If you pay attention to the news, you’ll see plenty of stories about the horrors of air travel right now. To some degree, the news media is picking the most salacious of stories. There’s not too much need to sensationalize someone getting dragged off an airplane, beaten and bloodied.
But, what if a journalist decided to spend a week just flying. And, what if they wrote about it? For starters, they’d have a pretty good approximation of my travel life. Cramped planes, rude security officers, delayed flights. Air travel isn’t fun. I almost had to wonder if this journalist made up the story, except I realize how easy it is to get stuck in the “bad travel vortex”.
Take 10 minutes and read through the article. I’ve highlighted some of my favorite parts below, but you need to read the whole thing in context:
A thin curtain separates us from first class, but it feels impenetrable. A passenger attempts to use the first-class bathrooms but is ordered to the back of the plane. As the flight attendants dole out our sole free snack on this flight of six and a half hours — a lone Lotus Biscoff (“Europe’s Favorite Cookie With Coffee”) — the aroma of something delicious that may or may not be lasagna wafts in from the front.
“Let me tell you what I’m going to do,” a second agent says. She pulls on a pair of latex gloves that look like the ones doctors use for internal exams. “I’m going to need to check your groin area.”
The agent rummages around in there. “Widen your stance, please,” she says, checking the insides of my legs up to the top, over my pants.
It’s never fun to hear an authority figure use the words “widen” and “stance” in this context.
As the week stretches on, our hero gets a bit stressed from the vagaries of travel:
Here are some things I’ve done recently: challenged a T.S.A. agent who ordered me to remove a Kleenex from my pocket, sat in the wrong seat on a flight and claimed it was the other person’s fault, told a lost-bag agent that I was about to miss my next flight when it was not true, sat on the floor at a departure gate in order to charge my phone, and, at a low moment, jostled my seatmate’s arm right off our shared armrest while pretending I was doing something else.
The final laugh comes from her title for Day 8:
DAY 8: PANEM
Take a few minutes for a good laugh. Or, to be depressed about the state of air travel.
The post A Reporter Spent 8 Days Flying. I Laughed Out Loud, Relating To The Misery was published first on Pizza in Motion