Friday, August 28, 2009

Time spent on the road

I just returned from a business trip to Las Vegas and observed a few things that I felt warranted comment:

The last three times I've visited Las Vegas I am immediately assailed by cab drivers telling me how bad things are there. I can tell that the volume of visitors is down just by looking around the airport, but I'm still not quite sure what a cabbie would like for me to do about the situation! It's just me back here, pal, and I'd like to help you out, but....

I remain astounded at what folks will wear in a place like Vegas. No one I saw on the streets, in a handful of restaurants, in my hotel or in the airport was dressed in an objectionable way, but here's an example. I was passing through the airport on my way to my departure gate yesterday morning when I saw two men sitting side-by-side at a couple of slot machines (first thing to remember about Las Vegas is that gambling opportunities can be found in MANY places!). As I got closer I noticed that they were both wearing replica soccer jerseys and speaking with a Scottish accent, and likened that to me wearing a University of Kentucky football jersey. Then as I passed, I noted that they were both wearing kilts that coordinated (nicely at that) with their jerseys. Later when they boarded their flight I saw that they both were wearing the tradtional belted leather pouch in the front, ostensibly to keep that kilt from blowing up in the breeze.

I've often thought of buying knickers and long argyle socks for the golf course, a la the late Payne Stewart, but I don't have the build to pull off that look.

The other prevailing sentiment that I want to convey this morning regarding my travels this week is that someone, ANYONE, needs to do something about the absurd amount and size of baggage people are bringing onto airliners these days. When fuel prices spiked and the airlines all struggled for ways to increase revenue, the layup for most of them was to begin charging for checked baggage, with fees increasing for the second bag and beyond. Now, let's be clear...I'm as frugal as the next guy, and don't want to squander money needlessly. But at some point there needs to be something done about what's brought onto planes and the endless delays it causes while people search for a place to stow their oversized, overstuffed, expandable "rollaboard" that's large enough to house a litter of puppies. I'm fortunate that I have frequent flyer status on a couple of airlines (about the only real benefit to traveling extensively as I do) and I board early and can always stow my luggage without a struggle OR have the option of checking bags without charge. But I know everyone does not enjoy that benefit, so it looks like someone will have to do something about this before luggage compartments begin falling from the ceilings of airliners nationwide from the sheer weight of all of these bags.

Enough complaining, as I arrived home safe and sound with nothing lost or broken. And I don't have to do this again for a couple of weeks, so that's even better!

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