Negative thrust

James Lileks, who’s had to take a lot of trips in those horrid aluminum tubes of death, probably won’t be won over by incidents like this:

Speaking of Frontier: worst website in the history of aviation, and that includes YTMND sites that show the Hindenburg exploding. Once you’ve checked in, a pop-up window offers you seats with more legroom. I declined. Next page loads: you have no assigned seats. You can get one at the airport or restart the check-in process. What a load of steaming codswaddle. Who designs a website that requires people to restart the entire process to perform the basic function of the purpose of using the website?

I mean, does upper management of the airline use the site? Of course not. Their staff does it for them. And if it’s hard for staff, well, they’re staff, and that’s why they’re there. If some conscientious member of Staff tells the boss that the website is ugly, old, and barely functional — just like some bosses, come to think of it — then perhaps the boss makes a note to bring it up in a meeting, whereupon someone will be tasked to form an exploratory committee, which will bring in all the stakeholders, and move forwards the end goal of arranging a mission statement, after which they can start to look for vendors to build the website. By then people are ordering mobile molecular-transmission units from Uber via a patch they wear on the underside of their earlobe.

Then again, it’s not just the online experience:

It’s an awful airline. They don’t nickle-and-dime you, though, I’ll grant them that. They twenty-and-fifty you.

They can get you to Oklahoma City, though, if you don’t mind a side trip down the Kessel Run.



  1. McGehee »

    30 October 2014 · 11:00 pm

    An airline that lets me bypass the TSA grope station — that might get my attention.

  2. canadienne »

    31 October 2014 · 4:48 pm

    Tubes of death… I did some research to attempt to reassure someone who was afraid of flying, and found that statistically commercial air travel is much safer than driving. Now I am slightly nervous about car travel…

    I will admit that commercial flight is not all that comfortable (I am short so that helps), and has its inconveniences. But since there are no passenger ships, air travel is the only way to get off the continent.

  3. CGHill »

    31 October 2014 · 5:57 pm

    Lileks tends to be a bit queasy about these things. From one of his books:

    I regard airplanes as morgues with gift shops. As much as my brain knows the facts on flying — i.e., it’s safer than doing some welding while standing up to your knees in gasoline — my heart knows that as soon as I get on a plane, it will erupt in flames for no good reason and I will be paste on the landscape.

    I’ve survived flights to/from faraway places like Istanbul (not that, um, other place), but I’m capable of comparable queasiness.

  4. canadienne »

    1 November 2014 · 11:21 am

    If I were the only person on the road I would be fine with driving, but have had a few close calls due to stupidness, distraction or sheer sociopathic speeding on the part of the other drivers. I can actually relax on airplanes. Have only had a couple experiences with scary turbulence.

    I can’t afford to travel as much as I would like to but still need the option of knowing that I can get away once in a while. I think the first time I ever commented on your blog, was from a Paris hotel.

  5. CGHill »

    1 November 2014 · 11:54 am

    Second-scariest flight I ever took was THY from Samsun to Istanbul aboard some ancient Fokker.

    Scarier than that was United from Boston to Chicago, after two hours of being stacked up over O’Hare, and then being told that the stackup would soon be over, inasmuch as we were running out of fuel. (They put us down at Midway and bused us to ORD fast enough to just miss our connecting flights.)

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