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Friday, March 06, 2009

Things that stick in my craw. . .Air Travel Edition

The past couple of months, I spent a LOT of time in airports and on planes.

These are the things that stick in my craw about air travel. . .

Airlines - get your frelling act together! Either charge everyone for everything or stop charging extra for what used to be free. US Airways, on the first leg of one of my flights, was charging for *everything* including water, coffee, tea, sodas, juice and pillows/blankets. So when I got on the next flight, I made sure I had a pre-purchased soda with me. Come to find out, the rest of my flights on US Airways provided FREE water, coffee, tea, sodas and juice, plus we got pretzels. And a pillow if we wanted one.

If you're going to charge the average Joe $15 for the first bag, then charge everyone. It got confusing when on one airline I had to pay, then the next I didn't.

If you're stupid enough to miss your flight, for crissakes, don't take it out on the gate agent across the way. I experienced seeing a woman (who appeared to have been in the bar, if you get my drift) come across the airport to our gate to begin to berate the gate agent that she missed her flight because no one told her the gate changed. The gate agent patiently told this woman an announcement had been made several times. The woman burst into crocodile tears and asked who was going to tuck her children into bed that night and read to them? Then she said they couldn't miss her red hair. The gate agent patiently told her that they don't know what passengers look like, so they wouldn't have been able to flag her down personally. Then the woman cried out, "Who will be with my babies tonight?" At this point, I called my husband, cracking up, and said next she'd claim she was pregnant and who would explain this to her fetus?
It ended up with three TSA agents and three local cops to take this woman away. The rest of us in the gate area had been hoping the woman would start punching someone, but no such luck.

I really wish people would stop rushing up to the gate door when the flight is announced to be ready for boarding. It's like if they get on first, the flight will take off faster. Good lord, people, move away and let the people get on in the order they should be. If you're in Zone 4 and Zone 1 is boarding, move your fat asses. I hate it when I have to weave around people and they get mad at *me* if I bump into them when they're the ones in the darned way.

Next time I'm asked to change seats with a mom who wants to sit with her two kids, I will make sure my new seat is far, far away from them. I was nice enough to do this on a long flight from San Francisco to New Jersey and the boy was right behind me and proceeded to kick my seat for almost the entire flight. I don't care how sweet you think your child is, if they're rude enough to kick the seat in front of them, reach around the seat to grab that passenger (which this kid did and almost grabbed my breast), pull on the seat, put the tray up and down with force and generally can't behave, then you shouldn't be flying with them.

I say the airlines have flights that are all families/all kids only and let people know when booking about this feature. If I knew I was going to be on a plane with kids, I'd opt for a different flight that was all adult.

That being said, when the flight attendants tell you to NOT use your cell phone in flight, DON'T DO IT. On that same long flight, I had two women in head scarves pull their cell phones out mid-flight and begin texting someone. I shit you not. I was on the window, I had the kid behind me driving me crazy and I knew that if I hit the call button, I'd probably lose it. So I ordered a small bottle of red wine, put my headphones in and listened to Keith Urban, very loudly, until I fell asleep for what little time I could before the kicking ensued again (besides hiding my boobs from that kid's grabby hands).

If you are sick and you can't change your travel plans, please keep a tissue or something over your face while your coughing, sneezing, wheezing and whatever else is coming up. I do not want to catch what you have. Thank god for Airborne. Ever since a friend told me about this years ago, my colds/flu have gone down significantly. I used to get sick *every* time I came home from a trip. Not any more.

If I'm in the middle or window seat and need to use the bathroom, don't get all grumpy on me and make it seem like I'm bothering you. Suck it up and let me pass.

If your bag is too big to fit in the overhead, don't have a conniption fit. You should have gate-checked it or just plain old checked it and paid the frelling $15, you ass. You're holding up the flight when you insist on trying to cram your dirty overstuffed undies in the overhead.

If I have earphones in my ears, that means I don't want to be bothered. Period. I don't care how much of a sweet old lady you are.

If you're airport personnel and you can't get the jetway to connect to the plane the first couple of times, please get us off the frelling plane when it's 1 am in the morning and we're all tired and just want to go home. My last flight ended at Manchester, NH airport where the airport personnel just couldn't get that jetway connected to the plane (it wouldn't budge). A half hour later, some idiot got the bright idea to roll some stairs to us so that we could get off. Geez, you think? All this time, three TSA officers were watching us through the windows, just as confused as we were (the TSA guys are in the terminal to the right of the jetway):



Now for a stumper - can anyone tell what's wrong with this photo? If you get it right, I'll be so darned proud of you:

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