One of the most significant changes in my life over the past three years is the amount of flights I find myself taking. I’m at the airport far more than I ever have been, both for business and leisure travel.

And I’m not alone. Many consumers are relishing the freedom to roam the world again now that the threat of COVID-19 has diminished. But they’re having a terrible time getting to those world destinations.

Flying in 2023 means dealing with all kinds of complications and frustrations, both in the air and on the ground.

Last week, for example, Delta announced changes to its SkyMiles program. In 2025, it will be more difficult for SkyMiles members to achieve elite status with the airline. The changes will also cut off or limit access to the Sky Lounges for many customers and remove the option to boost status for some credit card holders.

Loyal Delta fliers have responded ... passionately.

While I’m nowhere near Medallion status, these changes affect even infrequent fliers like me. I opened a Delta-branded credit card specifically for the SkyLounge access. The Sky Lounge is really just a glorified hotel lobby with a mediocre continental breakfast, but it’s far better than waiting around at the gate where, more often than not lately, there are no seats. The real perk, though, is the Diet Coke is free and on tap and not $17 like it is at any airport spot. I’ll be devastated if I can’t use that soda fountain anymore.

But the SkyMiles changes aren’t even close to the top of the problems-with-flying list.

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In August, The New York Times ran a story about the near-collisions of commercial airplanes which included this cheery quote: “Current and former air traffic controllers said in interviews that close calls were happening so frequently that they feared it was only a matter of time until a deadly crash occurred.”

I don’t love that sense of impending doom that I have absolutely no control over.

Also, earlier this month, a flight from Atlanta to Barcelona was diverted after a passenger had a digestive emergency and failed to reach the bathroom in time, resulting in a biohazard for everyone aboard.

I know this isn’t technically the airline’s fault, but it would be nice if there were more than two bathrooms on planes carrying hundred of people at a time.

Meanwhile, flight delays are up and airlines have staffing shortages. At the end of last year, Southwest Airlines canceled 16,700 flights and left more than 2 million passengers stranded in the midst of severe weather and software glitches. Just last week a Swiss International Airlines flight departed without a single piece of luggage aboard.

All of these events, on top of the already terrible flying experience with cramped seating, limited luggage space and filthy surfaces, have made flying feel like a less-glamorous version of taking a bus in the sky. Departure and arrival times have become best guesses, there’s a not-zero chance that our plane will collide with another, our prized points suddenly don’t matter, and we’re all just one bad airport chicken sandwich away from becoming a biohazard.

I don’t want to wax too philosophical here, but it’s almost as though, after a century plus of humans taking to the skies, the skies have decided to fight back. Even as airlines thrive with the post-pandemic return to travel, the flying experience keeps getting worse for consumers.

But what choice do we have, you may ask, when business or pleasure calls us to the other side of the country or the world? Aren’t we stuck flying, which is why airlines can get away with making the experience so bad?

I’m here to remind you we are never without choices, at least not when it comes to domestic travel.

Might I suggest that we return to train travel? On the ground. Where humans belong.

Why not take a train from Salt Lake City to New York City’s Penn Station? Sure, it’s a 61-hour journey, but the leg room is ample, the seats recline, and, as far as I can tell, there is very little danger of either experiencing or creating a biohazard.

Plus, think of the time you can have to yourself. Sixty-one hours, alone, unplugged, in a comfortable seat, taking in all the sights this great nation has to offer with a gentle chuga chuga choo choo hypnotically lulling you into a relaxed train trance.

Tell me that doesn’t beat eating a $45 sandwich on the airport floor while you wait to board.