In the past couple months I’ve travelled to a few places by plane. Each time I go to the airport, I’m excited about the adventure ahead of me whether it’s surprising my parents on a trip back to Pennsylvania, or finally going on a vacation with my roommates to Myrtle Beach. However, there is SO MUCH I hate about flying and getting through the airport just to get to my dream destination.
1. The preparation- Are you leaving your house/apartment alone? Because the house is empty, all those dumb chores you hate to do have to be done so you’re apartment doesn’t reek of old, dirty, hot trash when you return. Your dishes shouldn’t be left in the sink to grow another roommate from all the old food left on them. You have to throw out any of your old food because it’s probably going to be another color and texture when you return. You practically have to set aside 2 hours to get all of that necessary but totally annoying shit done.
2. Packing– What airline are you taking down? Which one are you taking back? Can you get away with just a carry-on? What qualifies as a “personal item”? 50lbs or less?? Is that possible?! And you can’t have anything over 3 ounces! God forbid if you don’t put it in a separate baggie in case it explodes all over your stuff.
3. Checking in– I don’t even mind waiting in line because I was told to get there a bajillion years before my flight but it’s the nervousness that ensues when you reach the check in counter. Is my bag under 50lbs? What happened if my ID got flagged and I was put on the no-fly list? You can’t even say no when they up-charge you too because they make you feel like a dumb dumb for not doing your “research” ahead of time about what you are and are not allowed.
4. Security- I usually try to only travel with a carry-on if I can help it. But that means no excessive liquids and my laptop better be at the top of my suitcase ready to take out in 30 seconds flat. No one, and I mean NO ONE, has time to wait for you to fumble getting out your ID and boarding pass. They don’t have time for you to try and put your stuff all in one bin. They don’t have time for you to forget that you’re wearing a belt with the tiniest bit of metal or the fact that you’re wearing an underwire bra and they certainly don’t have time waiting for you to put your shoes back on after leaving security. WHAT MADE SECURITY PEOPLE SO GRUMPY!? Se-kurity! Se-kurity! We have a complicated order.
5. Finding your gate- This is the part of flying that I actually really like. Since I arrived about 14 hours early to my flight even though it only took ½ hour to get through security, I now have time to walk around and see what’s what. I have time to find the bathroom, and re-fill my empty water bottle at a fountain. I get to scope out what to buy for a meal or even go into a couple shops and browse through their magazines and pick out some gum. And once you’re all settled, you can find a nice spot in your gate and hunker down. Usually you can plug into their wifi for a hour for free and relax. Maybe read a nice book and make eyes with the cute boys sitting across the gate from you.
6. Boarding the plane- The second your plane evens mentions about boarding the plane, it’s every man for themselves. Despite everyone’s ticket having a number in which they board the plane, everyone and their mom stands up to try and get the best spot in line to board the plane. Why do you want to board that death trap so soon!? Why do you want to be sitting 3 inches away from someone else, squished like sardines with no leg room and breathing recycled air for longer than you have to? Why do that to yourself?! I’ll gladly board the plane last, thank you.
7. Pre-take off– Oh god, I hate having to listen to the safety measures of the plane. Yeah yeah, keep your seatbelt on. Look out for the emergency exits. Your seat cushion floats. Make sure to be selfish and put your air mask on before helping someone else when your plane decides to tank. As a huge fan of LOST, I know exactly how to fight the polar bears on the tropical island we will likely crash on. I’ve got it down pat by now. I typically browse the in-flight magazine while I wait so I can make fun of all the useless crap they’re trying to sell with the most ridiculous pictures accommodating the sale. ….Is this really terrible advice? Don’t listen to me! I’m a bad influence!
8. Take off- taxi-ing around is the worst form of anticipation. And then when you’re finally ready for take-off, everyone grows quiet and breathes deep together knowing what’s about to happen. I furiously chew my gum and close my eyes because I know that as we rise off the ground, the change in air pressure makes me feel awful and nauseous and my ears won’t stop popping. UGH- I hate it.
9. During the flight– This is the plateau part of my in-flight experience. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I read, sometimes I listen to music and wait to get my free drink and crackers. ALTHOUGH NOW SOMETIMES CRACKERS AREN’T FREE EITHER? WHATS UP WITH THAT!? Occasionally, this is where you talk to the passengers next to you and learn their stories. Mostly I just try to find a way to pass the time quickly so I can get off the freakin’ plane.
10. Landing– This is dependent on the weather. I’ve been on a couple smooth flights where I feel like nothing is happening and BOOM I’m on the ground. Other times, we hit turbulence all the way down and I feel like I’m the fish from Finding Nemo that Darla shakes around until it dies. HALLLLP.
11. Dis-embarking the plane– The SECOND the seatbelt line goes off, everyone stands up and tries to get off the plane. You dummies, you can’t get off the plane until 1) they open the doors and 2) until your aisle gets off. There’s no cutting anyone on planes. Don’t be a dick. I don’t understand why they stand with 2 inches of space between their head and the overhead compartments for 20 minutes until it’s their turn to get off. Doesn’t your neck hurt? They were so eager to board the plane but now they can’t wait to get off? Such weirdos. Just make sure to thank the crew on your way off the plane! They kept you from dying and being dehydrated and you owe them at least a thank you!
12. Picking up luggage- Once you finally find your luggage carousel (which can be a task in and of itself), you probably have to wait 20 minutes for it to start spinning. And if you were to think about it, you could take anyone’s luggage you want. No one is there monitoring or checking ID’s when you grab a bag. But again- don’t be a dick and hopefully no one else will be too. I’ve always wanted to sit on one of those carousels… would I get yelled at by security? OOPS.
After this- you’re home free!! Maybe a loved one is there to pick you up or maybe you’re taking a taxi home. But here’s my last piece of airport advice- stick around to see at least ONE airport reunion. They’re hardly ever sad reunion; people are ALWAYS happy to be reunited and it truly is always a genuine reaction. That’s often what restores my faith in humanity after a horrible day of travel.
Does anyone actually LIKE flying? Or does everyone hate it as much as I do? Share your horror stories!
Thanks for reading and make sure to check back on Food for Thought Thursday where I review the ice cream maker attachment made by Kitchen Aid accompanied with a recipe or two! Hasta la pasta!