Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear Airline Industry

You have lost me as a customer.

Just as I am entering into the years of my life where I planned to do a lot of travel, you enabled the thugs of TSA to completely and forever alter the relationship with your customers. Now, instead of responding to the millions of advertising dollars that you spend every year by purchasing a seat on the "friendly skies", I will travel by car.

The revenue that you hoped to see during the holidays? It will instead be spent at a string of Exxon, Texaco, and Unocal stations from sea to shining sea. Do not expect me to be helping you pay off your 777's and 787's any time soon.

In order for me to fly on your airline, I must:

Endure the indignity of shoe checks, naked scans, or groin gropes.
Leave my toiletries at home.
Leave my pocket knife at home.
Leave my handgun at home (because if it doesn't get damaged in-transit, your baggage handlers will steal it).
Arrive several hours in advance of my flight, get hassled by rejects from rent-a-cop school, get questioned about my destination, purpose for traveling, length of stay, and desire to remain a sane citizen (Papers, please!).
Be willing to submit to indignities under penalty of excessive fines without ability to appeal.
For the pleasure of enduring all of the above, I have to pay you, and pay extra if I wish to bring more than two changes of clothes.

No thanks.

You (the airline industry) are clamoring for the government to make you feel safe, while trampling the liberty of the citizenry. Too bad. I refuse to play any longer.

In the near future, I am embarking on a round-trip journey across the country, from Virginia to California and back. All-told, this could have generated a couple of thousand dollars of ticket sales for you, as I intend to stop in Tennessee, Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas along the way. Instead, I will take the lesson that you are trying to teach me to heart. Namely, you value your alleged security more than you value my liberty or my custom. So, I am taking away my custom and keeping my Liberty.

In opting out, you will lose my revenue, as you have lost my willingness to be subject to arbitrary rules without logical purpose (except to teach me subjugation). My schedule can tolerate a few extra days devoted to travel. Can your profit margin tolerate people like me boycotting your services? If so, how many, and for how long?

The traveling public wishes to know.

The traveling public is waiting for the Airline Transport Association to decide that the pendulum has swung too far. The public is waiting to see what breaks first: your industry, or the TSA. I am betting the former. The bureaucracy has finally gotten what it has always wanted: Carte-Blanche to inspect and detain citizens at-will, and without cause; and you are the smokescreen.

When the last airline is destroyed, sacrificed upon the altar of the Security god, don't whine that you "didn't know". You are all hoping to be the last one standing, to receive the final bailout and nationalization. In truth, the TSA parasite has already killed the Airline Industry host. All that remains to be seen are the agonizing throes of your demise.

I'll be the one with the popcorn.



Brigid said...

Stop in Indy if you can. You won't be groped but you WILL get a meal like you never had, even in first class days.

Kevin said...

If your trip through Arizona brings you through Tucson, drop me a line. I'll feed you, too! (Though probably not as well as Brigid.)

As for myself, I only fly for business, and I'll drive if I can. If it's within 15 hours driving time, there's no question that I'll avoid the airlines.

Jay G said...

I'm with you, Newbius. I was planning on flying to St. Louis for the NRA convention next year.

I think I'll drive instead.

Mike W. said...

Jay - NRA is in Pittsburg next year I think. I'll be driving again. St. Louis is 2012.

I've been sour at the TSA / airport security since before 9/11 and I'm only 25.

Weer'd Beard said...

That's a big bullet to bite, but something needs to be done, and people taking extra steps to avoid abuses that come from Airline travel will be one of the most productive.

The other is to write our Representation and tell them they need to stop this nonsense.

Rob K said...

This has been my policy for years now.

If where you're going is less than a full day's drive, just on time considerations alone you're better to drive. With all the hassling, flying anywhere takes up a full day anymore.

ASM826 said...

You said something in passing, "arbitrary rules without logical purpose (except to teach me subjugation)" that needs to focused on. Because I think that is the exact purpose of the policies of the TSA. If they can get us to accept it at the airport, they can get us to accept it at traffic stops and courthouse entrances and schools (it's for the children!)

I blogged on this yesterday, and came to the same conclusion you did.

Wilson said...

Nicely said, the TSA hooligans will continue doing there worst (and it might get worse) as long as the airline industry lets them. This situation is not going to change until the airlines take an major financial hit.

Comrade Misfit said...

The last time I few commercial, it was on a two leg trip (commuter feeder to transcontinental non-stop). There was a pretty young German girl on both flights, dressed in a smart black leather suit.

She was "randomly selected" for special screening both times.

When I checked into the airport, a TSA agent at the security checkpoint took everything out of my purse. I don't know what she was looking for, but she didn't find it and I got to put everything back in.

Flying by airlines for me is not compulsory. I used to fly enough to be a frequent flier.

No longer. If I can't drive, I'm not going. Not unless I am being paid for my trouble.