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

new lane configuration 2-6-23

Tri-State lane closures start Monday as area ramps prepare to reopen

Spread the love

Spread the loveOvernight lane closures are scheduled next week to shift traffic on Interstate 55 and on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) between Willow Springs Road and Plainfield Road and reopen the ramp connecting northbound I-294 to southbound I-55 and Wolf Road. On Monday, February 6, beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing until 5…

Newly installed Orland Park Area Chamber president Ramzi Hassan addresses members during last week’s installation dinner. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Comings & Goings: Orland Area Chamber installs new officers

Spread the love

Spread the loveRamzi Hassan of Edwards Realty Company was installed last week as president of the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce. The 2023 board of directors was also installed and annual membership awards were handed out during ceremonies last Thursday at the Crystal Tree Country Club. Installation duties were performed by Orland Park Mayor…

Oak Lawn resident Clayton J. Beck III displays his work of art accompanied by the model at the first unofficial event for the Acorn to Oak Studios at the Pilgrim Faith Church campus. Beck will be on hand to moderate the first official session to be held Sunday at the church. (Supplied photo)

Oak Lawn studio wants to be haven for artists

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle An acorn may be the symbol that inspires the Oak Lawn community to unleash its artistic talents. The first official session of the Acorn to Oak Studios will be presented from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in the north wing of the Pilgrim Faith Church campus, 9411 S.…

Matt Dugan

EPCHS names Matthew Dugan next principal

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Evergreen Park Community High School has hired Matthew Dugan as its next principal. Dugan’s appointment was made official during the January 24 meeting of the Evergreen Park Community High School Board of Education. Dugan will become principal on July 1, upon the retirement of current Principal Bill Sanderson. “I am…

Willow Springs resident Jim Distasio was the first speaker to criticize the proposed land sale for use as an industrial park. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Township school board rejects sale of 70-acre parcel in Willow Springs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The sale of 70 acres in Willow Springs to a developer who wants to build an industrial park has been rejected by the Lyons Township High School District 204 board, but the door remains wide open to a sale. The board voted unanimously Jan. 23 to reject bids of $46.5…

Children enjoying themselves at Flying High in Countryside on January 14. (Supplied photo)

Venezuelan asylum seeking families enjoy a night out at Flying High in Countryside

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Twenty-three adults and 30 children of Venezuelan families seeking asylum enjoyed a fun night out on January 14 courtesy of Flying High in Countryside. The event was a collaboration between St. Cletus Church in LaGrange, and Flying High, at 5400 East Avenue in Countryside. Flying High opened their gym doors…

All that's left of Georgis Catering is a burned out shell. To the right, is mom and Dad's Deli, which suffered smoke and water damage. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Georgis Catering owner vows to rebuild after fire

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Georgis Catering owner Buz Georgis is maintaining an upbeat outlook despite the destruction of his business in an early-morning fire Friday at 63rd Place and Central Avenue in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. “It’s been a pretty crazy week,” he said Monday. “But we are moving forward and we plan on being…

dvn beds plus soup1 2023

BEDS Plus Soup & Bread event to raise money to assist the homeless

Spread the love

Spread the love By Steve Metsch One way to warm up on a cold winter’s day is with a bowl of soup. And on Sunday, soup lovers can sample 20 different soups and also get the warm feeling received by helping a local charitable organization. BEDS Plus, which helps the homeless through the southwest suburbs,…

District 230 board member Dave O'Connor urges Sandburg parents to consider having their students take dual credit courses to save college tuition money at the Jan. 26 meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Sandburg/MVCC dual courses could save plenty of money

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The price of college tuition keeps going up and shows no sign of ever going down. Thus, District 230 Board Member Dave O’Connor is urging Sandburg parents with college-bound students to take a long look at the school’s dual credit program with Moraine Valley. “We get students here who will…

Cubework has purchased the former Sears propertry at Orland Square Mall. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Cubework to turn Orland Park Sears site into Coworking Mall

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong That vast empty space at Orland Square Mall that was once the home of retail giant Sears may be getting new life. California-based Cubework has purchased the former Sears property at Orland Square Mall and is marketing the former mall anchor store as a Coworking Mall. The 16-acre purchase includes…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
new lane configuration 2-6-23

Tri-State lane closures start Monday as area ramps prepare to reopen

Spread the love

Spread the loveOvernight lane closures are scheduled next week to shift traffic on Interstate 55 and on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) between Willow Springs Road and Plainfield Road and reopen the ramp connecting northbound I-294 to southbound I-55 and Wolf Road. On Monday, February 6, beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing until 5…

Newly installed Orland Park Area Chamber president Ramzi Hassan addresses members during last week’s installation dinner. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Comings & Goings: Orland Area Chamber installs new officers

Spread the love

Spread the loveRamzi Hassan of Edwards Realty Company was installed last week as president of the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce. The 2023 board of directors was also installed and annual membership awards were handed out during ceremonies last Thursday at the Crystal Tree Country Club. Installation duties were performed by Orland Park Mayor…

Oak Lawn resident Clayton J. Beck III displays his work of art accompanied by the model at the first unofficial event for the Acorn to Oak Studios at the Pilgrim Faith Church campus. Beck will be on hand to moderate the first official session to be held Sunday at the church. (Supplied photo)

Oak Lawn studio wants to be haven for artists

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle An acorn may be the symbol that inspires the Oak Lawn community to unleash its artistic talents. The first official session of the Acorn to Oak Studios will be presented from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in the north wing of the Pilgrim Faith Church campus, 9411 S.…

Matt Dugan

EPCHS names Matthew Dugan next principal

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Evergreen Park Community High School has hired Matthew Dugan as its next principal. Dugan’s appointment was made official during the January 24 meeting of the Evergreen Park Community High School Board of Education. Dugan will become principal on July 1, upon the retirement of current Principal Bill Sanderson. “I am…

Willow Springs resident Jim Distasio was the first speaker to criticize the proposed land sale for use as an industrial park. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Township school board rejects sale of 70-acre parcel in Willow Springs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The sale of 70 acres in Willow Springs to a developer who wants to build an industrial park has been rejected by the Lyons Township High School District 204 board, but the door remains wide open to a sale. The board voted unanimously Jan. 23 to reject bids of $46.5…

Children enjoying themselves at Flying High in Countryside on January 14. (Supplied photo)

Venezuelan asylum seeking families enjoy a night out at Flying High in Countryside

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Twenty-three adults and 30 children of Venezuelan families seeking asylum enjoyed a fun night out on January 14 courtesy of Flying High in Countryside. The event was a collaboration between St. Cletus Church in LaGrange, and Flying High, at 5400 East Avenue in Countryside. Flying High opened their gym doors…

All that's left of Georgis Catering is a burned out shell. To the right, is mom and Dad's Deli, which suffered smoke and water damage. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Georgis Catering owner vows to rebuild after fire

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Georgis Catering owner Buz Georgis is maintaining an upbeat outlook despite the destruction of his business in an early-morning fire Friday at 63rd Place and Central Avenue in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. “It’s been a pretty crazy week,” he said Monday. “But we are moving forward and we plan on being…

dvn beds plus soup1 2023

BEDS Plus Soup & Bread event to raise money to assist the homeless

Spread the love

Spread the love By Steve Metsch One way to warm up on a cold winter’s day is with a bowl of soup. And on Sunday, soup lovers can sample 20 different soups and also get the warm feeling received by helping a local charitable organization. BEDS Plus, which helps the homeless through the southwest suburbs,…

District 230 board member Dave O'Connor urges Sandburg parents to consider having their students take dual credit courses to save college tuition money at the Jan. 26 meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Sandburg/MVCC dual courses could save plenty of money

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The price of college tuition keeps going up and shows no sign of ever going down. Thus, District 230 Board Member Dave O’Connor is urging Sandburg parents with college-bound students to take a long look at the school’s dual credit program with Moraine Valley. “We get students here who will…

Cubework has purchased the former Sears propertry at Orland Square Mall. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Cubework to turn Orland Park Sears site into Coworking Mall

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong That vast empty space at Orland Square Mall that was once the home of retail giant Sears may be getting new life. California-based Cubework has purchased the former Sears property at Orland Square Mall and is marketing the former mall anchor store as a Coworking Mall. The 16-acre purchase includes…

DVN Jack Pats Butcher Shop House Ad
Regional Palos Gaidas Funeral Home House Ad