Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is Convenience a Right?

I read this and wanted to scream. Convenience is not a right and the current growth in the number of canceled and delayed fights cannot be simply explained by accusing the airlines of not caring about the consumer.

I never flew prior to 9/11, so I expect delays and inconvenience and lost baggage and I still love to fly every chance I get. I've been told I have no idea how different flying used to be, which is true. I don't doubt that it could be so much better, but flying is a privilege and privileges are not rights!

Mostly, I don't like the idea of Congress passing a "bill of rights" for air travelers because it muddies the waters so to speak. A right is something that you have by virtue of your existence as a human being. It cannot be taken away and when infringed upon is an injustice. Things such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights.

However, no passenger should have his or her health recklessly endangered by a travel service that they have paid handsomely to use; and sitting on the tarmac for 9 plus hours in the heat with little food or water and poor toilet facilities is a potential health risk. If Congress wants to ensure that delays do not risk someone health more power to them, but for the love of all that's good a sane don't call that legislation a "bill of rights." Safety regulations are just that, regulations.

When we start describing things that are not basic human rights as rights we degrade the value of our real rights and create a lack of moral clarity about what our rights truly are. If we are to preserve our rights for future generations we need to stop calling everything we want a right.

1 comment:

Steve said...

AMEN! I couldn't have said it better.

In this season of heightened political rhetoric, it's amazing that we haven't been "triggered" to death by all the trigger words and phrases that are thrown around by all the manipulators running for public office.

It's now trickling down and soaking the very fabric of our society!