Maybe it's time to rediscover the train
Like a lot of kids, I loved trains. Over time, the train went out of style, except for a few times that I took the Baltimore-New York express on business trips. It was convenient and dropped you off within walking distance of your business appointments.
We may be enjoying trains again, especially with all of the news about flight cancelations. This is the latest from the Wall Street Journal:
Going to Florida over the holidays? Everyone else is.
Getting delayed going or coming from home? Everyone else might be.
This won't be a normal holiday travel season. Travelers had best plan accordingly.
Multiple airlines have sold more tickets this year than they can accommodate. Normal weather disruptions or temporary hiccups have cascaded into major meltdowns because of staffing shortages. Airlines haven't had enough spare crews to recover normally, so customers end up stranded for long periods. Any bad weather or other problems at the holidays could spell trouble for travelers.
American Airlines is the latest example of this lack of reserve capacity. High winds in Dallas slowed American last week. And the airline says a lack of flight attendants led to 2,000 canceled flights over the weekend and into Monday. More than half of the cancellations came on Sunday, when American scrubbed about 20% of its schedule.
Blame it on the pandemic? High winds? Staff shortages? Supply chain? Who cares?
No matter what is at fault, you may find yourself at airports waiting for your flight to be rescheduled or, worse than that, watching Chris Cuomo and CNN. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment!
As for our holiday plans, I'm checking out the train routes and enjoying a little time off the old-fashioned way. You can look out the window and see America's heartland. And you can go down to the next car and enjoy a little coffee without having to struggle getting out of those sardine-type seats that airplanes offer these days.
Sit back, put your earphones in, and listen to "Take the A Train" or maybe "The Last Train to Georgia" or my favorite, "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Yes, it's a little slower, but you are on holiday anyway. Why the rush?
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).