I’m writing this while standing in line for my zone to board a Delta flight. I’m in Atlanta, connecting to Birmingham. The flight’s been delayed more than an hour, and now a hundred or so passengers are standing in their line because an optimistic gate attendant thought their administrative problems were going to be fixed in short order. They’re still not fixed, and now dozens of people ate getting edgy because they were delayed and now they’ve been standing a while.
First world problems, but that’s not the point. Delta flights have been cancelled and delayed across the country this week—3,000 or more. Why? Thunderstorms and wind grounded Atlanta flights earlier in the week and the ripple effects of that are playing themselves out as planes have been separated from crew members necessary to fly them.
I know the data says something like 90 percent (or more, maybe) of domestic flights are on time and have no problems. But even a small percent is still millions of passengers. I’m not particularly bothered by it—I’ll still get where I need to be with plenty of time.
All of this does have me realizing how likely it is that the Hyperloop (whatever it ends up looking like) will very likely replace huge swaths of demand for domestic travel—an incredibly fast, ground-based, and weather immune transport system that will be fast than flying in most cases.
I hope it arrives in earnest in my lifetime.