Opinion

EDITORIAL: Flight of the Alligator

If you’re traveling this winter break and you haven’t bought your plane tickets already, be prepared to sacrifice most of your hard-earned work-study and table-waiting savings. Tickets are incredibly expensive this year, for many reasons. Terrorism is a blanket excuse for anyone to hike up prices or topple civil liberties. Those airlines keep threatening bankruptcy, and you wonder how a multibillion-dollar industry could just “lose” all that money when they already overcharge you for a 2-foot-wide seat and a meal that somewhat resembles plastic. “The economy is bad” is what everyone says when they can’t get a job or can’t afford a new car, but the airlines really need to suck it up and admit that 9/11 isn’t hurting their business much anymore. If anything, travel is booming now in a post-9/11 world and prices are increasing because of rising passenger confidence and safety. People aren’t fearful of becoming living missiles when they board a plane-the chances are just too rare. Thanks to new and improved safety measures, the only really dangerous things on airplanes, aside from the vacuum-powered toilets, are all those alligators on the loose.

Late last month, an American Airlines flight was carrying four alligators from Miami to Newark when one escaped from its containment. These gators, which belonged to passengers on the plane, were kept in the cargo hold inside burlap sacks inside of crates. When the plane landed, one of the gators was outside the crate but in its sack, snout still bound. Well, luckily, some cops were able to wrangle the critter with a lasso before it did anything shocking, like try to sit in First-Class. Some eyewitness reports place the alligator in Coach earlier in the flight, reclined and with a pair of headphones on, catching the end of the in-flight movie, “Finding Nemo.”

You must be asking several questions of yourself right now. Why would somebody bring an alligator to New Jersey? Does the alligator get an in-flight meal? Wouldn’t you consider an alligator slightly more dangerous than nail clippers or cosmetics scissors? Why can’t I bring my alligator on an airplane? Do alligators get their own bathrooms and if not, where does it all go? Does that explain why airplane food tastes funny?

The alligator may have just been tired and heading for one of those new SkyBeds that the “struggling” airlines now offer to “sleepy” customers. For an additional price, you can take a nap on those long-haul transatlantic flights. But where there’s a bed, there’s always more going on than just sleeping. Years from now you’ll meet people who’ll tell you how they were conceived on Lufthansa at about 30,000 feet with only mild turbulence.

Your best chances in plane tickets will come from STA (located in the UC first floor) or some Internet travel agency, like Travelocity.com or AAASouth.com. Prices will only go up each day closer to Christmas, and soon whole flights and days will be sold out. Better get to your agent soon, before the infamous alligator from Lake Osceola decides it’s time for a vacation and steals your seat.

November 7, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

UM’s recruiting class — comprised so far of 14 non-binding commitments — has dropped to 40th overall ...

University of Miami basketball player Dewan Hernandez, who has missed the first nine games of the se ...

Anthony Solomon will head north for his college football career. The St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker a ...

A day after naming Ephraim Banda and Jonathan Patke co-defensive coordinators, the Miami Hurricanes ...

It doesn’t matter if the number is actually 21 or it’s just what Jeremiah Payton estimates now. Twen ...

Feelings of depression and anxiety rise during the holidays, but there’s plenty you can do to keep u ...

The Foote Fellows Honors Program offers students added flexibility to pursue multiple academic inter ...

Commencement speakers share gems of insight and wisdom as more than 1,000 UM students graduate in tw ...

During a news conference Wednesday, a UM medical team talked about the clinical findings after exami ...

Your one-stop shop for University of Miami fall commencement information. ...

The No. 24/22 Miami women's basketball team turned in another stellar defensive performance Sun ...

Hurricanes Name Banda, Patke Co-Defensive Coordinators; Promote Simpson to Associate Head Coach ...

The Hurricanes hosted their annual Football Awards Show Saturday at Gusman Hall, honoring the 2018 S ...

World Series champion and UM baseball All-American Jon Jay will headline the 2019 First Pitch Banque ...

Fall graduation ceremonies held Thursday at Watsco Center. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.