Four flights, four delays. The thought crept into my head while we waited for the crew who were late for the flight. My job affords me the opportunity to travel across this great nation; however, getting there is a different story. I would describe myself as one that flies regularly, on different airlines. When I was younger, I detested air travel because I feared the irrational — a possible airline disaster. Now I just detest air travel because of the overall experience. Is it just me or has air travel — the experience — been in decline lately? Like cattle or sheep returning to the barn, we, as travelers, go through the same familiar barnyard routine — stressing about getting to the airport on time, waiting in long security lines, only to find out that the flight is delayed, again. I can go on and on, so…
Here are my top 5 gripes about air travel:
1. Delays — My last four flights, four delays. Maybe it’s me. But hey, I am all for airline safety. If there is something mechanically wrong with plane, or there is bad weather imminent, by all means, ground the plane.
• Have you ever boarded the first plane out for the day only to find out there is a problem? Why don’t maintenance and crew inspect the plane BEFORE passengers get on, and, subsequently, off the plane?
• Have you ever been delayed because the crew isn’t even there yet? I made the effort to get there two hours early, why can’t the crew?
• Have you ever been delayed because the restroom didn’t work. How about ants on the plane? No joke, ants. How did they get on there?
• Have you ever had the crew boast about getting you to your destination on time or even early to find out there is another plane sitting at your gate? Fun times.
2. Charges — It seems that everything has a charge now. You want a blanket little girl, that’s $95. You have to check in bags, that’s $75. Whose idea was it to charge for the checking in of bags, anyway? Now everyone carries on a monstrosity of a bag. In groups 3, 4 or 5? Good luck trying to get your bag in the overhead compartment.
3. Comfort — Traveling is not an exercise in comfort these days. From practically disrobing in front of 50 of your closest friends in the security line…Again, I am all for safety! And then you get on the plane and the next thing you know, you are seated next to a fat guy who has fallen asleep and drooling all over you. And I am that fat guy!
4. Atmosphere — Why must you take your shoes off, sweaty man sitting next to me? Why must you chat throughout the entire flight about things I never thought I’d hear, ladies to the left of me? TMI! Why do you seat me next to the crying baby? Why must you sneeze on the back of my neck, bird flu man?
5. Amenities — I’m sorry, but WiFi should free. At every airport. On every plane. I’d rather you just charge me $10 extra for the flight than trying to charge $10 for the use of WiFi. Perhaps I’m getting greedy, but why can’t there be charging stations set up intermittently throughout the airport? I realize that some airports do a better job of this, but I am looking for consistency here people!
This post is based off my experiences flying. I do give huge props to all the men and women in the airline industry that make it work, and work hard at their jobs. I never underestimate the value of safe travels.
Have any travel nightmares?