“Flying in an airplane in the United States is literally like a torture chamber. Americans are revolting.”
Now i don’t know how true it is that “Americans are revolting”, because the airlines are still severely overbooked and the airports are packed. Delta (DAL) just reported stellar earnings for the last quarter and very optimistic forward guidance.
BUT we should be revolting. As in revolution. We should ALL be revolting against the airlines. Nobody gets off a plane, stretches their arms out and says “ahhhh what a wonderful trip”. Quite the opposite. We KNOW when we are about to greet someone who just flew to see us that the first ten minutes of conversation will be them needing to let out some steam about how horrible flying is.
From the expensive fares to the utter chaos at the airport to the fees to check an effing bag — as if suddenly everybody stopped wearing clothes when they visit a different town, to the no more food to the seats that are so small and hard that they shouldn’t even be legal to the sudden lack of TVs or entertainment or wifi on half of them… on and on….
Something happened during Covid. Airlines decided, or realized, that average people are so weak, so desperate, so cowardly, so without agency, that they can literally do anything to them, no matter how horrible, and not only will they take it, they’ll pay to be mistreated like that.
And so it is. 95% of the people you talk will claim that reason that they put up with it is because they don’t feel like they have a choice. (Let’s not get into the fact that the majority of flights people take are recreational and not for business. So clearly they have a choice to fly or not…).
But bigger than that, just as everything else in this late stage capitalist society we have let run too far, be it the insanity of the simply horrendous and torturous healthcare system, to concert tickets which cost hundreds, to a congress who makes millions from trading stocks before everyone else because it’s based on inside information they receive, or the bribes they take and call “lobbying” or “campaign contributions”, paying to be tortured when you’re trying get from one town to another because you don’t feel you have any power as a citizen is just one more thing that history shows leads to full scale people’s revolutions.
It reminds one of those little disclaimers we now see every time we visit a website, any website. Selling our data is the biggest business of them all. Each of us is now on thousands and thousands of databases owned by every company on earth whether we want to be or not. We can Accept Cookies i.e. allow our personal data to be sold to a hundred other companies that month, OR we can leave that website.
When did Americans decide it was okay to be personally raped and pillaged by a small select group of super wealthy individuals and corporations? Why did they do it? The set up seems to be something like “we’ll allow it because if we don’t then we cannot benefit ourselves. We won’t get a good job. We won’t be affluent ourselves. We won’t fit in. We’ll be outsiders.” So we trade our dignity and self respect for the promise of a future prosperity we hope to achieve in “the future”.
And some do achieve this. But look what happens. Now they CAN be a bit more comfortable when flying, by paying 6 times the price of an airline ticket and flying first class. Now they suddenly have to spend $100,000 on a car instead of $40,000. Now they’re not satisfied inside unless they pay $600 for a purse AND make sure everyone knows they did it. Happiness? So far, no. But they tell themselves “we’ll if I can only find my life mate THEN I’ll be happy. But hang on… What happened to the consumerism idea that told you you’d be happy if you were just a good slave and did what you were told and worked hard to climb that ladder after years and years of being a victim to the mad torture of capitalism? We thought for sure that tradeoff would pay off. But it didn’t.
The key can be found in a simple comparison between the very young United States versus all the other capitalist democracies around the world. Countries who are much older and already learned their lessons through numerous peoples revolutions. So from the start they created more fair more humane more compassionate capitalist democracies who are far less prone to corruption.
We can start with the airlines if we’d like as the attached article implies. But it will take many of us. We don’t even need a majority. Just enough bold and proud people with enough self respect that they decide they are done being a victim to greed and capitalism. They are done flying for five hours on a seat made out painful wood and that’s 1 to 2 feet too small for their body. Of course we’ll have to speak up. We will have to demand these things change. We will have to go on strike from flying. Just as all of Hollywood is doing now. Going on strike. Standing up for what they believe they deserve. Agree with them or not, they are showing us what it means to have self respect, to have pride, to refuse to be used and abused by a system who doesn’t care about you but only about getting your money. After that you are inconsequential.
Who among any of us isn’t tired of feeling that feeling all the time? And then having to remind ourselves we have no choice in the matter. That’s just how it is. In reality that is NOT how it has to be. How it HAS to be is however WE want it. After all it’s OUR money running this economy. We’ve just let the wealthy take the power and convince us all that we deserve to be mistreated even if we are paying for it.
I believe we are getting very close to this system coming to an end. And yes sure total chaos comes out of revolution. But it’s better than living our lives as victims because a few greedy assholes tell us that’s just how it is. I believe Revolution is close. For good reason. It’s past time for it.
Just because major newspapers or networks cover the terribly sad stories of how just regular folks have yet again been screwed over by some large greedy corporation — there hundreds of those in the news everyday — doesn’t mean that anything’s been done about it. It doesn’t mean anything has changed because it was covered as news. It just means we all know about it. We need to remember that. Real change happens when large groups of us stand up make the changes we want to see in our world. Through strikes, boycotts, peaceful protests, or full on revolution if necessary. And real change and nothing less is what we need now.