NEED TO KNOW: 10 Things We Hate About Air Travel
From tubs of water to chatty pilots, don’t you just hate the long-haul?
Riding on the back seat of a local bus in India while surrounded by chickens and chatty locals is what travel is all about, but so, unfortunately, is the long haul flight. We all endure them, and we all grumble about them. Here’s just a few reasons why TravGear can’t wait to get rich enough to travel by yacht/private jet.
1 The Snoozy Aisle-Sitter
If you’re sitting in an aisle seat in the same row as me it can only be for one reason; you had better Wi-Fi than me precisely 24 hours beforehand and got on to the online check-in system before I did. That’s too bad for you, because I fidget on long-haul flights, I go on frequent walks, and I drink an awful lot of red wine. If you’re not planning on doing any of those things, and plan to sleep, then why did you ask for the aisle seat? If you fall asleep expect a jab in the ribs within five minutes.
If you’re planning on sleeping then why did you ask for the aisle seat?
2 Tubs of Water
Has anyone ever successfully peeled-back the plastic or foil from these things and not, err, wet themselves? We understand that they’re easier to store than bottles, but since airline staff already hand-out water by the cup poured from big bottles, what’s the point? Pots are for yoghurts.
3 The Un-Moving Walkway
Moving walkways were designed to get passengers around airport terminals quickly, but they’re always clogged-up by those who think they’re for standing still on. Ask these sloths to move to one side and you get looks of utter contempt; it’s much quicker to simply walk faster alongside the moving walkway, which renders them a pointless waste of money.
Moving walkways were designed to get passengers around airport terminals quickly. They’re not for resting on
4 The Packhorse
While some of us are striving to recycle and cut our carbon footprints, others think it their right to take 30kg around the world and back again. Avoid getting behind these people at security, but even worse are those who complain when their two large carry-on bags have to be stored in overhead lockers far from where they’re sitting. Their resulting tricky disembarkation is a penance for over-packing.
5 The Disembarking Cheat
Everyone wants to get off as quickly as possible, but if you’re sitting behind me then you’re going to be disembarking after me. It’s the law. Try to sneak past while I’m extracting something from the overhead locker and a large leg will appear in front of you. Stay in your set until it’s your row’s turn.
If you’re sitting behind me then you’re going to be disembarking after me. It’s the law.
6 Chatty Pilots
You’re nearing the end of a Jennifer Aniston rom-com classic on a clunky in-flight video screen when the whole system freezes for an important announcement from the pilot. After a five-minute message in three different languages you learn that staff will soon be “attending to your shopping needs”. Thanks for that, now back to my movie. A few seconds later there’s a second interruption about lottery tickets, then some exciting figures about altitude, and by now we’ve all completely lost patience with the pilot … and Aniston.
7 Queuing for Assigned Seats
There’s a big waiting area at the gate, but why sit down when you can queue pointlessly for half an hour? Even if you beat the majority to flash your boarding pass, you’ll only join another queue on the jet bridge or, worse, get onto to the bus first … and all to get a seat you’ve already been assigned. Do what we do and read an extra chapter of your book – and board last.
Why queue to get to a seat you’ve already been assigned?
8 Two-pin Headphone Slots
Why do airlines force everyone but the most organized to use their crappy headphones with proprietary two-pin jacks? I’ve taken £300 noise-cancelling cans on a long-haul before now, but been forced to abandon them for some £1.99 ear-wreckers because I can’t get more than mono sound. Are Airbus and Boeing in-league with Sony?
9 Tutting At Babies & Parents
Kids make noises. Fact. Put them on a plane and they will continue to make noises, and possibly scream as the pressure affects their sensitive little ears. It actually really hurts. So why does the travelling community think it OK to tut at them and their parents? What are they supposed to do about it? Re-design the concept of air pressure? We’ve even heard of some idiot who went up to a parent and threatened to throw her and her baby out of the emergency exit. Grow-up and buy some noise-cancelling headphones. That said, our sage liberalism stops at seat-kicking; it’s high time for ankle-cuffs for these little terrorists.
Why is it OK to audibly tut and glare at the poor parents of screaming toddlers?
10 Security First-Timers
‘Sir, do you have a belt on?’ ‘Oh, yes, sorry’. ‘Is there a phone in your pocket?’ ‘Yes, there is’. ‘What about coins?’ ‘Hmm, ah-ha!’ ‘Sir, take off your watch’. ‘OK’. ‘Also, you have your shoes and watch on’. ‘Damn … yes I do. I’ll also just drink this litre of water, won’t be a sec. Shoot! There’s an iPad in that bag!’ Oh, COME ON! First time at airport security? The phones in the pockets, the groping for plastic trays, the clogging-up of the retrieval belt area waiting for a bag that has yet to go through the machine and thus interrupting a perfectly logical system … it’s a living hell. Even worse than Security First-Timers are lethargic security staff who don’t know what they’re doing, thus degrading the entire activity into a pathetic and pointless circus acts. “Do I need to take my shoes off?” I recently asked a security staffer at Manchester Airport, who replied: “Up to you, love.” Good luck against those terrorists, love.