Grocery List: February 9, 2014 (or Why Airlines Are Terrible)

So, I usually take a photo of my grocery list before leaving the house on Sundays. This week I did not and have lost said list. American figure skater Ashley Wagner’s reaction (above) to this news was a little much but matches my frustration at the moment.

I’m blaming pure exhaustion for this instance. Delta Airlines, ranks just above United in the first-ever Al Dente List of Air Carrier Preferences:

  1. JetBlue
  2. AirTran/Southwest
  3. US Airways
  4. FedEx Freight Cargo
  5. Chained to the landing gear
  6. Delta
  7. That flight from ConAir
  8. United

Delta Flight 793 from Atlanta to Syracuse was aboard a McDonnell Douglas MD-88. If you have never heard of McDonnell Douglas, don’t worry. They ceased to exist in 1997. The last MD-88 to roll off an assembly line was built in 1999. In a word, these planes are garbage. I’ve never flown on a McDonnell Douglas plane that didn’t have problems at the gate, and last evening was no different. There is a switch that controls a cable that controls the flow of gas from the wing tanks on this jet. Apparently, this cable didn’t work. So, all 132 passengers got off the plane, and switched to another MD-88 waiting at an adjacent gate. About 90 minutes after our planned departure, we took off.

Props to Delta for having a plane at the ready for us and keeping the delay minimal, but boo on them for keeping antiques in their active fleet. Actually, boo on them and all of the major domestic airlines that insist these planes are suitable for commercial flight. These are multibillion dollar global corporations that have taken to nickeling and diming consumers for checked baggage (while allowing people to gate check for free), change fees and stale pretzels. I understand that surviving in the global marketplace means that you must be profitable, but how to Air Emirates, Singapore Airlines and, hell, JetBlue do it? They fly newer equipment doesn’t break as much and treat their travelers with respect and dignity. They earn their customers’ loyalty.

We get the service we deserve, in many cases. Unless we demand more, a wooden crate on a FedEx Freight plane is looking better and better.

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