Archive for the Transportation Category

Fraudulent Frequent Flying Fiascos.  Oh, And Happy Canada Day and Independence Day! (July 2, 2018)

Posted in Airlines, Aviation, Boycott Series, Less Government Regulation Series, Price, Transportation on July 2, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “In the past, an airline descending into bankruptcy protection did everything to pull out its frequent flyer program.  Now, many of the programs are a fraud and a ruse and . . . morally bankrupt.  United Airlines and Delta Airlines are among the worst offenders.  By contrast, Alaska Airlines still believes that a mile is a mile is a mile is a mile.”

J          “I suffered a stall and spin in March.  After an almost 6000 mile trip in a sardine can in the air, I was iron fistedly begrudged about 1500 ‘miles’ on the ground.  For each 21,120 feet I endured in the air, I ended up with a ‘mile’ in the program.  The new calculation of ‘ground speed’ today is perplexing and vexing.  Some byzantine formula discounts the actual mileage based on purchase price, whether you had a middle seat, whether you ate peanuts, whether the flight was delayed, sun spot activity and other irrelevant factors first foisted on impressionable ‘b’ school students to foist on the public.”

K          “At least the observant traveler who missed the form letter that starts “For your convenience . . . ” becomes aware of the fraud and the ruse each month and can shift loyalty accordingly.  If each consumer acts diligently, the market works adequately.  If consumers are involved, the government does not need to get involved.”

J          “Most of the statements are electronic and not likely reviewed by the consumer with any care.  We are tolerating far, far, far too many M.B.A.s flying around the country.”

. . .

[See the e-ssay at “An Airline (Partial) Survival Guide (January 24, 2005)” discussing the absurd and inefficient pricing scheme for tickets and “Going The Extra Mile:  Today’s Airline Mileage Programs (August 19, 2013)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

21,120 feet in the air = 1 mile on the ground

Fly the unfriendly skies

The first thing we do, let’s imprison the M.B.A.s

The Driverless Car Of Tomorrow . . . Is Here Today! (December 19, 2016)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Genius, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Nobel Prize, Technology, Transportation on December 19, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “At the Complexity Lecture in August, the engineering professor promulgated what he posits are the five technological plateaus to achieve the transition from a car that stops when it perceives another object or person to the transportation platform of the future that permits you to slip on board and sleep while being delivered to your destination.”

J          “Public transportation.”

K          “Exactly.  They do not realize how close they are to the solution.  Yet that is the sixth level of spiritual enlightenment that they cannot perceive because they do not recognize that the fifth plateau is what climbers call a false peak.”

J          “I went to a similar lecture, looked around and noted that I was the only one in the room who was not an engineer.  When done listening to the lecture and the question and answer session, I realized that I may have been the only one in the room who was an engineer.”

. . .

J          “To be nice, do you want me to e-mail Elon and you e-mail Senor Google?”

K          “While you are at it, let them know that Mother Nature has promulgated some immutable restrictions that are challenged but will not be surmounted by humans.  Those who control buckets and barrels of fossil fuel resources – and substantial government largesse – may be able to travel to Mars and take a selfie, but there will never be sustainable human colonies there.”

J          “Not having any vision or imagination is so debilitating.  The way I see it, many humans have an impulse to travel and explore.  Some who are imagining a colony/land fill on Mars do not realize that they are unwittingly manifesting their ‘fight or flight’ response by attempting to abandon and flee the great Superfund Site for another promised land.”

K        “And all in an electric driverless car.”

. . .

J          “As I recall, we retrieve our Nobels in December?”

. . .

[See “Google Wants Driverless Cars, but Do We?” by Jamie Lincoln Kitman.]  

[See the e-commentary at “Amtrak – The (Rail) Road to National Security (January 23, 2006)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Be the first on your block to take the transportation device of the future . . . today

Amtrak – The (Rail) Road to National Security (January 23, 2006)

Posted in Politics, Transportation on January 23, 2006 by e-commentary.org

The right assails Amtrak because it is uneconomical; the left criticizes Amtrak because it is inefficient.  When one airplane is grounded by a shoulder-mounted SAM (surface to air missile), all the commercial and general aviation airports in the country will be closed.  Transportation by air will be prohibited; the aviation network is inextricably intertwined.  By then, with gasoline priced at, say, $10.00 a gallon, transportation by automobile will be prohibitively expensive.  Someone will observe that if we still had Amtrak, we would have a relatively safe and comparatively economical and efficient way to transport people and goods.  Any threat to one line could be quarantined while most of the remaining tracks are operated albeit with some delay and inconvenience.  The railroad system is extricably intertwined.  Worth considering.