Letters to the editor: On airlines, politicians and merchants
OK, so usually my rants are strictly political but tonight, while watching the news, I heard one news filler that set me off; RyanAir (an Irish/British airline) announced that they are going to begin charging passengers 1 pound (that's $1.40 American) to use the loo (that's bathroom for us yanks). This followed closely on the heels of another filler that informed the world that Spirit Air (a cut-rate American airline) would begin charging $40 for passengers "carry-ons" stored in "overheads".
These follow closely after, within the last week, various American air carriers announcing they would begin charging passengers as much as $100 to allow them to pick a seat which even overshadowed their extorting per bag charges from fliers. Airlines jacking up prices and charging (now) for everything from taking a . . . well you know, to pillows, blankets and meals while reducing service and treating their customers like just so much air freight and, at times, forcing them to sit on airport tarmacs for hours in deplorable conditions have become the norm.
My question is what the heck has happened to this world . . . its seems to have been turned upside down. Airlines, merchants, and yes government officials seem to have forgotten the basics . . . they need us, we don't need them.
We don't need the airlines and we need to prove it to them; the other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and he was "going off" about the outrageous prices and practices of the airlines then without taking a breath he began telling me about a vacation he was planning which included airline flights. Come on people, the airlines are going to continue pulling their bull as long as we, the consumer, let them get away with it, let's regain control. Don't fly, no excuses just don't do it you don't have to. Vacation close to home or someplace you can drive to (just think what a boom to our local economy it would be if you spent your vacation dollars within driving distance of your home) and if you absolutely have to fly and you find yourself on one of those flights that are stuck on the tarmac for hours; get an attorney and sue the airline for unlawful imprisonment your ticket does not entitle them to hold you captive.
If you're a businessperson, don't fly, you live in the 21st century it is possible (not to mention cheaper) to do most business and conduct most meetings, which used to be done by traveling to remote destinations, over the internet and through video/teleconferencing. I can almost guarantee you that the airlines, when faced with bankruptcy, will change their policies and return to serving the public, free meals, and free luggage, they need us, we don't need them.
We don't need any particular merchant and we need to prove it to them. Last week I was in a major, "large box" merchant standing in the only open check-out line, of the 16 check-out lines in the store, with a cart full of merchandise I was trying to buy along with about six other people similarly loaded up while store employees wandered about "picking their noses" (so to speak) and completely ignoring the situation, what the heck kind of idiot was I (I won't speak for the other people in line). Here I was putting up with this c**p so I had the privilege of giving them several hundred dollars of my money for their merchandise. Whatever happened to customer service and "the customer is king"? We've let merchants turn the tables on us; that's what has happened. Let's put things back into proper perspective, let's vow that next time we find ourselves in a similar situation we leave your carts in line full with the merchandise we would have purchased and just walk away to another store where we might get treated as a valued customer. I can almost guarantee you that when merchants realize the loss of patrons and dollars they are suffering they'll change their policies and return to serving the public. They need us, we don't need them.
Our national elected officials and the people they have appointed have gone from being "servants of the (free) people" responding to and being directed by the people served to being rulers of a nation of virtual serfs dictating to us every facet of our lives from how much water we use to flush our toilets to imposing upon us dependencies on hostile nations for our energy needs. They rob our treasury to support fantasy technologies which, in turn, themselves are supported by junk science and are propagandized by lies and half truths and supported by the politics of fear while lining many of their own, as well as the pockets of their friends and tell us the whole time that they know better than us what is good for us.
Let's re-establish the proper relationship between servants (government officials) and masters (the people) by voting out every incumbent who has served, or is attempting to serve, more than two terms. I can almost guarantee you that after two or three electoral cycles office holders will get the message, be a servant or be unemployed, and will return to being servants of the people. They need us, we don't need them.