What would happen if the airline industry failed?

I’ve often wondered if we wouldn’t be better off in the long run if a significant chunk of the airlines went out of business. It would suck for a while, but it would really open up the market for innovation and new ideas. Today, Techdirt wonders the same thing.

. . . people seem to take for granted what cheap and readily available air travel allows. It touches on so many different businesses that it’s hard to fathom how deep the eventual impact would be if air travel needs to be significantly curtailed in the future.

The whole flying experience is pretty unpleasant these days. And a lot of that is TSA’s fault, and I’m hoping that maybe a new President might come in and remind TSA that the enemy is actually people trying to hijack or blow up planes, not people with unfortunate names, liquids, and underwire bras. But a lot of it is the airlines’ fault, too. The incessant nickel-and-dime charges are pretty annoying. Customer service is often lacking, like when I was told they would hold our connecting flight, even though I knew I would miss it, and we ended up staying at a hotel at the airport in Milwaukee instead of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for the night. Some new airline innovation would be really nice. But in order to get there, it may take a few years of transportation (and shipping) misery first. As an aside – could someone please comment on a post? Any post? The total number of comments for the site right now is 666, and that’s just bad karma.

Security Theater is getting literal

BoingBoing | European airlines test spycams in every seat that “detect terrorism” in your facial expressions

The European Union’s Security of Aircraft in the Future European Environment (SAFEE) project uses a camera in every passenger’s seat, with six wide-angle cameras to survey the aisles. Software then analyses the footage to detect developing terrorist activity or “air-rage” incidents, by tracking passengers’ facial expressions…

This is SUCH a good idea. I can’t wait until they implement this and they start diverting flights because stoned idiots on the way to Amsterdam are making faces at the camera, or maybe someone who’s agoraphobic is sweating and tense. This will be even better than detaining infants who have names on the terrorist watch list.

At least it isn’t the United States this time. I’m comforted to see that we don’t have a monopoly on totally absurd security theater.

There was discussion at the birthing class of bringing breast milk in your carry-on, and how TSA had initially banned it with their ridiculous no-liquids rule. I think they first amended the rule to allow breast milk if you had the baby with you, and then again to allow it without a baby. That way, women on trips away from the baby who were faithfully pumping and storing the milk for their return would be able to do so.

First, I think it’s good that they allow this – it’s much more of a big deal than I realized before the wife got pregnant. But second, if breast milk is safe on the plane, then SO ARE OTHER LIQUIDS. It is utterly insane to think that six ounces of shampoo will cause a plane to crash into the White House, but a long weekend worth of breast milk is totally safe.

Anyway, I wish the terrorists who hate our freedom would try a plot involving things I don’t like. Maybe they could hatch a plot to put bombs in wheelie bags and drag them around the city! That would be great! Then maybe we could ban those stupid things from getting in my way when I’m walking to work. And I wish these terrorists would have a little concern for MY feelings and MY needs. Selfish jerks.