12/18/2008

My Trip Home...

Every year since I moved to southern California, I've traveled back to South Carolina for Christmas. And every year, my trip home seems to be a comedy of errors. In keeping with what has become a holiday tradition, this year was no different.

But rather than bore you with a blow by blow description of what happened (like I did in years past here and here), I decided that my post-holiday travel blog would be a list. I think it's completely appropriate for me to write a manifesto of what I don't like about the air travel business.

And this is just the list I made on my iPod while sitting at my gate in John Wayne waiting on my delayed flight to Atlanta...

1) Airlines now require you to pay to check your bags. Any of your bags. Really airlines? Really? You want us to pay to check our bags. Our bags that we need to get to where we're going? Isn't that a bit like charging for the paper bags that fast food comes in? Or charging for the seatbelts on a roller coaster? Really? It's $15 for one bag and then $25 for a second. And the worst part is that there's nothing any of us can do to get around it...

2) Higher food prices in the airport. So not only do I have to pay to check my luggage, but I have to pay an extra $2 for something that would coast me $5 if it were just outside of the airport doors. Sheesh... all I wanted was a #2, no pickles...

3) People that travel with their pets. Do you know how big planes are? Not very... It's cramped. For me to exist in the same small space as your precious Ms. Kitty is a little much to ask. Especially since Ms. Kitty has trouble holding in her water for 4 hours. At least we have that in common...

4) Giant people. Now here's the deal: What I'm about to say is a bit mean. I understand why airlines would ask overweight people to pay for 2 seats. The worst (THE WORST) thing that can happen to you on a plane is to be in the middle seat between two people who are leaking over the armrests. You have to know that we're silently screaming...

5) Talkers. I've been given a gift. I have the ability to sleep through almost anything. And I sleep the hardest on airplanes. Of course, this is great since it helps pass the time on flights. However, the natural enemy of the sleeper is the talker. You can try closing your eyes or putting on your headphones, but they won't relent. Maybe I should hang a sign on my neck...

6) Half a soda. Why do flight attendants poor half a soda into a cup when serving drinks? Have you ever said to another human, "Hey, want to split a Diet Coke with me?" Of course not. Just give me the can...

7) Rules about electronics. So let me get this straight, the giant hunk of machine that is the airplane is going to be thrown off its course by the amount of electronic interference put off by my iPod? I feel like this rule is purely arbitrary...

8) Security. This one isn't what you think. Here's what happened. I keep a pocket knife in my computer bag. I knew I couldn't take it on the plane with me, so I put it in one of my two suitcases. Unfortunately, I didn't know about the pay to check rule at the time. So I decided to carry one bag on with me. As I was in line to get through security, I realized the knife was in the bag I was now carrying on. So I just silently decided that, if they asked, I'd just get rid of the knife. As my bag passed through the x-ray, I braced myself. And... nothing. NOTHING! I grabbed my bag, knife included, and got on my plane. What if I would have been a terrorist!?! Good thing I use my powers for good...

And just so that I can offer some balance, here are some things I like about flying...

1) Gate agents with a sense of humor. They just help to make things easier to bear...

2) Skymall catalog. It doesn't matter how many times I fly or how close my departure and return are to each other, I pick up Skymall and read the whole thing every time. I mean, where else can I find the most expensive useless gift items I could ever purchase? Oh, Brookstone? OK. Well... I'm still going to read Skymall...

3) Credit cards on the plane. Finally, the days have passed when I have to pay $7 for a pack of crackers, an apple, and some cheese. Now, I can just charge it. Ahh conveniences...

3 comments:

John Snyder said...

That's why I fly Southwest Airlines. They don't charge for bags and you get free beverages and snacks on the flight. I only fly them now.

Terrace Crawford said...

You are funny man. Great post. I found myself laughing or saying "amen" every time. I have some of the same frustrations.

Have fun in South Carolina! I'll be spending a week in Charleston and Florence.

/TC/

mainerrr said...

I like this post for the following reasons:

1. I HATE that I have to (as a frugal college student) pay to check that first and second bag. I might as well just carry everything in a carry-on. Forget bringing shampoo and conditioner.
2. And then the added inconvenience of expensive starbucks and cashews.
3. The talker/evangelist...

anywyas, thanks for posting everything I wanted to say.

(I might edit this and post a more thorough list that I have compiled...)