I recently flew for the first time since the COVID lockdown. Even though I’ve been on more flights than I can remember, my prolonged hiatus from air travel gave me a fresh perspective on flying. Here are a few of my observations:
They really do treat us like cattle.
You realize after some time away just how much the entire airport is set up to herd us through the security chutes and on to our holding pen at the flight gate before corralling us onto the plane. And like cattle we willingly go along with all the searching and prodding, or at least we better. If we’re too aggressive, we get removed from the herd.
Why do they not load the back of the plane first?
The cattle analogy ends when we start boarding the plane, because I don’t know anyone who would attempt to load cattle on a trailer the way airlines put us on a plane. Wouldn’t it be so much faster to let the people sitting in the back get on the plane first?
Why are people in such a hurry to get on the plane anyway?
You ever notice how people jump up from the waiting area to be the first in line to get on the plane? You can even upgrade your ticket to get in an earlier boarding group. I don’t see the appeal. One, we’re all getting there at the same time, so what’s your rush? Two, the seats are assigned, so, again, what’s your rush? Three, those early boarders have to sit there while the rest of us squeeze by them bumping their elbows with our overstuffed carry-on bags as we make our way to the back of the plane. Why would you pay extra for that?
Where are the life vests, exactly?
Why do flight attendants still do the safety presentation? No one is paying attention. It’s probably a law, but if it has to be done, shouldn’t it be a little more informative? The attendants do a fantastic job with precisely demonstrating how to fasten a seat belt, but then they just breeze over the exact location of the life vest.
Why didn’t I pack my own snacks?
There is no food in the airport. There are lots of restaurants, but most are out of almost everything. You’ll know the restaurants that do have food by the long, long lines of people who obviously have a very extended layover with hours to kill.
Mask compliance and flight delays do not go together.
The longer the flight is postponed, the more the masks start coming off.
Driving is not so bad.
The prolonged absence from air travel did not make my heart grow fonder. For my next trip, I’m hitting the road.