Travel Days and I Don’t Get Along Anymore
“I ain’t gettin’ on no plane, fool.” Mr. T knows my pain. Travel days are probably up there with wisdom teeth removal and liver and onions. It wasn’t always like that. I used to love air travel. Everything about getting on an airplane was thrilling – the new airports, the takeoffs and landings, the views from 30,000 feet – everything had a certain excitement to it. I still love to travel and see new places, but now the actual act of travel fills me with dread. I guess, after logging thousands upon thousands of miles around the planet, I could care less – the coolness factor has most certainly worn off. Now, I dread travel days.
Between the slow as molasses process of checking bags and heading through security, I feel like I need to arrive 2+ bourse before my flight. Even when I have gobs of time, I still wind up stuck behind someone at the TSA screening checkpoint who doesn’t understand what “remove all items from your pockets” means. By the time I get through and am struggling to replace my shoes and belt , I’m already in a foul mood. Throw in an overpriced beer and before you know it, it’s time for the cattle call of boarding. A friend of mine recently observed how inefficient the system is. Why do they board planes front to back? It makes no sense at all. And ever since the airlines started charging for baggage, those little rolling suitcases annoy the crap out of me. Watching some dude try to stuff one of those into the overhead bin next to my laptop bag makes my blood boil. One day, someone is going to break something in my bag, and one day, I’m going to get arrested and hauled off a plane for beating some twat senseless.
Finally snug in my seat (and by snug I mean compressed into a space half my size), I’m ready for takeoff. The actual flying part wouldn’t bother me that much if the aforementioned seating accommodations were adequate, but they’re not. Sigh. Once I’ve landed, my nose is full of blood and boogers and my ears are screaming in pain (the pressure also causes me to go more deaf than I already am). Wait for baggage or switch planes and rinse and repeat until I arrive. Yuck. Just typing it makes me want to curl up in a ball and stick to railroads.
Every time I hear the airlines whine and cry about the loss of business post-9/11 or how their operating costs are eating them alive, I have the same thought, “let ’em collapse.” Let’s start our airline system over – press reset and start again. Bring in companies like RyanAir and EasyJet and let them, along with Southwest Airlines, rule the skies. Sure, my seat won’t get any bigger, but at least I won’t have a gun to my head as I am forced to empty my wallet in a pricing system that has never made sense. It used to cost me less to travel from Los Angeles to London Heathrow than it did to hop from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Someone please explain it to me. I’m all pressurized ears.
Tomorrow is a travel day – wonder why this is one my mind?