Next month, I'm flying to Illinois for a family reunion. I haven't seen my kin in nine years, when my father died. I'm excited; this reunion is way over due. I purchased round-trip tickets via the Internet, made rental car arrangements over the Internet and planned my hotel stay using the Internet.
Since the Internet became a household name, and e-mailing replaced pretty much all mailings to and from family members and friends, the U.S. Postal Service (stamps to be specific) nationwide has been affected. As a result, you have to pay increased costs for postage, nearly every year to compensate for the financial losses.
Well, thanks to the airlines' new rules, I think the U.S. Postal Service is going to make a comeback. Some airlines are now charging $15 to $50 per luggage piece beyond the carry-on. Are you kidding me? They're even reducing the amount of gas per airplane to save money; they charge more than ever to fly just a couple of hours by air, they can surely afford the gas beyond what the general public can.
I realize we're in a recession; failed mortgages, popular restaurants closing, etc. There are now more than 4-million people unemployed in this country. I realize all this, but someone has to cut us a break somewhere. When times are tough, it makes sense to me that you don't raise prices and cut wages, you don't charge more for groceries when families can't even afford gas to get there and you don't make it impossible to fly anywhere in this country.
When times are tough, it would seem to me that this mighty country would make it easier for us to keep commercial interests in business. Market specials to promote business, lower gas prices to generate more summer travel, and for Pete's sake, encourage this country to travel via airlines by making air fare affordable to the average Joe.
Since this reunion is a week of dinners, weddings, and gatherings, I will be taking a bit more luggage than I normally would. Well, guess what? I'm going to box up my clothes and send it via U.S. mail. I can get a box of clothes through the postal system for approximately $25 dollars, and get it insured!
In these hard times, I believe the U.S. Postal Service is going to become a popular venue for more than just mailing a letter to a loved one. I believe in these hard times, the U.S. Postal Service is going to become very popular again.
Darcy Maness, of Leisure Hills, is the author of the self-published book, Beast of Highway Twenty-Two.