Just don’t do it (not feeling the flying love, actually)

I didn’t take my first airplane flight until I was 23 years of age.  It was a time (yeah, it was after spats and in the early years of the push-button phone) when people actually dressed up to fly.  Flying was special, a treat reserved for important-looking-brief-case-carrying-besuited men and rich kids on vacation.  I flew laced, pin-pointed and blazered.  I had no briefcase but I knew Aladdin’s joy.  I was given a meal and as much coke-cola as I wanted.  My bags were checked, my ticket was punched amidst smiles and aisles.

My memory of flying coincides with the closing scenes of ‘Love, Actually’.  Families, lovers, friends hug-a-mug happily embracing.  The entire fam  comes out to meet you at the gate, and if a kid snuck under a rope to see his mom or dad disembark, no one gets shot or detained in a concrete room with a cell phone that can’t penetrate the mass.

I’m not a frequent flyer.  At best, I’m in the air 3 or 4 times a year.  I can’t imagine going through the morass of modern flying more than that.  I pity the foolish scheduled weekly flyers.  They shall see the kingdom of heaven on time, with free drinks.

The process of flying has become loathsome.  It is a process.  We are meat, we are cattle, and we are not golden.  We are extra-charged, bumped, bullied, stripped of clothing, treated like terrorists, delayed and delayed again. Our flights are cancelled, re-gated, de-gated, and de-bated.  The second bag now costs $25.00 to check.  I won’t be surprised if we have to pay for the oxygen mask to appear when the cabin pressure drops as precipitiously as the fun that used to be flying.

On my flight to and from Chicago this weekend, peanuts would have cost me three damn dollars had I asked for them.   The seats, in which I spent 1 and 1/2 hours tarmac-ed,  are made for rear ends the size of mine (I have none).  I pray for a seat-mate that will not be zero to my one, making for a sloppy ten.   I pray that my bags actually appear.  I feel happy when my plane takes off only an hour late.  I’m impressed when the flight isn’t cancelled.

I try to find pants I can wear without a belt when I’m going to fly the once-friendly skies.  My shoes don’t have laces, and when my jeans are more relaxed than I had intended, I stand rapper-like, holding the folds of my jeans, hoping my pants won’t fall as quickly as my pride while being singled out for special wand-ing.  Abracadabra…I hate flying.

I’m not stupid enough to call for one of those boycott days.  People are gonna fly.  Business must be done, but I do wish the next time you think you need to fly someone that you don’t.  You stay close to home.  You write the airlines and tell them why you’re not flying.   Your grounded state may not last forever, or even a year, but for now..you’ve had ENOUGH.



Filed under tales of stupidity

10 responses to “Just don’t do it (not feeling the flying love, actually)

  1. Couldn’t you have waited until next week — after I’d flown to Costa Rica — to post this? 🙂 You’re right, of course, and it only serves as a reminder of what I’ll be going through next weekend.

  2. Well, hmmmm…I’ve gotta tell ya…I flew Southwest to DC last week, and with the exception of the plane being completely packed to the gills, it was pretty painless. Both legs left on time and the return flight actually arrived 10 minutes early!

    Perhaps I was flying in a time warp that day…but it just wasn’t bad.

    Were you flying Southwest?


  4. Hi Hutch. Good to see you.

  5. I missed you, you hippie.

  6. I used to travel a few times a year – and that was about it – but lately it’s way less than that. I get a kick out of watching these defenders of freedom doing a random strip search of the occasional great-grandmother slash freedom fighter. I’m thinking about wearing crocs with my jeans next time. At least there’s no sole for them to try to peel off looking for contraband.

  7. oh, i dunno. it’s a hassel, then again- aren’t we pretty lucky to be living in a time and place where this is amongst our worries? i mean, dude, we aren’t walking days to reach a nearby city or riding uncomfortable, expensive horses. come to think of it we aren’t living in a collection of huts and eating only what we can grow and/or barter for.

    i dunno, dude. shouldn’t we be grateful for the blessing of being hasseled as a huge technological marvel whisking us 1000s of miles in mere hours so that we can see places or visit people we never would have been able to know otherwise?

  8. I flew this past weekend for the first time since 1997. It was a great experience all around. Mostly ontime…smooth flights…I even got peanuts that I didn’t ask for, nor pay for, on the flight from Dallas to Nashville. Woo.

    I usually am a nervous wreck when flying but this flight was the most enjoyable ever. Even so, when I was delayed a little in DFW on the way home (not that bad) I had the thought of “I’m glad I don’t have to do this all the time. It would get old.”

    Oh…the security people at the San Antonio airport are WAY nicer than the ones at BNA.

  9. When are you coming to the ‘Hood sos we can do lunch? And when you do, bring John W. with you. I miss him.

  10. I’m so glad you are back on the blogosphere radar again. 🙂

    And I totally agree. To pay the prices we’re paying for airfare only to be treated like cattle is something the airlines need to be looking into as their customer base continues to drop. And I understand the need for security, but it has gotten absolutely ridiculous.

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