Seth Godin posted a provocative piece (is that redundant? Seth’s goal is to be nothing but provocative) Saturday entited Random travel thoughts. In it he challenges the conventional wisdom about a lot of the headaches of airline travel.
As a fellow business traveler I have seen and contemplated many of Seth’s observations. Pragmatist that I am, I thought I’d expand and rebut a few of his points. On the whole, I agree with his thesis (“we can do better”) but not his overall view.
Why does a banana cost twenty cents at the supermarket and $1.61 at SFO? Are hungry people supposed to subsidize non-hungry travelers?
This is simple economics at work, not airline policy. My $4.06 frappuccino at any other Manhattan Starbucks cost me $5 at the Javits Center last week. A bottle of water that costs 20 cents in bulk and $1.25 at the corner store is $4.50 at Yankee Stadium (this year… next season, at the new park, it’ll be $9). Captive audiences demand premium payments.
Why doesn’t the airport have sleeping benches?
Sleeping benches encourage loitering. Apparently some airports, like the new American terminal at DFW, bring out springy hammock-like cots when people get stuck at the airport overnight.
After seven years, why is random yelling still the way that TSA screeners communicate their superstitious rules to people in line?
Security in general is a joke to all but the dangerous. Why did the security guards at Yankee Stadium make my brother throw away a perfectly good, safe Bluefly shopping bag and put his things in a clear plastic bag instead? Ridiculous. Unless you’re the guy with the gunpowder.
Why does the FAA require the airlines to explain to every passenger how to buckle their seatbelt?
I’m guessing someone sued. I wonder how Seth feels about snarky flight attendants who poke fun at their own requirements, or the Virgin America safety film that assumes you’re yawning and disinterested, and assumes the same vibe.