TGIF afternoon! ;)

I’m a little behind.

I know the Olympic Trials are going on. I know Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are…running mates for the 2012 presidential election. Whacky weather around Washington. Tomcat and Katie Holmes split. Which was all part of the SCRIPT and if you don’t realize that you’re living in a fantasy world. Tosh.0 made some bad rape jokes (sorry, I’m gonna have to go with the “never funny” side on this one). Fred Willard found masturbating in adult theater, which is disappointing if you’re a fan of the whacky world of Christopher Guest, but also not especially surprising. In fact, it’s not surprising at all.

The only thing that really matters this week is this.

And apparently since JANUARY, airlines have been pretty chill.

I can’t believe I’m just finding out about this now, but evidently new airline rules have been in effect since January of this year allowing anyone making travel plans more than a week in advance of the trip 24 hours of wiggle-room to cancel, move things around, and even put tickets on hold.

Also, airlines need to notify us immediately of significant delays (30 minutes or more). And no hidden baggage and tax fees allowed.

Wow. Wow! Thank you. Seriously. Though, it seems like a no-brainer: “Hey, let’s not be dicks and ruin everyone’s day,” given the climate of corporate take-over and advertisement-laden everything, at a time when we live in a state of latent paranoia that everyone is trying to take advantage of us, pull a fast one on us, or the rug out from under us, scam us, rip us off, be sheisty jerks, I would be more surprised if navigating monstrous travel hubs were indeed a breeze.

Instead, they’re the most notoriously pain-in-the-ass sterile hell mall on Earth (with slight charms in people watching, reunions, and modernity).

Twenty-five dollars to check a bag? As if I’m not going to check a bag! I’m going on a week long vacation. Of course I’m checking a bag.  Shoes take up a lot of space and I need at least 4 pairs. I need outfit options. You’re punishing me for packing outfit options and too many shoes? Actually, if that were in fact the sentiment behind baggage fees I might be more sympathetic. Instead you’re doing it to spite us, because you hate us, and you’re a big fat white guy in the form of an industry.

I just drove an hour to the airport, and you’re telling me now that my flight is cancelled, and there are no other flights until tomorrow, and I have to pay for it? You won’t even cover my hotel fare tonight, because I have to stay here, since the only other flight is at 6:17 a.m.?  On what planet is that fair? Why does your CEO have a black heart?

So now I’m stressed, I’m angry, frustrated, so exhausted, on the verge of tears, $150 poorer, I’m going to be a bitch to the cashier at Sbarro’s, and I have a night of lonely hotel TV watching to look forward to. I’m going to arrive at my friend’s/sister’s/parent’s/boyfriend’s/vacation late and stressed, angry, frustrated, exhausted, and with a dent in my budget. I’m going to put bad energy into the stratosphere and probably indirectly cause an environmental disaster, hate crime, or car wreck. My trip will have a sour start, and my best bet will be to just try to forget about it. Ughhh.

But maybe not so much anymore.

This is the direction we need to be going in. Screw health care (I don’t mean that), this movement towards transparency by the airline industry is ultimately one that promotes peace, on a most basic level. Flying, and all the lines, stress, bad food, cramped seats, seemingly idiotic personnel, sterile and robotic atmosphere that comes with it, can be pretty goddamn miserable. It brings out the worst in all of us. Truly. The amount of times I’ve cried at the airport out of sheer frustration is pathetic. I know most factors cannot be helped, airports will never be a hassle-free, and the idea of working at one dealing with people during the worst 2 hours of their life (…week) sounds about as appealing as street canvassing for the World Wildlife Fund (WHY did you take that job!? You had to have known what you were getting yourself into! Was it a craigslist ad about changing the world or a bulletin board tear-off?) However, advancements toward accommodating and pleasant customer service and transparency in a corporate mandate are the glimmers of hope we need when someone enters a movie theater on a shooting spree in the middle of smalltown, Colorado, USA, population: all of us. (See how CURRENT I am?!)

-Cassiel Archdeacon