Could They Make Flying Any More Uncomfortable?
Written by: Kuki
Ever since “way back when” I’ve had a fear of flying. They have me as soon as we pull up to the airport. What were they thinking making me look at a large sign declaring “TERMINAL” ?
It never got to the point that I would refuse to fly, but every time I have to fly my palms get sweaty, I need a heavy dose of antiperspirant, so my shirt doesn’t look like I was strolling in a hurricane after landing. And as I board the airplane my butt cheeks squeeze together so hard I could carry my spare change there. Not at all the best characteristics for a travel writer.
And that was even in the “old days” before the airlines began to squeeze the seats together to fit more passengers into the spaces designed for less, and when they used to pass out almost edible meals on longer flights, which would keep me occupied for at least some of the trip. It’s much worse these days when you have a choice of purchasing diarrhoea causing food at airport kiosks, or, if you forgot, you can buy it on the airplane. Either way the results are the same… people always standing in line for the upright casket-sized washrooms onboard.
Inevitably my seat is across from the casket, and the odour emanating from it always reminds me of this guy in high school who I always got stuck sitting near, who hadn’t bathed since pre-school. We called him Chuckie because being within smelling range of him made you want to chuck.
It has surely taken the airlines much time and much thought to determine what other things they could come up with to make sure their customers arrive to their destinations totally miserable.Their latest attempts to reach this goal began with placing weight limits on passengers checked baggage. Though we passengers grumbled somewhat, we adapted, and we simply packed less.
After a time most of the airlines, as a group, seemed to grow quite depressed at our lack of outrage and lack of backlash to their weight limit restrictions. They felt the only way for to them to really rile us up was to begin charging for any checked bags. The airline execs must have enjoyed watching videos of people bringing carry-on bags the size of a Prius, banging them against their fellow passengers as they passed down the aisle, as they seeminlgy made it policy to quit using those little metal boxes at the counter with signs telling passengers their carry-ons must fit that space.
And while the airline executives filled boardrooms laughing at that tactic, and slapping each other on the back, one of them came up with yet another idea with which to “slap us around”; and the idea to charge for checking in at the airport was born. They thought it was just wonderful… like selling you a ticket to a concert, and then charging you if you actually want to attend.
I wish I’d had a job where the most important part of my day would have been for me finding inventive and amusing ways to torture my clientele. If that had been the case I’d have stuck around just for the entertainment value.
I have no choice but to fly, and tolerate the indignations they place upon us during the experience. Are you flying less as a result of all these changes? Are you looking for cruise embarkation cities nearby to avoid flying? Or are you, like me, burying your face in your chest and shuffling through the airport like the accepting downtrodden client, waiting to hand over your credit cards to cover the next new charge they’re going to invent?
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Posted: July 14th, 2009 under Kuki.