Mac Gordon: Where holiday travel was pleasant

The chaos that confused America’s transportation programs during the recent vacation year extended much past airport terminals.

But, as for flight journey, it  will probably be a long time just before Southwest Airways overcomes inadequacies in controlling flight schedules disrupted by the disastrous winter climate.

Southwest trotted out its hierarchy for apologies to the discordant passengers stacked up like cordwood in terminals nationwide. The airline did appease some homesick travelers with the apologies and guarantees of reduced fees for potential airline visits.

Our grand ideas to contact the two ends of Mississippi earth through the holidays, very first on the southern line and afterwards the northern footprint, ended up scuttled by an inch of snow in DeSoto County. That compelled a delay of quite a few weeks for a planned Xmas celebration in my family’s rural environs southeast of Olive Branch.

So, we returned to thankfully-dry Interstate 10, exactly where countless numbers of automobiles packed to the gills with Xmas gifts jockeyed for place along the 2,460 miles of this American autobahn.

If you must be on an American interstate through weather conditions-connected trying occasions, I-10 by Florida is the spot to be. Florida appreciates what pleases the motoring public: Loads of cleanse relaxation stops, a number of state and local legislation keepers overlooking the action, road surfaces seemingly always in leading issue, servicing crews constantly working  to resolve deficiencies and  the common blue skies causing Florida to be recognized as the “Sunshine State.”

If your motor vehicle has a technique failure on the state’s interstate highways, the Florida Office of Transportation’s crew of unexpected emergency very first-responders will descend on you in minutes to modify a tire, diagnose mechanical problems or provide desired gasoline. You can see them unfailingly on the transfer looking for tourists in will need of a assisting hand.

Couple states go to the cost of delivering this no-value company for motorists, but you have to fully grasp that Florida is major about motorists’ vehicular transportation. So is Georgia, which supplies comparable favors to the general public. Can you even think about Mississippi govt attempting this sort of an initiative?

These points preserve Florida at or in close proximity to the prime of “most visited states” lists, despite the fact that this kind of rankings can be fluid. A ranking compiled by just one tourist-tracking organization reveals Florida as frequented by 61% of Americans, followed by New York, 55% California, 54% Texas, 52% and Pennsylvania, 48%.

Mississippi’s position on the list tells that only 27% of present-day People in america have visited our condition, considerably greater than the base rung state of Alaska, 13% of citizens North Dakota, 15% and Idaho, Montana and Nebraska at 19% every. Which is a paltry ranking for Mississippi, which was formerly recognized as the “Hospitality Point out,” but not so a great deal these days.

One particular of Mississippi’s major inadequacies is the simple act of holding motorists’ pit stops clean up. The larger sized welcome centers bordering other states do a decent position with this activity because they have the needed staff, but numerous of the more compact rest stops in internal Mississippi are seemingly incapable of maintaining tidy restrooms.

A single of the most chaotic scenes we witnessed in the course of our holiday break tour arrived at a large comfort retail store at the Mississippi-Alabama line on U.S. 98, just inside of Alabama. A mammoth outlet had accurately 1 worker seeking to take care of 20 fuel pumps, none of which would settle for any kind of payment card outside the house the shop.

Gasoline clients were being pressured to go inside, in which a different mob of buyers was hoping to fork out for items and incredibly hot foodstuff products. The young, harried clerk was entirely overwhelmed by the havoc in the shop.

I typically ponder whether or not proprietors of such enterprises recognize the variety of revenue dropped thanks to situations like that just one.

Mac Gordon is a native of McComb. He is a retired newspaperman. He can be achieved at [email protected].