Thursday, January 08, 2009
I was interested to read today in the Herald Tribune that a guy in the US got US $ 240,000 in compensation after he was humiliated by the staff of an airline company who refused to let him board because he was wearing a t-shirt with some words in Arabic.
I'm just about to embark tomorrow on one of these very long and tiring trips, from Europe to Australia. The older I get the more these "killer journeys" are, indeed, "killing me". Long gone are the days when I used to cross the Atlantic and the American continent with Freddy Laker with my backpack. I could queue for a whole day to get in the jet like in a third class bus, and I thought it was fun [actually it was a lot of fun].
What is worst: what we used to call Tourist Class in the 1970s is now called Cattle Class in the jargon of everyday travellers.
Cattle or Business Class, that's increasingly a dilema at my age. When the client is a non-profit, they cover Cattle Class-only of course. So if I take Business the difference is out of my [or Varda's] pocket. I could afford it in some cases. But is it right to feed in this way the fat cats who sit on the Boards of airline companies, and do so little [or nothing] to improve the environmental performance of their operations?
[There is also the possibility of getting an upgrade. Maybe it's because I'm not religious and I don't pray, but they only rarely upgrade me.]
But US $ 240,000, the amount the guy with the T-shirt got...that could compensate quite a lot of Business Class fairs. Yummi. Maybe I should call the American Civil Liberties Union, and discuss with them what kind of T-shirt I could wear before I pack my bag.