Air Travel in Europe

{{de|Vorfeld des Flughafen M√ľnchens}}Image via WikipediaThere was an interesting editorial today in the Herald Tribune about air travel in the US.  How years ago the airlines in the US took pride in their work.  Now, nobody seems to give a shit.  If the flight is canceled and you can't get out for a few days, there is no interest in empathizing with you or a true desire to help.  Also, the airports are old.  It can't be more apparent flying back from Europe and landing in JFK.

In Europe, it is the opposite.  Their flights are on time.  If they are running late, they are helpful and caring.  The security is efficient too. The Munich airport is high tech state of the art.  They actually have a free coffee bar at the gates.  Can you imagine…and it is clean!

Maybe everything went south when Reagan deregulated the airline industry.  European airlines are for the most part financially supported by their country.  There is something to be said for that.  Instead of bailing out the next industry of the day in the US perhaps we need to learn from our mistakes.  Wouldn't it make more sense for our country to spend money on transportation ( new airports, trains, roads, bicycles ) and make sure they run efficiently and stay up-to-date with small subsidies from the Government instead of waiting for the businesses to go down the toilet.  Then they come to the Government and ask for a bailout without having to make any changes in the way they run their companies because the Government has no stake in their management just in making sure that they don't completely go belly up and ruin the entire economy.

I am not a fan of Government run companies but it it comes to businesses that support the infrastructure of the country such as transportation, there should be some thought given to the future of airports, airlines and how behind the times the private sector has allowed us to get.  Or maybe we are watching America just becoming old, fat and gray.

As George Bush said thinking aloud recently, certainly frightening coming from his mouth, "how did we get here"?  Good question George.  Perhaps you should spend sometime thinking about that instead of praising your last 8 years as the rest of the country breathes a sigh of relief when you leave the White House.  I have high hopes that Obama and his team will take a look at how and why and think about not repeating our mistakes. 

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Comments (Archived):

    1. Gotham Gal


  1. ryan poll

    So the answer to Bush’s question of “how did we get here?” is two years under the Carter administration. That’s funny.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I believe Bush was referring to the debaucle of the banking system so the answer would be the Bush administrationjoanne [email protected]

  2. ellen

    I have a friend who has been in the industry for 40 yrs. She has seen the changes and can now honestly say that she just can’t wait for reirement. Her whole employment experience is terrible and things are getting worse. I can even remeber when I was a child that flying was a more elegant affair. Now a terminal is like a bus station.

    1. Gotham Gal

      My fathers friend felt the same way. He worked for United and literally counted down the days for 2 years until retirement.joanne [email protected]

  3. MMT

    It’s also a soul thing. Europeans still queue up. Manners matter. They have this iditic notion that there are other people in the world to be considered. We Americans follow our motto: E Pluribus Unum, From the many, ME!

    1. Ryan Poll

      Regarding the “soul thing,” could it be that in America we value money almost above all else. There was an article in the NY Times addressing how our values are crumbling because of that. While I’m not saying nobody in Europe values money, but you have a lot more tradition and a living history of people born into titles rather than “buying” them. For example, the author of the Harry Potter books might be the richest woman in England, but she’ll never be the queen. I always think about the restaurant that has one spot left and they both show up, I bet the queen gets it. I think that is in the sub conscience of Europeans and motivates them to “queue up.” If I didn’t make sense, sorry, it took me a few times to explain it to my wife.

  4. Gotham Gal

    It makes complete sense.

  5. Gotham Gal

    Then European airlines must be better run than the US airlines. It certainly appears that way from my experience.joanne [email protected]

  6. Philipp Schumann

    As a Berliner, let me just point out that European airlines are “for the most part” financially “supported” by their customers and/or investors. As it properly should be. They are pretty highly regulated, yes. They have to collect all kinds of taxes and “carbon surcharges” for the government, yes. But no, they are definitely not state-run and not state-financed.

  7. jackson

    OMG, tell it siser! Upon arrival back at JFK we got abused, seriously verbally abused by the customs jerkoffs. Why? The Germans were wonderful, and Lufthansa? Heaven in the air.

  8. Gotham Gal

    Whenever I go through security at the US airports, I get a knot in mystomach like I am in a teenager again with fear that a cop will pull me overand I will get a ticket. It shouldn’t be that way. We should embrace ourcitizens coming back and foreigners coming to visit. That anger andnastiness comes straight from the top. Whoever is leading that organizationis saying it is good to behave in an abrasive manner….and it is not. It isunattractive and these people are the faces that represents our country uponarrival. This area is in need of a major change.

  9. Book Hotel

    what jackson is saying makes complete sense. I got verbally abused at JFK too.