Tuesday, July 8, 2008

F You United Airlines (and Delta and American and...)

I know everyone and their mother is bitching about the airlines these days and while I'm usually willing to cut them some slack (given the fact that our economy, ummm, well, sucks), this past week has set me off.

In the past five days I've been on three flights with my bike in tow each time. The cost of lugging my Madone around with me is about equal to the price of shipping a John Deere combine to Malaysia. I'm down 300 bucks as a result of wanting to keep my fitness up while I'm on the road. Any airline will attribute the price hike to rising jet fuel prices, but come on, my ride weighs less than a baby stroller.

With the box and all my gear, I'm adding 39 pounds of extra weight to a plane that weighs 306,550 pounds (thank you Wikipedia). I weigh 168 pounds. My self plus the weight of my bike box still weighs less than the dude who has to put his armrest up so his belly roll can make his neighbor extremely uncomfortable.

I think the only way to solve my frustration (and that of every other traveling cyclist/triathlete on the planet) is to base airline fees on the total weight of a passenger and their shit. It may even fix America's obesity epidemic at the same time. Can you think of anything more humiliating than having to get weighed at check-in? I'm starting a petition -- if you want in, let me know.


Kevin Koval said...

Speaking for the whole team here at Wheeltags, we want in on the pay for your weight petition. The best are the people taking stuff out of one bag to put into another to get them under the 50lb weight limit. Do you really need 100+ lbs. of crap for a week away from home?

margo said...

i want in. i'm all about the pay your weight idea. it will help with having overweight people's arms (and sides) not overflow into my seat and over the arm
rest. eugh. gross.

Matt said...

I'm in.

I don't travel much, but my wife was flying home from North Carolina last night and had two delays. She was supposed to be in around 10pm... got home at 3am.

Seems like it's prime time to start an airline company that just "gets you there" and is reliable. I'm thinking kind of like the cattle trucks you see on the highway without the smell.

Let's buy a couple of FedEx planes install some benches and charge half the price. Bring your own peanuts and coke.


Coach Michael Bowen said...

Count my semi-skinny runner/tri-geek butt (and that of my wife) in on the pay-by-weight petition. There aren't enough X's in the Scrabble tile bag to describe how bad it "sux" to fly right now.

(Matt - I think the semi-reliable, get-you-there airline already exists...Southwest. Unfortunately, if you live in a place like we do (Pensacola, FL) you have no choice but to fly Delta/Continental/USAir/Northwest into Atlanta, then on to your destinations.)

margo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy Jo said...

Even worse is the fat guy checking in with golf clubs in front of you, who doesn't pay extra. ARRGHHH!!!

Scott said...

Coming from a frequent flier who avoids checking bags at all costs (and never checked my bike), here's an option. Use FedEx or other carrier to ship your luggage/bike directly to your destination hotel. It will likely cost more than using the airline, but what would tick you off more than paying to check your luggage/bike and then the airline loses it??? And with FedEx, at least you can track you shipment online!!! I haven't tried this yet, but some more food for thought.


michael said...

Oh man! That is fantastic. Just let me know where to sign. I'm 6'1" and about 160lbs. Even with my skiis and boots and etc (in the winter) I weighed less than the Oger sitting next to me.

Add onto that his obesity induced sleep apnea/snoring and you've got a winning combo.