as soon as I walked in. My Jet Blue friend had my boarding pass ready, but the line was backed up to the door. I'm in that airport close to once a week-- and often even more frequently. I know the TSA people, they know me (hell, we actually represent one of them) but they were unyielding.

It was an ugly scene, so hell yeah I'd pay $80 bucks for a pass that gets me on a faster line. Please bring it on.

Other air travel innovations I'd pay a premium for: child free cabins. A requirement that the traveler lift their carry-on item over their head in front of the ticket agent before being allowed to board. (If you can't lift it, check it. I've flown millions of miles and lost my luggage once-- the odds are very much in your favor.)

For the most part the nightmare of air travel is the one envisioned by Sartre-- hell is other people. In ten minutes I'll be leaving to pick up my parents, WJA and TCA. They are troupers for traveling at this time of year, and they will emerge from the plane shaken, not stirred. The fact is that most travelers are amateurs, and therefore not versed in the courtesies it. Oh well. Merry Christmas to all!

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