The Saturday Morning Blogger – Travel in the 21st Century

The Saturday Morning Blogger – Travel in the 21st Century

James Barrington

Having recently traveled to Maine to visit family, I reflected on the perils of modern travel. As a young man fresh out of college, I was thrilled with the first time I flew out of town on a business trip. The experience of boarding an airplane and being where I was going in such a short time was a marvel to me. That has changed over the years.

Part of the reason for the change has been my outlook on the “cattle car” mentality of the airlines and part of the reason is my own joy at seeing the scenery and taking the time to stop for some of the sites along the way.

I recently read a book that was not particularly well-written, but it was a story with an interesting premise. A huge solar flare, aimed directly at Earth, so completely disrupted electronics that the world was knocked back 150 years in terms of usable technology. Telephones, television, even cars and airplanes were unusable because of the technology that made them run. People fled from the cities, which were overrun by street gangs operating in an environment where they could operate without fear of law enforcement keeping them at bay. People found that they had to farm the land in order to have food to eat. Families began talking to each other again instead of worshiping their PDAs.

The book questioned whether our advanced technology had actually made our society better or worse. It is certainly a question worth pondering.

After having flights cancelled on both out-bound and return legs of our trip; and having luggage lost, pilfered and destroyed by baggage handlers and/or TSA thieves, driving looks like a far better method of getting from here to there. This all happened on an airline we expected better things from. Instead we saw very little in the way of “customer service” and a lot in the way of callous disregard for the people who had paid money and put their lives into the hands of a transportation company. I am grateful to say that every time they picked us up off the ground, they did manage to put us back on the ground safely. It wasn’t always a smooth landing, but at least the airplane didn’t disintegrate into a flaming mass.

What else should we expect from public transportation? Right?

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