Air travel – what happened to the glamour days?

Written by admin on December 3, 2008 – 12:49 pm -

Speak with anyone about the pros and cons of travel or ask what irritates them about flying and you’ll be barraged by responses. Travelers complain even before getting on the plane about security screenings. Then complaints abound once aboard. Here’s my whining list of procedures and passengers who bug me.

At security checkpoints:
• Inconsistent security screening standards between airports and in different countries.
• People who take too long to collect belongings. Or seem to be taking their time getting dressed after the mandatory strip act in order to walk through the magnetometer. People should collect their things and assemble them somewhere else so others can pass.

Passengers in general during boarding and deplaning:
• Those who are generally late boarding.
• Passengers who bring too many items on board.
• The clueless who bump everyone in aisle seats with their bags as they enter and haven’t a clue as to how to stow possessions in a selfless and logical way.
• Passengers who spend extra time in the aisle looking for a place to stow luggage.
• When deplaning, these same folk take too long to pull their luggage from the overhead.
• Passengers who take too long to get out of the plane, up the jetway and into the terminal.
• Those who stand in the aisle.
• Anyone who reclines their seat during boarding.

Passengers who irritate me during the flight:
• Those who put their seats back during food service (if there’s any) making it uncomfortable for the diner to eat without someone’s head above (or in) their food.
• Overweight people who should be required to buy two seats rather than occupying half of mine.
• People who hog the arm rests.
• A general lack of respect, courtesy or awareness by some.
• Passengers who walk through the cabin grabbing each seat as if it were a handrail.
• Those who place their knees firmly against seat-backs.
• Travelers who rest their feet on the bulkhead or the armrest in front of them.
• Chatty passengers who insist on talking to the person next to them when not invited.
• Or, aloof folk who are so rude that they don’t acknowledge there’s a person in the next seat.
• People who use airplane lavatories in their socks or bare feet.
• And those who use the lavatories as dressing rooms when there are lines of people anxiously waiting.
• Passengers who don’t take the time to wipe clean the WC before exiting.
• Besides loud cell phone talkers, people who don’t shut them off when instructed.

My airline irritants:
• Flight attendants with an “attitude.”
• Pilots who turn the seat belt sign on and off every time the plane vibrates or talk during a night flight.
• Worn out and dirty seat cushions.
• Late arrivals and the clear “we don’t care” attitude of the airlines about it.
• Pushing away from the gate and sitting on the runway in order to have an on-time departure.
• The lack of information or the total lies that airlines tell passengers about estimated takeoff and arrival times during inevitable delays.

And if the above gripes aren’t enough — don’t get into the subject of children, infants, cats or dogs or people who haven’t taken a bath — or those who’ve used too much perfume or shaving cream.

Why don’t you add what you don’t like about air travel?  Or better yet – please list something you like. There must be something!!

Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis. Ironically, she loves to fly on long haul flights because it’s where she sleeps the best. One caveat – it should be business class.

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Posted in Consumer Traveler |