I just got back from vacation, and like always, the true adventure is getting there and back. Flying is similar to that “box of chocolates”… you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it goes smoothly. Other times, to quote a passenger I overheard yesterday, “It sucks!”
Here are a few things I observed on my way home from my trip:
- Where are the airline employees (Part 1)? My wife and I waited for an hour to check in our bags. I counted 40 passengers lugging and shuffling their bags through the check-in line, and there was only one employee at the ticket counter.
- Keep us “in the dark”. The last flight of our trip home was delayed a half a dozen times. Every few minutes a new departure time would pop up on the board. The only explanation we got was “there’s some sort of mechanical issue”. That was usually followed with, “Don’t leave the gate area”. 2 and a half hours later they shoved us on another plane and we finally took off.
- Where are the airline employees (Part 2)? We finally get home 2 and a half hours late… and there’s no one at the gate. We sit on the tarmac for 15 minutes until workers unload another plane.
- Carry-on battles. My wife and I noticed it’s taking longer to get on and off the plane. As more airlines charge more for checked bags, passengers are cramming bigger and heavier carry-ons in the overhead bins. That’s a recipe for frustration trying to get off the plane, especially if you’re in a hurry to catch another flight.
And it’s frustrating getting on the plane as well. Here’s a typical conversation I have with my wife:
- Me: Hurry, let’s get on the plane.
- Her: Why? We’ll just have to wait there, instead of here.
- Me: I need to find a spot for our carry-ons. The spaces go fast.
- Her: Don’t worry about it. I’m going to sit here until I HAVE to get on.
- Me: Okay.
If you see a man who’s sweating to stuff an over-sized bag into a much-too-small spot in an overhead bin (and his wife snickering 20 rows away), that might be me.
Isn’t flying fun?