Just recently my husband and I took a road trip to Calgary and will soon undertake another to Arizona. In an age where more and more people are choosing to fly to destinations (including ourselves), it was a refreshing change. The phrase “convenience of flying” no longer seems applicable as it’s becoming more and more of a hassle to fly.
As the number of fliers increases, so does the time required to get luggage tagged, boarding passes verified (even if you printed them at home) and security cleared. I don’t mind this part as these are necessities to keep things on schedule and safe. What I do mind is the increase of inconsiderate fliers, and a disproportionate number of them always seem to be on my flight.
First of all there is the person who blocks the aisle as he or she tries to squeeze a carry-on measuring 25” X 30” into an overhead bin which is only 20” high. Then the aisle blocker decides to take off his jacket, fold it neatly and place it carefully in the bin. (Because we all know that it will remain in that pristine manner after several more passengers shove their belongings into that same space.)
But just as I think I can pass by and get to my seat, the aisle blocker realizes that his glasses and passport are in that jacket, so out it comes again, the items are retrieved, only to have the entire folding process take place once again. By this time the line up to board is backed up to the Tim Horton’s which is five gates down the concourse.
Once I do get seated, there is always the mystery of who will seated next to me. Usually there is a sneezer or cougher within the near vicinity. As the germ incubator hacks away, I just silently pray that they do not have anything too contagious.
Sometimes I get stuck with a chatty person when all I want is peace and quiet. I usually smile and nod, and open a book hoping the chatterer will get the hint, but most often that’s not the case. It’s then that I can either feign sleep or just slap on my big soundproof headphones (by far one of the best investments I’ve ever made).
I prefer to book an aisle seat as I like to get up and stretch my legs, but it does bug me when the person with the window seat pulls down the shade just as the flight passes over Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon. There really should be some rule to prevent that!
I don’t mind children on the flight and I quite understand when they become tired and frustrated and start crying. Sometimes I feel much the same way! But I draw the line when people allow their children to karate kick and punch the back of my seat.
When I encounter these situations I just try to close my eyes and go to my happy place, and wish that I had some booze to add to my tea.
Although road trips take longer, I can tilt back my seat, let the radio blare, sing along with wild abandon (until my husband tells me to tone it down) and enjoy the nice snacks that I have packed. We can stop to take in the view whenever we want and we chat or have quiet time when we want.
But even as I write this article, I am packed for my next flight. Driving just isn’t an option when crossing the Atlantic!