Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Air travel is truly down the toilet

Spread the love

By Ray Hanania

When you go on vacation, you hope that it will be a pleasant experience where you can relax and enjoy the time off from your work.

Over the years, vacations have changed. They are more expensive. Some locations, like Mexico, have become dangerous, with many resorts placing armed soldiers on beaches to protect tourists from drug gang violence.

Health issues like the pandemic add to travel hassles, requiring all kinds of paperwork and tests.

To save money, airlines created a la carte pricing to pay for everything; unless, of course, you are willing to sign up for their high-interest rate credit cards and get some benefits.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

You have to pay to check a bag, pay to carry a bag and pay to get on the plane before everyone else–even though your seats have been pre-selected. You pay for snacks, which usually are terrible. Worse, when you get on the plane, you have to fight with other passengers for above seat baggage space because too many people drag all their bags on the plane. No one stops them.

The wait through security is a hassle. You can speed up by paying, of course, for a TSA pre-check and Global Entry to avoid being treated like a terrorist drug dealer.

Wait time is longer because airline companies have laid off many employees to save money. They push consumers to use their cell phone apps.

The app is supposed to make it easier for flight check-in. Early check-in doesn’t make sense when you have to drop off a bag at the check-in counter anyway; but when you spend thousands on a vacation, you’re afraid to let one stupid rule derail or delay your trip.

Unfortunately, apps are designed by computer geeks who have brilliant understandings of math and formulas, but lack common sense. Probably these computer geeks rarely leave their chairs in front of their computer screens and never travel anywhere except to the toilet, their bedroom or pornography websites.

The biggest hassle in today’s “high-tech” world are the airline apps they force you to use. The apps vary in complexity although they are supposed to be simple. They are not.

Recently, I used the Emirates app to go to Dubai. It was fairly simple, although the main focus of that app is to try to get me to spend more money, to upgrade to better seating or register for Wi-Fi, which on the Emirates flight I took never worked, even though I paid for it.

But the worst app I have used belongs to United Airlines. The app is driven by a push to get me to sign up for their high interest rate credit card.

It requires you to fill out information repeatedly for the same flight. For example, I had to register for my flight and upload an image of my passport. Once I did that, I had to upload an image of my “travel documents.” When I went to get my boarding pass, they said I had to upload my passport, even though I already did.

When I did everything, the system simply responded, “Try again.”

Try again? The process took me a half hour to fill in all the information. And there are three of us.

All told, it took six hours to check in for a vacation flight. By that time, my blood pressure and anger levels were so high I wasn’t sure taking an eight-day vacation would be enough to relax.

As I wrote last week about my recent trip to Dubai, while the flight was a discomforting 14 hours plus, and 10-hour time zone difference, the real hassle was going through O’Hare Airport, which literally is a filthy pig sty.

The floors were dirty. The bathrooms were filthy. The processing centers for travelers were jam-packed. Even with TSA pre-check, I had to wait in line for more than an hour. Wow. I didn’t have to take my belt off for the $88 I spent for the TSA pre-check. Big deal.

Returning was even worse. Going through customs and security took five hours. Half the time was spent standing in line and looking for my bag, which was buried in a pile of luggage from several flights. Then I was trying to get to the parking lot on a shuttle bus, which was dirty and smelled like it had never been cleaned.

Maybe some travelers used it as a toilet, as the toilets at O’Hare were frightening.

Maybe the days of traveling on a nice vacation are over for this generation.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

Local News

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…

Sisto Brito

‘You just learn to live with the pain’

Spread the love

Spread the loveStatus hearing in July for McCook murder By Steve Metsch The attorney representing a Chicago man charged with murdering a Blue Island man in McCook in February told a judge Wednesday there’s been “a significant and outstanding discovery in this matter.” Attorney Damon Cheronis made his comment before Cook County Circuit Court Judge…

lagrange police logo

Man shot in La Grange; suspect arrested in Stickney

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch A man was shot Tuesday afternoon in La Grange, according to a news release received Wednesday from the police department. A suspect has been apprehended, the release said. The shooting victim remains in stable condition at a local hospital, the release said. La Grange Police, working with the Major Case…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 12, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Softball stock

Softball | Marist will play for state title for fourth straight season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Marist returned to the state title game for the fourth straight season with a 7-1 victory over Mundelein in the semifinals, held June 7 at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. The Mustangs (36-2) were making their first appearance at state since 1996. “We have a core group of returners,”…

Terrence Hickey is retiring at the end of June after working 18 years as a building inspector for the village of McCook. (Photo by Steve Metsch) 

McCook building inspector retires after 18 years

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch After 18 years of inspecting buildings, be it a modest bi-level house or a sprawling multi-million-dollar warehouse, Terrence Hickey is retiring from the village of McCook. His retirement takes effect June 28, Mayor Terrance Carr said during the June 3 meeting of the village board. “I’m jealous,” Carr said. “(He’s…

Members of Summit Girl Scout Troop 56615. (Supplied photo)

New Summit Girl Scout troop off and running

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan There’s a new Girl Scout Troop in Summit, and they have been busy. Troop 56615 is made up of girls from Summit School District 104 from first-grade to third-grade, and between 7-9 years old, making them Brownies in the scouting world. They have 10 girls so far, and Troop Leader…

Neighbors

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…

Sisto Brito

‘You just learn to live with the pain’

Spread the love

Spread the loveStatus hearing in July for McCook murder By Steve Metsch The attorney representing a Chicago man charged with murdering a Blue Island man in McCook in February told a judge Wednesday there’s been “a significant and outstanding discovery in this matter.” Attorney Damon Cheronis made his comment before Cook County Circuit Court Judge…

lagrange police logo

Man shot in La Grange; suspect arrested in Stickney

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch A man was shot Tuesday afternoon in La Grange, according to a news release received Wednesday from the police department. A suspect has been apprehended, the release said. The shooting victim remains in stable condition at a local hospital, the release said. La Grange Police, working with the Major Case…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 12, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Softball stock

Softball | Marist will play for state title for fourth straight season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Marist returned to the state title game for the fourth straight season with a 7-1 victory over Mundelein in the semifinals, held June 7 at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. The Mustangs (36-2) were making their first appearance at state since 1996. “We have a core group of returners,”…

Terrence Hickey is retiring at the end of June after working 18 years as a building inspector for the village of McCook. (Photo by Steve Metsch) 

McCook building inspector retires after 18 years

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch After 18 years of inspecting buildings, be it a modest bi-level house or a sprawling multi-million-dollar warehouse, Terrence Hickey is retiring from the village of McCook. His retirement takes effect June 28, Mayor Terrance Carr said during the June 3 meeting of the village board. “I’m jealous,” Carr said. “(He’s…

Members of Summit Girl Scout Troop 56615. (Supplied photo)

New Summit Girl Scout troop off and running

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan There’s a new Girl Scout Troop in Summit, and they have been busy. Troop 56615 is made up of girls from Summit School District 104 from first-grade to third-grade, and between 7-9 years old, making them Brownies in the scouting world. They have 10 girls so far, and Troop Leader…