Monday, January 11, 2010

Travel debacle

Tyler Brule, media and branding genius, and editor of Monocle magazine, gives a weekly column on the back page of the Arts section in the Weekend edition of The Financial Times called, "The Fast Lane." In it, he discusses his own travel experiences, suggestions for certain airlines or routes, cities, hotels and gives tips and suggestions for better service, style, and all around re-branding and updated ideas for an industry that is somehow, ironically, dying. With the latest gem now called, "the underwear bomber" to emerge over the holidays, there was a global sigh of "ughhhhh," now what hell awaits us at the airport. Rather rally or rebel, most of us sat back in passive acceptance at the inevitable further downward spiral of air travel, resigning ourselves (myself) to the truly unacceptable reality of body screening and whatever else the government decides to deem "safe." But Brule's column from this weekend woke me up to the fact that this situation goes beyond the humiliation in the face of strangers and underpaid airport staff, and more profoundly, rights to privacy, which we would all eventually get over, (what else could we do?). This is of course, a political issue, dems vs. republicans, what isn't these days? Obama must appear strong in the face of terrorism to avoid bad press, but this needs to be looked at as an economic issue as well, in this recession, business travellers will avoid the US and plan events in places like Canada or Mexico (Brule's idea for Mexico and I have to say, a good one to help that country), tourism will falter and the US airline industry will decline even more. I get it that there is a gross issue of security that needs to be addressed but the US needs to get their screening and communications in line before subjecting all of us to public strip searches and punishing those who just want to get from a to b.

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