I think I can speak for most people when I say that traveling is one of the most enjoyable pastimes there is. Unless you are a crabby, old hermit who hates human interaction and never leaves their dilapidated, hoarder-level, cave-of-a-home, you are a normal human being who likes to travel to new places and see and experience new things.
Thanks to a great semester abroad, in which I did absolutely no school work (really, it’s a joke those credits even counted at all), I’ve traveled all over Europe and a bit of Africa. I’ve been up and down the East Coast (for you non-Americans reading this-oh, hey New Caledonia- that’s the east coast of the U.S.) and I’ve hit Mexico and several islands in the Caribbean, thanks to family vay-kays and cruises with my friends. Although I’ve never been to Canada, which is weird, because I grew up in the Northeast, but whatever. Besides the point.
But in all my traveling, I’ve never been impressed with airports or airlines and their level of hospitality. Overall, the luxury of flying versus driving/boating/biking/walking to a destination is pretty great in and of itself, so I should probably just end this post here and stop complaining. Not everyone has the opportunity to travel in the first place, right? But we all know that’s not going to happen, because I don’t know how to keep my big mouth shut. So, here are a few things they (whoever “they” are) should consider modifying when it comes to airport travel.
Bigger portions/more food. Seriously, what is up with the portion size or altogether lack of food available on airplanes? I’m paying several hundred dollars to get a seat in what’s basically a glorified sardine can and you can’t even give me a proper bag of pretzels? I mean I guess it’s better than nothing, but giving me a miniature bag of what I can only assume is food made for elves and midgets is going to do nothing except elicit in me a deeper, more insatiable hunger. And if my flight is long enough, and you don’t give me a sandwich or something more than two peanuts, I may have to resort to quietly gnawing on your face.
Clocks. I know they are basically irrelevant since the invention of the cell phone, but that doesn’t mean public areas, like, you know, an airport, shouldn’t have a clock or two. Or three. I have never once seen a clock in any airport I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been in quite a variety of airports. Actually, no, I take that back. I think I saw one in Egypt, but that hardly counts. Their idea of customs is a large jumble of people milling around a single counter like cows waiting for dinner. No disrespect, I love Egypt. But their airports could use an upgrade. Just saying.
More efficient boarding procedures. I had a lovely chat with a man on a flight once who told me they used to board planes from the back to the front. Why they ever stopped doing that is beyond me. Probably to make first class passengers feel more special, but tough shit, you already get nicer seats and better in-flight service, so shut your mouth, you can wait an extra ten minutes to board so us coach passengers can get situated in the back first. It makes more sense anyway; if I was chilling up in first class, I wouldn’t want a bunch of lowly coach passengers pushing past me on their way to their seats, bumping me with their oversized luggage (which is always over regulation size limits), coughing right near my face and spreading god only knows what kind of germs (I swear, airplanes are incubators for disease, doesn’t matter how healthy I am before I board, as soon as my flight is over I’m retching and writhing with some illness they haven’t even named yet). In fact, there are about four people coughing on my flight at this exact moment as I’m typing. Basically hacking up a lung all over my keyboard. Thanks for that, asshole.
Free Wi-Fi. I understand everything costs money these days (unless you’re living in my utopian society where everything is free, in which case money is irrelevant), but it hardly seems fair that you can’t even get free internet when you travel. Most airports nowadays offer some form of free Wi-Fi (which usually means you’ll be operating on internet slower than dial-up), but don’t count on getting any free Wi-Fi once you’re on board and in the air. You’d think for how expensive travel is and how overpriced everything at the airport is, they’d at least let you surf the web for free. Pipe dreams.
Actual in-flight entertainment. It isn’t really up to the airline to entertain you during your flight. With all the gadgets out there to play with and hundreds of years worth of brilliant literature to read, it’s almost unnecessary to provide any additional in-flight entertainment. But if you’re going to put TVs on airplanes and provide in-flight entertainment, make sure it’s actually entertainment. Seriously, what happened to showing movies on planes? No one really wants to watch the TV shows they broadcast, and we certainly don’t care about the obscure and odd clips they show randomly in between episodes. If you’re going to provide televised entertainment, just make sure you do it right.
Now that I’ve sufficiently complained about my current airport experience and my flight has landed me back home, I think it’s time to book another flight for my next vacation.