Right after 9/11, people were terrified to get back in the air. Airlines suffered huge losses as more people stopped flying and opted for ground transportation instead. Recovery was slow, as more and more people trickled back into airports, but the experience of air travel would never be the same. Suddenly, everyone required a boarding pass in order to get past security and into the terminal. No more goodbye hugs at the gate or welcome home kisses the minute you walk off the plane, those are long gone. And speaking of security, we all know how much that has changed in the last 10 years. Prior to the attacks, security was pretty basic. Now, there are more rules and regulations that passengers have to follow, it can be difficult to remember them all. (I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten to take off a belt, or remove my sandals, or take my bag of toiletries out of my purse.)
|Passenger going through security. |
Credit: WSJ/Lucas Jackson
And then there are the smaller things that people might not notice, like the Septemeber 11 security fee that passengers are charged on every ticket they purchase, $2.50 on every flight, up to $10 per round trip. Just last year, we paid $2.1 billion from that fee alone. If you really want to hear a scary number, the International Air Transport Association estimates that airlines spent $7.4 billion on security in 2010. To compare, in 2000, airlines spent $448 million on security. It's a significant difference. No wonder airlines are hemorrhaging money and desperately trying to bring in more revenue by hiking ticket prices, charging extra fees for checking bags and taking away free snacks--I'm still mad about the pretzels, Continental.
|Security lines in BC, Canada. Credit: Guardian|
I realize that most of the changes have been made to keep us and our country safe, and overall, I feel we are relatively safe. But I admit that I still get irritated by the flying experience sometimes, as I'm sure we all do. I hate paying extra fees for bags, and then worrying about getting overhead space if I choose not to check. I hate when the security lines are so long that even though you give yourself enough time to make your flight, you still might cut it close.
|Remembering 9/11 Credit: MSN.com|