Saturday, November 29, 2008

7 Reasons Christopher Elliot is Un-American

I’m sorry to have to do this to you, but you’ll have to read this first:  |  (Local Backup)

In one of his latest epic travesties as a columnist, Christopher Elliot (yes the same guy as before) has the nerve to tell me (by definition part of the air travel industry) that I am un-American.  I’m glad the first word he wrote, in all caps in red text is OPINION.  Well here’s my opinion, Christopher Elliot: You are not a columnist, you are a script kiddie who takes cheap shots at the airline industry because it’s the cool and hip thing to do.  Is your next column going to feature “What’s the deal with airline food?  Have you heard this one?”. So when you call me a flying traitor, forgive me if I don’t think you have much credibility.  Obviously by the points you make, you don’t try to learn any history about air travel; just keep insisting that we should give you royalty status for free and maybe someday it’ll happen.

What’s so fair about flying?  EVERYTHING.  As you yourself say, “Everyone on a commercial air carrier — from the triple-titanium elite flier to the prisoner shackled to the back row of economy class — shares a plane”.  And as you’ve probably pointed out before in another post, all those people have paid a different amount to be there.  You can buy a Lexus or a Pinto and both will get you from A to B, but you pay more for the comfort.  So if you think it’s not fair that you’re squished in the back, put up the money and you’ll be riding in style up front just like the real media journalists.  You say you don’t have a problem with the pay-more-get-more model, but then completely reverse yourself with your next statement, “It’s the idea that the good people sitting in steerage class asked for less — or even deserve less ”  Of course you deserve less!  You didn’t pay for first class!  Your options are: More money for more service, or Less money for less service.  And throughout the years customers have always demonstrated that they would rather have less service and pay less.  They show this by buying the cheap tickets.  It’s why Southwest and RyanAir are doing so well.  People ask for that level of service by choosing that airline, by using their dollars.  If you want service to change, you’re going to have to ask people to pay for it.  But you’re not going to be able to do that, are you?

“This is how I see it: On the one hand, airlines have added perks for their best customers. For example, American Airlines earlier this fall introduced priority check-in, priority screening lanes and special boarding lanes for its best passengers, following the lead of several other big airlines.  Maybe you’d expect that from a legacy carrier like American. But when Southwest Airlines followed suit a few days later and added priority security lanes for its frequent fliers, it prompted my colleague Janice Hough to invoke George Orwell’s classic “Animal Farm” and conclude that some passengers were more equal than others on a one-class airline like Southwest. I’m inclined to agree”

Some people are willing to pay more.  They get the service they pay for.  That is the essence of capitalism, the American Free Market, and you call us traitors and un-American?  You’d prefer a system where everyone is treated the same for the same price?  COMMUNIST raspberry

“Many travelers use highly addictive frequent flier miles to pay for upgrades. Airline loyalty programs, as everyone who reads this column already knows, is the greatest fraud perpetrated on the traveling public. Ever.”

Plz explain.  You must have evidence for this claim.  Should people not be rewarded for loyalty?  They’ve paid more into the airline through their loyalty and I have no problem rewarding those who do.

“There’s good news for these coddled airline passengers who disagree with my perfectly reasonable arguments. There is no shortage of bloggers, journalists and airline experts who sincerely believe it’s your right to be treated like royalty when you fly while the masses behind the curtain suffer unspeakable indignities. Why not read their puff pieces instead of my column?”

Believe me I wish I could.  But someone must stand for truth.

Oh Christopher Elliot you should have stopped while you were ahe- well while you were less behind.  Let’s take a look at the three “violations” of your rights.  First you lead with: “You have the right to sit down and shut up “, explaining that there’s no freedom of press in the air.  Well after your article I wish there was no freedom of press down here too!  Put you behind bars for your baseless drivel you call an article.  Anyways, in many cases it has been shown that while you have rights to assemble, freedom of speech and press, you can’t do it on my property without my permission.  That’s right!  An airplane isn’t public property!  You don’t own it!  You don’t pay for it with your taxes!  It’s private property and therefore buy purchasing the ticket, by boarding the airplane, you are agreeing to that airline’s contract of carriage which may state that you can’t film on board the plane.  If you don’t like it, fly another airline. No one has forced you to fly on this plane!  You boarded of your own free will! 

Your laptop — and the data on it — is ours
Oh rip on the TSA for bonus points, as much as everyone hates the airlines, we all hate security even more, right?  Score some more points with your target audience: idiots.  But here’s the kicker: the TSA is a government agency (separate from a commercial airline by the way), which means that you (through your elected officials) made it this way!  So if you want something done about it, have your elected officials do something about it.  Or vote them out.  Also, “Airlines want to block certain Web sites that contain objectionable material.”  I assume you’re talking about wireless internet service starting to appear on airlines.  Of course they have to put a filter on the internet or people will spend the flight looking at pr0n!  So on the one hand the airlines have Christopher Elliot saying “Oh I should be allowed to use your private network as I see fit” and on the other hand they have whiny mothers saying “Wont someone PLEASE think of the children”.  As always, no way out for airlines.  But the fact that your blog was blocked means something is working right.

“It’s only a matter of time before airports start barring access sites with content they disagree with”

YOU’VE GOT A LOT TO WORRY ABOUT HERE CHRISTOPHER ELLIOT!!!  Always fighting against that liberal hippie airport agenda!

And the last abomination you spout out is that “They wouldn’t even treat animals like this” and how “prisoners of war are often treated better than airline passengers.”  Yeah right.  Give someone who’s been in Guantanamo Bay for 7 years the jump at a commercial flight.  Maybe you can take his place in jail without being accused of a crime.  You’d both be happy, and I would be happy.  Everyone wins!  “The Federal Aviation Administration has strict guidelines about the transportation of live animals but is strangely quiet when it comes to the comfort of human passengers.”  Christopher Elliot, I’d be happy to let you ride in the cargo compartment if the FAA said I could!  I’d even let you smoke back there but don’t set off the fire alarm or I’ll fire those halon bottles and force all the oxygen out!  Or maybe you’d like to be crammed under the seat instead of sitting on it.  I think you’d be happy for the room coach gives you when that happens. 

“But there ought to be minimum standards set by the government that require air carriers to treat their customers better than cargo.”

There were, but then you got rid of them on October 24, 1978, through the Airline Deregulation Act.

Christopher Elliot, I know you think ripping on the airlines is a great way for you to cheat your way into becoming a legitimate columnist.  You can spread all the lies and deception you want with no responsibility because you wrote “Opinion” at the top!  But I stand for something: The truth!  And I won’t let your horrible words go by unnoticed.

Posted by eclipse on 11/29/2008 at 08:06 PM
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