Making Holiday Travel a Little Less Horrid

Our cranky reporter offers some modest suggestions for improving jet travel

Illustration for TIME by Ryan Snook

In 1970, when jet travel still had about it a faint whiff of glamour, a new European airplane maker decided to call itself Airbus. The name showed remarkable foresight, for four decades later, that is what commercial air travel has become:long-distance journeys via public transport.

You already know that, of course, if you're flying this month, as the six major airlines prepare to reduce flights and seats despite the heightened demand of the "holiday travel" season--a phrase that joins airline food and friendly skies in the pantheon of aviation oxymorons.

So the White House recently announced its plan to make commercial air...

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