"$15 to check one bag? Travelers furious," Times, page one, May 22]

What would happen if all of the airlines went bankrupt? An interesting flight of the imagination. As fuel becomes so expensive that companies are alienating passengers with fee upon fee, what would the world become if, finally, all of the planes landed and never took off again? Would that be so bad?


Maybe trains would come back. Maybe steam engines would chug up mountainsides in a picturesque snapshot of centuries ago. Maybe then they, too, would run out of fuel to feed the flame of travel and people would be reduced to just their cars (if there is even any fuel left by then).
Then what? Horses? Oxen? Bicycles?

I don't know. Would it be so bad to have the skies quiet again, the railroads silenced and the freeways safe for raccoon and deer and roller skaters? Call me quixotic, but I wouldn't mind if we went back a couple of centuries and tried again.—Maura T. Callahan, Snoqualmie

Letters to the Editor – The Seattle Times – May 23, 2008