Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weekend 3 way: air travel

It's 9:26 PM and I'm still trying to get organized so that when my alarm goes off at 5:45 AM I'm ready to get up and go, ready to go hop in the taxi headed to the airport so that my daughters and I can catch a flight (and then another) to my mom's house in Florida.

It will be a long day, no doubt.

So with this on my mind tonight, my question is what are your most and least favorite things about air travel?

Least favorite:
Going through security. No matter how hard I try to keep up, there's always some rule that I've broken, some tiny bottle of contraband I forgot about, or a see-through plastic bag that does not meet the absurd size regulations. It's enough to drive you mad.

Most favorite: When you arrive at your destination on time (it does happen sometimes) and there's that almost palpable feeling of anticipation for whom you're going to see, or what you're going to do while there. It makes the security line (almost) worth it.

I haven’t been on an airplane since January 2001. Can you believe that? We flew to Connecticut from Key West after Bill’s dad died 18 days into our travels. And after the funeral and some great family time, we flew back. A jet from New York to Miami, a puddle jumper from Miami to Key West, and there was our beloved Westy, bicycles and all, sitting there patiently waiting for us, in the Key West airport parking lot.

That said, I used to travel by air a lot, for fun and for work. My favorite thing about air travel is flying to Asia, business class. The flight is long but the service is incredible – or at least it was in the 90s. Great food, great wine, comfortable chair/beds, but who wants to sleep? There’s more good food and good wine coming. I never wanted those flights to end.

My least favorite thing about air travel is taking a nasty fall, bruising my coccyx, getting on a plane bound for La Rep├║blica Dominicana, and sitting on the plane, on the runway, for 3 hours. Going nowhere. Boy oh boy does a body stiffen up. Having the patience of, I don’t know, Job?, and being able to focus fully on a book, are air travel advantages that usually come in really handy. But when your butt and back are twisted into a posture only a masochistic contortionist could love, and you’re in the cheap seats, you’re screwed.


When I'm traveling solo, air travel does not bother me one bit. I have a book in hand, keep my carry on items light and wheely, and I'm good to go. Sadly, I almost never fly solo anymore. There are so many things to hate, how can I choose but one? I guess it's just the general waiting. Waiting for security, waiting to board, waiting to take off, waiting for snacks, waiting for the seatbelt light to go off, waiting to land, waiting to get off the plane, waiting for baggage, ugh. The kids have neither met nor heard of Job, and they are woefully lacking in his emulation.

The good part, of course, is that you get to go somewhere!

Have a great trip, Beth! Isn't your new husband with you too?


Anonymous said...

There is not one thing I enjoy about flying. It used to be fun... what happened? Besides 9-11 that is. Will be flying next week-end and there were no straight through flights to corn country so have to change planes.. that makes it even worse, even though I travel light.

The Blue Ridge Gal

NCAA basketball fan said...

Sorry about your Huskies...sometimes home court makes all the difference.

man with a bass 4 kids and a wife said...

Just as I thought Ellie, bourgeoisie to the max

van=proletariat mercedes=bourgeoisie

UNC rules btw

KG said...

Argh I loathe air travel. I remember when it used to be a tolerable experience. Now it's a bus in the sky, including the fat or obnoxious seatmate. My least favorite thing is that I inevitably end up with some freak show next to me. EVERY TIME. I look at the cast of characters standing around the terminal and think, "Who's the biggest freak?" Once I locate that person, I can bet on that person sitting next to me on the flight.