I am in a pondering mood today as I sit on my hotel balcony on the Chesapeake Bay. As I watch the ships come in for ports in Norfolk and Baltimore, I ask myself why I didn’t pick sailing instead of flying for my chosen occupation?! As they say, “if I knew then what I know now” I suppose things would’ve turned out differently.

Americans have a love-hate relationship with airlines. They love the mobility and freedom of movement they offer at prices that most can afford, but they hate flying on them! Ever wonder why? I have few ideas. Shocking, I know.

Traditional airlines are not easy to do business with. Buying a ticket for transportation between two points on a map seems simple enough on the surface, but it really isn’t. Need to change that ticket? That’ll be $150 dollars please. And that’s if you are lucky enough to find your same fare on the new flight. Same fare not available? Cough up the difference in fares PLUS the change fee.

Once you’re on the flight that you just paid half your savings for, don’t ask your seatmates what they paid. You’re likely to find as many different answers as the number of people you ask. And they likely paid far less than you dear business traveler!

And now, the latest fad, charging for the first checked bag. As I’d previously posted, I am not really upset about these fees as I am exempt as long as I maintain elite status, but I certainly understand why some might be bothered by them.

All of this, among other annoyances, adds up to an airline industry that has conditioned the average joe to wait for the best possible fare while the airlines’ best customers (business travelers) are convinced that they are getting shafted everytime they purchase a ticket. Not a recipe for endearment.

I’ve only scratched the surface of why we hate airlines. But for now, I want to watch the ships and wonder why I didn’t join the Merchant Marine!