Mike on America

Notes from a Weary Traveler

This is a process item today. 'Mike On America' is exactly that. Mike traveling across America. 200,000 miles on one airline alone last year. Wouldn't all those frequent flier miles be great, IF you really wanted to travel after all that travel.

The answer is you wouldn't.

If there is an industry in bigger need of an overhaul than the airlines let me know. I can't think of one. Five hours and change we sat, before we pushed away from the gate at Newark International the end of last week. Then when we got to the runway -- #51 in line for takeoff.

Traffic, weather, overload, confusion, anger. It all factored in. The reality is that if you did your job the way the airlines does its job, you wouldn't have one. Is there a particular villain in this story? Likely not. But there are allot of them.

Outdated infrastructure is a huge culprit. But so is the outdated idea that everyone NEEDS to fly. An inalienable right? Who are we kidding? Just as it's not  some foregone conclusion that airlines that go into bankruptcy should somehow be allowed to 'come out'. Too many people being crammed into to few planes going to fewer and fewer places. This is a good business plan?

It's the LA freeway system in the sky. Except sitting in bumper to bumper traffic because the number of cars and the number of people have far outstretched the available blacktop does not compare with being virtually held prisoner in planes as they wait to taxi or take off.

After nearly 40 years of travel the stoicism has worn off. Let's all do something about this!!! I will. As soon as they let me off the plane.

Off to Phoenix then Montana. Do trains go there?

Questions?  Comments?  mikeonamerica@nbcuni.com