Once upon a time in a magical land called New York, there was a dog named Hendrix. One day, Hendrix’s family decided to move to Phoenix. They packed their bags and got on a plane, excited to start a new life in a new city. However, when the plane landed, Hendrix was nowhere to be found! Where on earth was Hendrix? Hendrix was in Ireland. The good folks at United Airlines put him on the wrong plane, sending him on a fourteen hour detour to The Emerald Isle. Poor pup didn’t even get to do any sightseeing!
Hendrix has since been reunited with his family and is doing fine, but his harrowing tale has reminded me of just how much I hate flying. From the shared ride vans to the security pat-downs, the whole process makes me nervous. Here are a few of the many, many reasons why.
1. No Airport Shuttle In The History of The World Has Ever Been On Time
They’re either a half hour early or forty minutes late. So, I am either at the airport three hours before boarding or hauling ass to the gate. I understand traffic patterns can be unpredictable, but if you make a living driving people to the airport, shouldn’t you have some idea of how long it takes?
2. Accidentally Ending Up On The No Fly List
We live in a post-9/11 world. Airport security is no joke. The rules are in place to protect us and I completely understand their importance. Yet, sometimes I find the line between acceptable item and No Fly territory to be a bit blurry. I’m never wholly certain what constitutes a liquid and I’d rather not end up in a back room being cavity searched for carrying on some chapstick.
3. Last Minute Gate Changes
One time I almost missed my flight because I was at the wrong gate. I had, per usual, arrived extremely early and at some point between my check in and boarding, the gate changed. They never announced it, because all of the normal people on my flight checked in at a reasonable hour after the change had been made. It wasn’t until ten minutes before boarding when no one was at my gate that I realized something was up. For a split second I thought I had the plane all to myself, though, which would have been cool.
4. Knowing Someone On My Flight
This is one of my biggest fears. If I’m traveling alone, I’m mentally prepared for some me-time. If we’re not close enough to have figured out beforehand that we’re on the same flight, I probably don’t want to go on this journey with you. I’m sorry, but I really hate awkward small talk and it stresses me out to have to come up with things to talk about at baggage claim when I’m trying to remember what shade of blue my suitcase is.
5. Sitting Next To The Worst People On The Planet
I’ve endured them all: the nervous flyer who screams at every bump, the couple making out the entire flight, the oversized man who falls asleep on your shoulder, the woman with the screaming child who she refuses to discipline. People are the worst! Why are they all so awful and why do they all have to pick the seats next to me?
6. Having To Wake Someone Up To Pee
I don’t sleep on planes. I’m just not built for it. I am, however, built for peeing every hour on the hour. Every time I fly, I stupidly pick the window seat, thinking if I have something to lean on I’ll have a better shot at sleep. It never works though and I wind up having to wake up the poor people next to me every time I have to pee. Waking up strangers is so invasive and weird. I think I might officially convert to aisle. We’ll see. It’s a pretty big decision.
7. Of All The Seats On This Plane, I Get The One With The Broken TV
Batteries only last so long. At a certain point in a long flight, I am forced to turn to the in-flight entertainment. On every plane I’ve ever been on, there has been one seat with a broken TV. It’s like winning the lottery, but the opposite. It happened to me once on an international flight and I’ve never been so bored in my life. To make matters worse, everyone around me was watching sports, so I couldn’t even listen through my headphones and watch their TV. Sigh.
8. Missing My Connecting Flight
I try my hardest to avoid connecting flights, but sometimes they’re unavoidable. If forced to, I try to find a connecting city where I know at least one person with a couch I can crash on. Getting stranded alone in a strange city and having to handle the stress of finding a hotel, new flight, etc. all by myself would probably end in tears. Either mine, or whichever unlucky airline employee is tasked with handling my crazy.
9. Lost Luggage
I always check a bag. Always. I will never be someone who can cram a week’s worth of travel into a carry on. Every time I check a bag, though, I run the risk of it ending up in Ireland, like ol’ Hendrix. Though, even if I were to cram my life into a carry on, a lot of lost luggage is the result of having to check a carry on when the overhead bins are full. So I guess either way we’re screwed. Yay for airline efficiency!
10. Crashing On The LOST Island
All of it, especially Season Two.
Feature image is a screenshot from the film Bridesmaids, which I found here.