Hyperbole aside, it is time for those of us who spend vast sums of time in the vacuum sealed metal cylinders to unite against the man. Who in this case happens to be the airline industry.
If at any time as a law abiding citizen you wonder what it is like to be in an environment where just your presence means you must be guilty of something. Just go to the airport some time ticket in hand with not a care in the world. Upon entering the airport you will notice a few things.
The first thing you notice are dower faced TSA agents who scowl at the public they are sworn to protect. They will look at you as if your presence is an admission of guilt. Or that you have ill will in your heart with the intent of nefarious purposes.
The second thing you will notice are the haggard and often ill tempered ticket agents. They are ill tempered because all day they are subjected to the same inane questions and upset public whose complaints range from seat assignments to delayed flights or cancelled flights. Missed connections and lost luggage. Anger abounds over high priced nickel and dime price gouging for overweight fees and luggage fees.
But don't blame them, they are just subject to the rules of their employer. I know it's easy to take it out on them, but seriously save your disdain and anger for the next step in air travel.
The real fun begins when it's time to go through the metal detector or as we know it today the body scanner. Thanks to ill tempered middle eastern gents when you go through security you for fit any and all rights. The Constitution stops at here.
When going through security anything over 3oz is evil and must be thrown away. This includes the water bottle purchased at the convenience stores in the airport even if they are not open.
After you've removed all of the metal and computers and cpap machines it time to remove your shoes and walk across a patch of carpet that has never seen soap and water. And if you're lucky and are not subjected to a very personal pat down you may collect your things and move on to the gate for boarding.
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be stuffed into pig intestines to make sausage you will get your chance.
Because when it's time to board and if your the 10th person on a flight, you might as well kiss your leg space good bye. Because by the time you board all of the over head space will be taken by roller boards. What a roller board you ask? Well, let me enlighten you. A roller board is a fancy name for a suitcase that has wheels and can be taken on board and placed in the overhead space. If you're lucky and on a plane that is larger than an envelope the overhead can accommodate 2 maybe 3 roller boards. But usually one will do it. Turned sideways so the overhead door can close.
And after all of that it's time to share your personal space with somewhere between 50 and 300 of your closest strangers.
Trust me air travel is not for the weak or timid.
Give you an example. A few weeks back, I was flying home. I was delayed in DFW to the point I knew I would miss my connection in MSP. But being a 100k flyer I was booked on the next flight home, which because the next day was a Saturday I would not be home until early afternoon.
But when I landed in MSP my flight home was delayed also. Now being a frequent flier I was not concerned because I had my ticket in hand. But when I got ready to board my seat had been given away. Needless to say the next 30 minutes I fought and fought to get on the plane. It took me telling them my status with the airline to get on the plane.
Now I have a gift. I can sleep on any plane for the entirety of the flight. Usually I wake up just in time for landing. And this flight was no exception. Except this time when I woke up instead of getting ready to land i find out the plane was turning around and returning back to MSP. Why you ask? Good question. Because the pilots didn't bother to get a weather report from my home own airport.
Now everyone on the plane knew it was clear skies and 32 degrees with no wind or weather. Hell, even the pilots knew that, but because they couldn't get a hold of the tower they had to turn around. Why couldn't they get a hold of the tower?? Because the tower personnel goes home at 10pm.
But rest assured I was not worried because I still had a ticket for the first flight out which still put me home early enough to still enjoy the weekend. But when we landed I find out that a ticket had been cancelled and now instead of getting home at 1pm I now won't get home until 4pm. Weekend shot.
Only upside, I got a free of charge hotel room.
Not for the timid or the weak.
Road warriors UNITE!!