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Old 09-18-2019, 06:22 PM
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Airfare sucks


Seriously, when you have no major airports around and must rely on regional airports the prices are ridiculous. I'm just venting because everywhere worth going is over one thousand dollars in cattle class. How the hell do people afford to travel? Anyway, if there are any of you stuck in a hicktown like me and want to sound off about exorbitant prices, please do so.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:29 PM
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Luckily, we have a long-range bus company that runs people to airports: O'Hare, Midway, Milwaukee. Adds $30 each way to the price of travel, but you can always find a flight from O'Hare... and it's so much nicer when you don't have to park there. Any chance of driving/bussing to a bigger airport?
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:53 PM
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Itís nice being in a major centre. Last year we went to the UK for under $600 each - Canadian $! I was just fooling around with Google Flights trying to figure out where to go with the kids for their spring break and Air Canada was showing $700 return to Beijing.

Then I see the deals from New York for USD$300 return to Europe and I get envious anyway.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:51 PM
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What gets me is the wide disparity in prices based on date of travel. It's to and from the same place, and it's the same distance, same airline, etc. Why, then, does it cost over three times as much to fly on the last day (Sunday) of a 3-day weekend as it does to fly the very next day (Monday)? And, yes, I'm absolutely opposed to Uber et al's "surge pricing".
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:56 PM
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I'm just venting because everywhere worth going is over one thousand dollars in cattle class. How the hell do people afford to travel?
Not really understanding how this is happening.

What trip are you trying to take that it costs $1k for cattle class, and how are you trying to book it?
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:08 PM
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I booked a flight from LAX to North Carolina for next week about a month ago. It's about $495 to NC from LAX. Not bad considering distance, BUT oddly enough, only flights available for a Thursday were at 10:00 or 10:30 AM. Nothing in afternoon or night. (???)

I'm flying back from Philadelphia a week later around $600. I'm paying $99 of that for an Emergency Exit seat. I still wonder how one uncomfortable seat can be bought for $395 for this flight, but of course, you're paying for baggage check per bag, carry-on item fee, no cancellations, etc. But my EE row seat comes with the options that you'd pay for. So it's really about how much you want to limit your options in pricing.

Last edited by Locrian; 09-18-2019 at 08:09 PM.
  #7  
Old 09-18-2019, 08:15 PM
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Unca Cecil did a column on this, but I'll be damned if I can figure out the archive search function. It's on page 136 of "Return of the SD" (the third book). The index lists it as "airfares, discount, 'first Sunday return' requirement," if that's any help.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:23 PM
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I booked a flight from LAX to North Carolina for next week about a month ago. It's about $495 to NC from LAX. Not bad considering distance, BUT oddly enough, only flights available for a Thursday were at 10:00 or 10:30 AM. Nothing in afternoon or night. (???)
That's not really all that surprising. If you're headed to or from a 2nd or 3rd-tier city, you're lucky if there are more than a couple of flights per day.

If they had more flights, they would be more expensive, because there are a limited number of people who need to fly direct from LA to Raleigh or wherever. More flights would mean more empty seats, ergo higher per-seat operating costs, ergo higher ticket prices for everybody else.

Come to think of it, having one and only one flight per day scheduled for the mid-morning sounds glorious. I regularly have to catch a 6:30AM flight from Ohio to DFW so that I show up in the Dallas office at 9AM for a meeting. It sucks rocks.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:04 PM
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Like Annoyed, I also don't quite understand the fares quoted in the OP.

My nearest airport is Wichita. It's not hicktown, but it's only a mid-major, at best. To get anywhere, one must fly to Dallas, Denver, Chicago, or Atlanta. But the most I've paid in the last 10 years of fairly regular flying is just over 500 bucks. Of course, I always book well in advance, and, before booking, closely monitor the fares in hope of finding a good deal.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:26 PM
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Like Annoyed, I also don't quite understand the fares quoted in the OP.

My nearest airport is Wichita. It's not hicktown, but it's only a mid-major, at best. To get anywhere, one must fly to Dallas, Denver, Chicago, or Atlanta. But the most I've paid in the last 10 years of fairly regular flying is just over 500 bucks. Of course, I always book well in advance, and, before booking, closely monitor the fares in hope of finding a good deal.
Same, but even then there certain days to fly over others and certain websites to use over others as well.

And donít forget JFK, even though itís a horrible airport. I go through there all the time even though I hate it. Itís fine with an appropriate layover.

Sometimes advanced booking is more expensive than booking a week in advance, and searching with nearby airports enabled shows great tickets.

ďMulti DestinationĒ booking can yield awesome tickets as well. Iíve been eying a flight from TPA to SIN one way with 24 hours stopover in London for $2k - business class - for a week now. Canít book yet because I donít know when Iíll be free from work.

I need to get a visa at an embassy in DC and was looking at flights to Dulles for $180, one way.

Itís unclear where OP wants to go, but if itís domestic thereís no reason to pay $1k round trip, cattle class. Just takes time and shopping around.

Wednesdayís are usually the cheapest day to fly, anywhere.
  #11  
Old 09-18-2019, 11:31 PM
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I get it, OP. It's not just that there are no direct flights; it's that travel from small airports is more expensive--and by small, I'm talking 10,000 people, not Wichita's 300,000+. The airfare from my small town in Wyoming was always at least $200 more than flights from the nearest small city, which was over 100 miles away. I was told it had to do with airlines' high bids to serve the area.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:53 PM
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In his book Walden, Thoreau argues the cheapest way to go anywhere is to walk. The idea is a horse is fast and can get you anywhere quicker than walking but the cost to have one is a cost in time as well. Walk wherever you want and you won’t have to bust your ass spending the time required to maintain a horse to get you there later. Inner city commuters enjoy this to some extent even today.

That might have been bullshit then, it is certainly bullshit for air travel now. US minimum wage average is $7.25 so one 40 hr week at a fast food restaurant will net you $290. That is enough to fly anywhere in North America. How far can you walk in 40 hours?

Bitching about travel will never end, even when it takes 7 fucking seconds to fly halfway around the world.
  #13  
Old Yesterday, 03:50 AM
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What gets me is the wide disparity in prices based on date of travel. It's to and from the same place, and it's the same distance, same airline, etc. Why, then, does it cost over three times as much to fly on the last day (Sunday) of a 3-day weekend as it does to fly the very next day (Monday)? And, yes, I'm absolutely opposed to Uber et al's "surge pricing".
Unlike widget manufacturers, airline seat pricing has little, if anything, to do with costs. The prices are all about what people are willing to pay and maximising revenue.
  #14  
Old Yesterday, 04:04 AM
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Why, then, does it cost over three times as much to fly on the last day (Sunday) of a 3-day weekend as it does to fly the very next day (Monday)?
Because more people want to fly on Sunday.

Quote:
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And, yes, I'm absolutely opposed to Uber et al's "surge pricing".
So either they have below-market prices on Sunday and it's even harder to get a ticket, or they have above-market pricing on Monday and cancel the flight because nobody will buy seats.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; Yesterday at 04:06 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 04:32 AM
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Ooo, ME, ME, I'll whinge!!

I live in a regional town that is a 2hr flight from the state capital. It's a mining town with lots of FIFO workers that the mining companies subsidize fares for. Yet there are more folks who work in ancillary industries and local indigenous people who cannot benefit...so the 2hr airfare is as much if not more than the fare to fly anywhere else in the country or even to overseas destinations.
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Old Yesterday, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cjackson View Post
Seriously, when you have no major airports around and must rely on regional airports the prices are ridiculous. I'm just venting because everywhere worth going is over one thousand dollars in cattle class. How the hell do people afford to travel? Anyway, if there are any of you stuck in a hicktown like me and want to sound off about exorbitant prices, please do so.
As others have said, what route are you flying that costs that much?

I live in an English country town. To get to Las Vegas (6,000 miles away), I take transport to the nearest airport and then pay approximately $700 for the return flight.
  #17  
Old Yesterday, 05:35 AM
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As others have said, what route are you flying that costs that much?

I live in an English country town. To get to Las Vegas (6,000 miles away), I take transport to the nearest airport and then pay approximately $700 for the return flight.
I live 3km from the nearest airport. To get to (2hr flight) Perth it costs me app $700 rtn per flight. From Perth to KL costs around $300 rtn. From Melbourne to KL direct would cost as little as $250 rtn.

It's price gouging for folks who have no alternative.
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Old Yesterday, 05:37 AM
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Unlike widget manufacturers, airline seat pricing has little, if anything, to do with costs. The prices are all about what people are willing to pay and maximising revenue.
Anyone who charges more than what I want to pay is price-gouging. Anyone who charges less than what I'm willing to pay is a sucker.
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Old Yesterday, 06:03 AM
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What gets me is the wide disparity in prices based on date of travel. It's to and from the same place, and it's the same distance, same airline, etc. Why, then, does it cost over three times as much to fly on the last day (Sunday) of a 3-day weekend as it does to fly the very next day (Monday)? And, yes, I'm absolutely opposed to Uber et al's "surge pricing".
This makes about as much sense as complaining that fresh apples that taste good are more expensive than mouldy apples full of maggots. If you think all apples are worth the same, surely you should be delighted that the mouldy ones are available so much more cheaply?
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Old Yesterday, 08:40 PM
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Apparently, I'm the mouldy apple guy. My family is incredulous at the discomfort I'll put myself through to save a few bucks.

Last big trip I took was to London. I packed everything in a small backpack, which made it easy to ride my bike across town before dawn to catch the three-hour bus ride to O'Hare, where I flew to North Carolina for a six hour layover because that was where the Surprise Cheapo Airfare landed me, then a red-eye to London-but-Gatwick-not-Heathrow to the tube to Blackfriars Station, then a five-mile walk at dawn across London to the cheapest hotel that Priceline had, which wasn't open yet.

But, damn, airfare and a week in London for $800! It was a case of "either do it cheaply or stay home". I don't regret one challenging moment of it.

So when you're people-watching in the airport and think "That guy looks awfully bouncy." That's me, because I'm spending half of what everyone else is.
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Old Yesterday, 08:54 PM
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Apparently, I'm the mouldy apple guy. My family is incredulous at the discomfort I'll put myself through to save a few bucks.

Last big trip I took was to London. I packed everything in a small backpack, which made it easy to ride my bike across town before dawn to catch the three-hour bus ride to O'Hare, where I flew to North Carolina for a six hour layover because that was where the Surprise Cheapo Airfare landed me, then a red-eye to London-but-Gatwick-not-Heathrow to the tube to Blackfriars Station, then a five-mile walk at dawn across London to the cheapest hotel that Priceline had, which wasn't open yet.

But, damn, airfare and a week in London for $800! It was a case of "either do it cheaply or stay home". I don't regret one challenging moment of it.

So when you're people-watching in the airport and think "That guy looks awfully bouncy." That's me, because I'm spending half of what everyone else is.
Yea but all that hustling and sweating youíre doing is probably punishment to the other civilized humans who arenít trying to smell all those days worth of unshowered mess youíve got going on, which is one of the main gripes with backpackers. That, combined with the unreasonably sized and clearly overweight carry-on used which makes the other passengers unfortunate enough to share a row with you have to find a free overhead compartment thatís nowhere near their seat and likely towards the back of the plane, forcing them to wait for the entire sea of humanity to leave the plane before they can reach their carry on.
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Old Yesterday, 09:38 PM
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Apparently, I'm the mouldy apple guy. My family is incredulous at the discomfort I'll put myself through to save a few bucks.
Yes - maybe mouldy apples wasn't the best analogy. In reference to Monty's complaint about differential pricing for popular vs unpopular times of travel, clearly it's a good thing that people have the option to save a bunch of money by (like you) traveling at unpopular times or enduring a bit of effort; while others can choose to pay a premium for convenience. It's a mystery to me why people accept the basic principles of capitalism and the operation market forces in all other aspects of the provision of goods and services, yet where airlines are concerned somehow it's perceived as evil profiteering. It's not like there isn't intense price competition between airlines on major routes, look how often airlines go bust.

But to go back to OP's original issue - that's where there really are grounds for complaint, where on minor routes there isn't a big enough market to support multiple airlines competing to keep prices under control. And that demonstrates the limits of unregulated capitalism, when market forces just aren't compatible with desirable outcomes. There's a decent argument that it's socially important to maintain regulated/subsidized transport infrastructure (along with things like a postal service) to more remote areas.

Last edited by Riemann; Yesterday at 09:43 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:40 PM
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I just want to know where digs left his bike while he was in London for a week.

Last edited by mhendo; Yesterday at 09:40 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:47 PM
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Yea but all that hustling and sweating you’re doing is probably punishment to the other civilized humans who aren’t trying to smell all those days worth of unshowered mess you’ve got going on, which is one of the main gripes with backpackers. That, combined with the unreasonably sized and clearly overweight carry-on used which makes the other passengers unfortunate enough to share a row with you have to find a free overhead compartment that’s nowhere near their seat and likely towards the back of the plane, forcing them to wait for the entire sea of humanity to leave the plane before they can reach their carry on. (Bolding mine)
None of your preconceptions are correct. Which has been a problem in other threads as well.

I'm a bit flabbergasted at your needless aggression. Now, if you were concerned with the size of my backpack, you could have a) asked, in which case, I would have measured it (17” x 13” by 5"), and looked up the volume: 1300 cu.in. Shorter, narrower and thinner than the specs for the overhead bin... but I easily flew with it under my seat.

Or, b) you could have read my post, where I mentioned "I packed everything in a small backpack".

And why do you project your gripes about backpackers onto a harmless (and yes, clean) retired teacher, who had just explained that he stays in hotels?


Oh, ETA: My faithful bike spent the week locked to a bike rack in front of a college library with dozens of other bikes (much nicer ones than mine, that's my security system).

Last edited by digs; Yesterday at 09:50 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:06 PM
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Yea but all that hustling and sweating youíre doing is probably punishment to the other civilized humans who arenít trying to smell all those days worth of unshowered mess youíve got going on, which is one of the main gripes with backpackers. That, combined with the unreasonably sized and clearly overweight carry-on used which makes the other passengers unfortunate enough to share a row with you have to find a free overhead compartment thatís nowhere near their seat and likely towards the back of the plane, forcing them to wait for the entire sea of humanity to leave the plane before they can reach their carry on.
My god, what a fucking idiotic post. Do you have to try hard to be this stupid and pointlessly offensive? Is it a natural talent?

In my experience, backpackers with oversized carry-on are far outnumbered by asshole business people and regular tourists who are to important to check their bag, and who drag their massive rolling suitcases down the aisle and cram them into the overhead bins. I've lamented for years that most airlines seem unwilling to enforce their own carry-on size restrictions.
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Old Yesterday, 10:47 PM
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My god, what a fucking idiotic post. Do you have to try hard to be this stupid and pointlessly offensive? Is it a natural talent?
Okay, I just looked up his latest posts in other threads. Woooo, boy!
So I am NOT taking this personally, he's always like this. Not that all his nasty posts shouldn't be reported...
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Old Yesterday, 10:51 PM
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It’s a talent I have.

And I thought it was a pretty funny post if I do say so myself.

However I’m not entirely sure how one can cram an entire week (or more) of travel into a “small backpack”.
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Old Yesterday, 11:04 PM
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However Iím not entirely sure how one can cram an entire week (or more) of travel into a ďsmall backpackĒ.
You really are a bit thick aren't you?

I travelled SE Asia earlier this year with a very small, carry-on case (smaller than the dimensions accepted on airlines). Five weeks. It's dead simple.
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Old Yesterday, 11:04 PM
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Itís a talent I have.

And I thought it was a pretty funny post if I do say so myself.

However Iím not entirely sure how one can cram an entire week (or more) of travel into a ďsmall backpackĒ.
I picked a hotel with a washer and dryer. If not, I would've washed my clothes and hung them in the bathroom to dry overnight.

But, no, not funny.

Look, in one of those posts of yours that I just found, you state that you hang out here just to insult people, and post stuff that's just to rile up the liberals. If that's all you want to do, please give up. We're not riled, we're just saddened that you don't have better things to do.
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Old Yesterday, 11:05 PM
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Yes - maybe mouldy apples wasn't the best analogy. In reference to Monty's complaint about differential pricing for popular vs unpopular times of travel, clearly it's a good thing that people have the option to save a bunch of money by (like you) traveling at unpopular times or enduring a bit of effort; while others can choose to pay a premium for convenience. It's a mystery to me why people accept the basic principles of capitalism and the operation market forces in all other aspects of the provision of goods and services, yet where airlines are concerned somehow it's perceived as evil profiteering. It's not like there isn't intense price competition between airlines on major routes, look how often airlines go bust.

But to go back to OP's original issue - that's where there really are grounds for complaint, where on minor routes there isn't a big enough market to support multiple airlines competing to keep prices under control. And that demonstrates the limits of unregulated capitalism, when market forces just aren't compatible with desirable outcomes. There's a decent argument that it's socially important to maintain regulated/subsidized transport infrastructure (along with things like a postal service) to more remote areas.
Airlines do suck, theres no getting around it. Yes itís capitalism but I would support a bill that mandated airlines providing flights of more than 6 hours to have seats and armrests that are appropriately sized as to be comfortable to an average sized human being without having to touch the person sitting next to you, at no additional cost.

I would also support a bill that immediately arrested and straight-jacketd passengers who request the person in front of them to put their seats backs up unless the meal service was being provided. Those people are the spawn of Satan.
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 PM
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I picked a hotel with a washer and dryer. If not, I would've washed my clothes and hung them in the bathroom to dry overnight.

But, no, not funny.

Look, in one of those posts of yours that I just found, you state that you hang out here just to insult people, and post stuff that's just to rile up the liberals. If that's all you want to do, please give up. We're not riled, we're just saddened that you don't have better things to do.
I have never stated any of those things. Not even once, and the post you link to was a direct reply to someone else.
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Old Yesterday, 11:12 PM
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You really are a bit thick aren't you?

I travelled SE Asia earlier this year with a very small, carry-on case (smaller than the dimensions accepted on airlines). Five weeks. It's dead simple.
So youíre a backpacker? Thatís called being a backpacker.
  #33  
Old Yesterday, 11:16 PM
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So youíre a backpacker? Thatís called being a backpacker.
OK, the dumb is getting dumber.

I'm an old lady who doesn't like having to lug lots of luggage around, especially on and off airplanes and navigating airports. I stay in 3* hotels and catch taxis. I also don't need a lot of shit when I travel, and I swear my medications took up more room in my case than my clothing.
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Old Yesterday, 11:52 PM
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Okay, I just looked up his latest posts in other threads. Woooo, boy!
So I am NOT taking this personally, he's always like this. Not that all his nasty posts shouldn't be reported...
Well, I mean, honesty in advertising, given the username.
  #35  
Old Yesterday, 11:55 PM
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OK, the dumb is getting dumber.

I'm an old lady who doesn't like having to lug lots of luggage around, especially on and off airplanes and navigating airports. I stay in 3* hotels and catch taxis. I also don't need a lot of shit when I travel, and I swear my medications took up more room in my case than my clothing.
I actually work in SEA, currently there now. If going through KL or Singapore or Bangkok they all have a ďVIP ArrivalsĒ thing you can pay for (about $30) and as soon as you step off the plane thereís a person holding a sign with your name on it, they carry all your shit, get you through immigration in the VIP lane (like air hostesses and pilots) and carry your luggage all the way from baggage claim to your transport.

If you ever go back, look it up. I use it every time I arrive in those airports.

Anyway Iím just messing with ya about the backpacker thing.
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