How self-contained can you be?

Palletized People-1A few days ago an airline trade group announced new – smaller – sizes for carry-on luggage. Again. Remember: like all corporations, airlines are not about service. They’re about making money. Excuse me, more money. And in this case, they’ve got their corporate personhood in the driver’s seat.

Personally, it’s not an issue. My bag fits the new specs as long as I don’t overstuff an outside pocket. The story here is really airline profits and boarding efficiency. I’ve always felt that the less I carry, the less I have to deal with and worry about. But I also know that here, as in many other areas, I carry a minority viewpoint. Take less. Spend less. Enjoy more is not a slogan that sells to the vast majority of travelers.

Here’s my modest proposal for the future of travel:

Seeing as how the US – and many other places – are refusing to invest in infrastructure repair or construction, automotive travel will gradually be replaced by containerized transport. Whether by truck, train or plane, it’ll be the safest, fastest way to get from point A to point B.

When we show up at an intermodal transit point, we’ll be assigned our own pod. We won’t need to check our luggage, since it’ll be with us for the entire trip. [We may even be able to load ourselves and our stuff at home, for door-to-door service.] The pod will already have HVAC, electric and plumbing fittings attached, ready for connection to our preferred vehicle. The bar codes on our pods will be matched to the tracking chip implants we now have in our bodies and in the fabric of our clothes, just like our dogs and cats. Airlines and trucking companies will charge us by both volume and weight. And they’ll eliminate LOTS of jobs.

Look at the benefits – no loud neighbors or kicking kids in the row behind you; no long waits at the baggage carousel; no waiting for a flight attendant to answer your call button, since there won’t be any. And the ride should be fun, too. You might even be able to stretch out your legs as you bump and bounce along the various conveyor belts you encounter, just like an amusement park ride.

Bon voyage!

 

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