Many years ago, movie viewers were greatly touched by the movie “Love Story.”
It’s most memorable line was “love means never having to say you are sorry.”
If you are a traveler on any means of transportation, plane, train or automobile these days, the apologies for the experiences you suffer are never enough and there isn’t any love either.
Let’s start with the airline passengers.
Once upon a time, the average passenger was showered with a variety of goodies as a means of getting your business.
Do you remember when there was free and edible airline food, blankets, lots of extra legroom and a large variety of other incentives given by the major airlines?
If your airplane was late or delayed, the person at the counter couldn’t be nicer.
Today’s traveler is treated like a second-class citizen unless you have the luxury of sitting in first or business class.
Any extra charge that the executives could think of is now being imposed.
Want a little extra leg room?
No, I am happy with my knees touching my chest.
Would you care for a blanket?
“Sorry, we only have a limited number.”
Added to that are charges for one suitcase and an increased fee for any additional ones.
If you want to get on the plane before the other passengers?
No, problem just pay an additional fee.
Want to use the restroom in the front of the plane?
Sorry, you can’t disturb the business class group.
Headsets for travelers?
Some charge and some don’t, so it’s wise to bring your own.
Some airlines are now asking for an extra fee to use the overhead bin for your carry-on bag.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer has taken up that cause but only a few carriers have responded.
If you are planning a scheduled trip and some unfortunate event requires a change of day or time, you will be asked to pay as little as $50 and as much as $300 for the change.
If the problem is due to a death in the family, some airlines will provide a free change.
Let’s say you are waiting for your plane and it is delayed due to some unknown condition.
Occasionally you get a straight answer on the cause so that your frayed nerves are soothed.
United Airlines has unhappily found out that when you try to bump a paid passenger off of an airplane, havoc ensues.
The recent incident on a Kentucky bound flight not only tarnished the airline’s brand, it caused a hit on the value of its stock.
Even if you make an annual profit of $2.4 billion, travelers have long memories and United will pay a price for their lapses in courtesy.
The CEO can apologize profusely but the damage is done.
Have a talk with the Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road passengers who were tortured for almost four days recently and they will share with you their nightmare.
It seems that both lines use the two tunnels going in and out of the city and one tunnel was closed down due to a track problem.
Riders were faced with cancellations and long delays.
I am sure those stressed out riders were happy to accept the apologies of the CEO who confessed that they knew about the problem but didn’t get around to fixing it before the track bed collapsed.
Last but not least, how about the stress of being a driver this year?
It seems that almost any road you take in the metropolitan area has some type of construction going on.
We should expect to be inconvenienced as that means that the roads will be improved.
But, how about sitting in stalled traffic and when you get to the work site there is no one there but an empty truck?
There is no sign that says “sorry for the inconvenience.”
Overall, the best job to have is one where you can work from home, get paid well and not have to take the train, plane or automobile.