Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Route

When airlines determine the price of an international flight, they do so with an economic model that is most closely analogous to cutting off a chicken’s head, throwing it into a running centrifuge and seeing how many feathers come flying out. That is to say, it makes very little sense. A flight from DC to Casablanca, for instance, will set you back about $1,400. Another flight, on the same airline, from Portland to Madrid, is less than half that. And a third flight, from Portland, to LA, to Bogota, to Madrid, is $800. It’s a blood-and-feather-spattered matrices of figures as long and as wide as there are cities on earth and dollars in your wallet.

It’s kind of fun, though. Having financed college, and never owning my own car, plane trips are the biggest ticket item I’ve ever spent my money on. And like any childish, novelty-obsessed itinerant, all the potential ratios of dollars spent to miles covered has enthralled me. I nearly had a stroke one year when I found a route from my school in Auckland to my home in Portland that included a free layover in Fiji.

As far as I can tell, there are no routes directly into Casablanca from anywhere in the US. All of them are routed through Europe. And a person would have to have pretty poor priorities in life to touch down in Europe and then immediately leave without poking around a little. So the route into Casablanca that I’ve settled on is this:

Everything between Madrid and Casablanca, obviously, will be done overland.

Honestly – look at everything around Casablanca. Simply flying in without taking in the scenery would be like leading a blindfolded child into Disneyland and putting them onto a single ride. Wasteful.

If my rambling weren’t evidence enough, I’m pretty excited about this whole thing. Looks like my parents and sisters are going to come and visit over spring break of next year, too. And my most adventurous little cousin will be studying in Senegal. Awww family.


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