Friday, July 11, 2008

Why I Hate Flying

I used to love to fly. I would dress in a special outfit, sometimes especially purchased just for flying. You could have friends come rght to the gate with you and it was not unusual to go to the airport just to watch the planes take off while sipping a beverage in the airport bar. While taking off and landing stewardesses would pass out chewing gum so passengers could chew it and relieve the pressure on their ears. Meals required the use of a knife and fork and desert came separately. It was a special time

Times have really changed. Now, you practically need to strip down to your skivvies to get to the gate. Loud mouthed TSA employees order you to do incomprehensible things like separate your laptop from your briefcase or to remove your shoes for the x-ray machine. A couple of times ago I was instructed to remove a fleece jacket because it had a zipper... the zipper was plastic but the TSA guy insisted so the whole world got to see the coffee I had thrown down my front that morning. My last trip started with a three hour delay in taking off. Fortunately the international lounge had seats you could actually stretch out on for a nap.

The flights are fuller and the seats are closer together - both trends are applauded by the airline industry as money making ideas. A glass of ice with a drop of soda is a standard beverage service. If you want more you have to bring it on board with you... however, youcan only buy it within the security cordon and not from home. Pilots have been neglecting to turn off the seal belt sign so the beverage service will not be interrupted. Great if you have a huge bladder, not if you don't. And what's the deal with turning off phones and other electronic devices? There has never been an incident where a consumer electronic has interferred with the safe operation of an airplane.

The recent changes in the baggage rules are just about the worst idea yet. A friends always travels with two mid-size bags as she is too small to haul one big bag. Now she will need to either pay an additional fee to check both bags or figure out how to get the second bag into an overhead compartment with is about a foot above her reach. I much prefer to check as much as I can so this change is a real pain to me... with bursitis in both shoulders I really do mean pain!

What to do?

I know one family that has stopped flying entirely. They have two young sons and although the boys love flying , they both freaked out over the security screening the last time they flew. They are planning cruises from a local port or a motorhome vacation as alternatives. I can't stop flying unless I want to spent days on the road each time I go to visit Dad. I may be spacing out my trips so I have less time opportunity to encounter either TSA or all the new airline rules.

Just when I wanted to stop being a home body!

1 comment:

RPh6cats1dog said...

From the short person. I think this year one of my bags can sit in my seat. I'll stuff myself into the overhead. It might be easier. Think I'll buy a pair of those shoes that have springs for heals and really play with the TSA personell. Sounds like a plan to me.