Wednesday, February 9, 2011


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After my stressful day flying to Florida and back for a 15 minute meeting, I was reminded of how much I hate flying, the day got progressively better, after I wrote my sad, bitter post.
I can't stand Airports anymore, it is getting worse everyday, you literally have to undress yourself to go thru security, you might tell me it has been like this for a while, I will tell you, it is getting worse.
Yesterday, in the chaos of my bad day and mental and physical stress I handed my Credit Card to a TSA official instead of my Driver's License, the guy was literally scratching his head and looking at me trying to figure out what was going on...and I was so stupidly "Jacked UP" after being ripped off by the Thug cab driver, I was thinking WHAT? WHAT NOW?
The poor guy was very patient and asked -I see that your credit card has a picture but, Do you have an actual ID on you Sir?
I looked at him with a confused and embarrassed look...!!!!
-Oh, sorry, yes, off course, that is my Credit Card, sorry, it's been a long and frustrating day!
The poor guy was actually doing his job and I was out of it.
Once last year, American Airlines gave me the WRONG BOARDING PASS, with someone else's name, I didn't see it, then I went on thru security and NOBODY caught it either, those TSA people were so distracted it was ridiculous.
After the incident they got mad at ME, like I had done something wrong.
Excuse me! I know I was distracted, but if you were doing YOUR job, YOU wouldn't have allowed me in with DRIVER'S LICENSE not matching MY BOARDING PASS.
Flying used to be a great pleasure, back in the 80's, when TWA still existed and flight attendants were gentle and nice and helpful.
Nowadays, you have to be afraid of these neurotic divas, you look them the wrong way and they have the power to throw you off the plane, I have seen it happening with my own eyes.
American Airlines is not helping with their falling a part airplanes and rude personnel, they behave like they are doing you are favor to allow you to fly with in their precious junked up Airplanes.
Dear fellow blogger and friend Jana @ Paper Plains described a horrifying event on her recent flight out of Sao Paulo with American Airlines on Paulista Pursuits on this recent post HERE.
It reminded me of a similar incident I had with American Airlines flying out Mexico on a Chicago bound flight last year, same issue, the radars went all out and we had to return to the tarmac and wait for a solution, which in that case, American Airlines mechanics trouble shooting the issue via cell phone from Tulsa, Oklahoma, once they didn't have American Airlines mechanics on site in Mexico.
They didn't take us back to the GATE because if we left the plane, they would be forced to place us in other Airlines and pay for it.
Long story short, we were HOLD HOSTAGE on a parked Airplane all turned off, no A/C, super hot, we were being baked alive, door wide open, flys and other bugs in the airplane, UGH, it was a horrible experience to say the least...!!!
There was a commotion, many people fought and got off the plane, they walked right off the plane on the tarmac and left, I had no choice, didn't want to be a the Newspapers on a foreigner country causing trouble when I was representing my bank in that country. I stayed and waited for ever...along with the other poor souls who had no choice.
They have rules that always benefit the Airlines and put us passengers in the back burner, until they get their crap together. It got progressively worse after 9/11.
Well, Good news on the way! I hope!
Spain built a High Speed Rail between Madrid and Seville and their project was so successful that they have more people traveling by high speed train between those two cities than people traveling by cars and planes combined.
France was able to revitalized many sleepy touristic cities when they added high speed rails as their destinations.
China is building so much High Speed Rail that in 5 years they will offer more options than any other country for this mode of transportation.
And then today, Gil shares THIS story with me.
It brought me a big smile, principally after the awful flying experience I had flying down to Florida yesterday.
I dream of the day we will be able to take High Speed Rail all over the USA.
The Acela is an Express train service, it is only between Boston and Washington DC, I am a frequent Acela passenger, usually going from Providence to New York city is my best option, principally in the winter with the snow and ice and traffic jams, no to mention the absurd cost of parking in New York city, but it is High Speed Rail, far from it. It is only faster than the Regional Amtrak trains because it doesn't stop in every small town along the way.
It would be really great if we can take this project on and turn it into a reality, we need Speed Rail in the US.
If you take a look at THIS excellent article by Wolters Kluwer, Brazil is expected to generate around 30,000 new jobs from the project which is very small comparing to Obama's Vision for High Speed Rail in the US, you can just imagine how many so needed jobs we could create in the US if the Obama administration is able to make this Vision a reality, I hope they succeed.
We can still have the Airplanes for the long distances or for the smaller markets where trains are not profitable, but we definitely need trains between our big American cities, fast, reliable comfortable trains, it will be an important step in freeing us from the turmoils of the International Oil market.


Rachel said...

I've said it once and I'll say it again, I HATE American Airlines!

Yay for high speed rail :D

Gil and Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gil and Ray said...

Yes, Rachel,

I need to go to Airline rehab and leave American Airlines once for all...
I am leaning towards Continental/United.
I can't wrap my head around Southwest's concept, they don't travel International.
They are only good to fly out of Providence or Boston into Florida and back, that is it for me.
We are gonna try the Car Train this summer to go to Miami visit some friends, I have always wanted to do that

Anonymous said...

I also despise almost all US airlines and have a slew of horror stories to throw up against the best. The only airline I have been consistently pleased with is Jet Blue. I actually miss them immensely. Cheap, friendly, sense of humor...
I hope this passes (rail), but let's be honest, the only reason that we don't have a high speed train system in the U.S. (totally ridiculous that we don't) is because the airlines are as protected as steel and autos.

Gil and Ray said...

Dear BornagainBrazilian,

Yes, I agree with you, I think the Oil lobby dominates the landscape in the US, it is a shame, but's it's our reality.
Let's hope we can break out of the paradigm we have been in for the past several decades...
I thought "Azul" in Brazil should be pretty close to Jet Blue...No?
I haven't flown Azul yet...

Jana @ Paper plains said...

Wow, it sounds like your experience was even worse than mine, flies and bugs in the plane and you had to wait on the tarmac through all of that?! AWFUL i SWEAR i wish i had more of a choice when I fly... I know TAM flies to the US, are they better internationally? Ah I love British Airways.... never had a bad experience and so far still happy with Air Canada... AA is the devil! (but so is United, I could go on and on about my terrible dealings with them....)

Cheers to high speed rail, I love how I think it was the governor of NJ or something that was completely opposed to such "nonesense?" Glad it finally passed, people have no idea how much better life in Europe is with rail!

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Jana,

TAM Airlines is very good, I have flown them twice, once on Business and once on coach, their coach is surprisingly good, much better than American by far.
Let's hope this Rail initiative is taken seriously and to completion, we desperately need it here.