Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Stay-Put Solutions to High Fuel Prices

Man at airline ticket counter: "Gimme a ticket, quick." "Where to?" clerks asks. "Doesn't matter, I've got offices everywhere."

Not as old as the one about first prize, a week in Philadelphia, second prize, two weeks in Philadelphia, but United Airlines' new policy of requiring overnight stays on domestic flights to combat fuel costs seems like some kind of joke in this rich vein of travel humor.

How making business people stay where they go keeps them from grabbing up cheap seats is an arcane airline secret that has always evaded this sedentary observer who wonders why not just raise the prices? Or would that discourage people who have no business taking the flights from going anyway to take advantage of irresistible bargains?

With new airline charges for checking luggage, which only transfer energy costs to dry cleaners at hotel valet services, more drastic steps seem needed.

In light of President Bush's vow to give up golf out of respect for servicemen in Iraq, why not cancel all sales conventions and professional meetings in distant resort areas and read all the pertinent stuff at home with takeout pizza?

Candidates can set a good example by not rushing around to town hall meetings but sitting on their own porches and making promises they don't intend to keep to the TV cameras.

Why don't corporate buyers forego dinner meetings with faraway sales people in favor of teleconferences and restaurant gift certificates by mail? Added advantage: More quality time for all with family or significant others.

That could lead to family reunions on either Thanksgiving or Christmas, which could reduce gasoline usage and heartburn by half.

To cut our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, don't just do something. Sit there.

1 comment:

Stimpson said...

Wasn't there a WWII poster that reminded people to ask themselves "Is this trip necessary?"
Still a good question to ask. Always has been, regardless of the monetary price of fuel. There's an environmental cost to consider, after all.