I’ve just spent two months running around California. Compared to the way people used to do it — on horseback — the United Shuttle (800-SHUTTLE) is a vast improvement. But compared to air travel as we’ve come to know it — or to competitor SouthWest (800-I-FLY-SWA), it’s awful.

I’m sure this isn’t fair, but apart from any other negative comments one might make (Calcutta comes to mind), my own unscientific conclusion is as follows: on a sunny day, the Shuttle will be half an hour late. If there are clouds, an hour. Rain, between two and three hours. Light fog — canceled.

I realize this comment may not be all that helpful to you. How many people fly from LA to San Francisco to Sacramento on a regular basis? And of those who do, how many could possibly have failed to notice that they are sitting around a chaotic waiting area for hours with several hundred other unhappy people?

I don’t think I’ll rush out and buy UAL stock just yet.

Tomorrow: Super-Savers


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