Fushan kids back in bus

New OrleansSeptember 2011:
Fact Checking in New Orleans



My next stop was New Orleans but it was not easy getting there. These days discount tickets send you all over the planet getting from point A to point B. If only physicist Richard P. Feynman had lived long enough he could have had a real challenge doing what he did for explaining the behavior of subatomic particles: developing Feynman diagrams that explained the travel routes used by airlines. And had the great hip Nobel prize-winner lived even longer, I'm sure corollary A would have been: don't expect convenient connecting flights.

To get to from Point A, Berlin, I was first routed to Reykjavic Keflavik in Iceland, where I waited 11 hours for a connecting flight to New York City. And at New York I had an 8-hour wait for my connecting flight to Point B, New Orleans. The whole thing seemed like a hoax but not of the type conservatives talk about these days regarding climate change and evolution. It was more of a hoax concealing a scheme concealing a boondoggle concealing ...

Also (Corollary B?), do not expect your baggage to be routed by the airlines anymore. With each flight you get to retrieve it yourself from baggage and reroute it. But that may be a good thing, considering the lost-baggage rate with the airlines these day. Better you route it yourself than some sleepy moron in a back room who could care less whether you have a toothbrush and a clean pair of underwear when you get to your destination. Remember the "old days" just a few years ago when, if your luggage didn't show up, you were handed an airline care kit with toothbrush, toothpaste, and a large black T-Shirt and told to wait in your hotel room until your luggage could be found? Typical time: two or three days if they could find it (Corollary C).

Back to particulars: Three flights meant three times through security—three times insulted and humiliated. Isn't once enough?

By the time I got to the airport in New York I bought a beer—$8.25!—and contemplated the situation. "Simply put," as business people like to put it these days, air travel was simply awful these days. Every aspect of it. (Corollary D, if you like.)


Glad I Asked