Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Dangers of Flying

Air travel certainly ain't what it once was. Flying used to be elegant and civil, now it's a voluntary exercise in misery. Personal electronic devices can only make one forget that they are riding in a cattle car with tacky tourists for so long before the reality of the situation sinks in. Eventually you'll get fed up with the walrus sitting next to you who is taking up your arm rest simply because they cannot fit within the confines of their own seat, or the inconsiderate sloth who insists on reclining their seat all the way back, shrinking your precious leg room to less than you'd get in a coffin. 

Of course, all of that is after you get on the plane. There are thousands of aggravations before you even reach that point. There is the ridiculous security measures with their silly rules. For no apparent reason, children under 12 and adults over 75 don't have to take off their shoes, because obviously a terrorist wouldn't take advantage of that. Then there are those controversial x-ray machines, which now they are phasing out just as people stopped complaining about them. But one rule that never changes is the one about leaving your bag unattended. That one has been around forever.

While in the airport the other day, as I approached my gate, there were several TSA agents standing around a blue suitcase sitting by itself on a chair. Ten minutes later, a moron walks over to it, sipping on a freshly purchased drink. 

"Sir, is this your bag?"
"Yeah, why?"
"You can't leave your bag unattended."

Seriously, has this person never flown before? And even if he didn't know that, would you want to leave it unattended, or do you not care if it gets stolen? The bag had wheels. He could easily have wheeled it with him to buy his soft drink. Instead, he had to wait around while three officers questioned him as his bag was swept for explosives.

Then it's on to the plane where every idiot brings a suitcase-sized carry-on since the airline charges to check any bag on domestic flights. The overhead compartments fill up immediately and tensions rise while flight attendants urge everyone to take their seats quickly, which would be a lot easier if they boarded from the back of the plane to the front instead of the other way around so that every one has to wait while the person ahead of them goes through their crap before stowing their bag. 

Air travel...just another necessary evil of the modern world.

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