Airports Part 1 - Regression

Flying is getting progressively more horrendous. It never ceases to amaze me how normal, seemingly rational adults, turn into lying, rule breaking, little 7 year olds, when making the decision to travel by airplane.

Case and point: I traveled down to South Carolina this past weekend to visit my parents at, what I like to refer to as, “The Resort.” (They actually live in a normal house, but they pick me up from the airport, feed me, take me to do fun activities, and I don’t have to pay for any of it, so yea it’s pretty much a resort.)

First of all, this flight was chock a block with old people. You know those planes that go to places like Cancun or Miami during spring break that are packed with hot co-eds?

This was not one of those planes. My flight looked like a field trip to the Del Boca Vista Phase II retirement community. This was an elderly plane. The process does not move quickly with a gaggle of fogies.

In addition to this gaggle, there was a man on my flight with a foot cast. But instead of getting around on crutches like most people would, this guy had his knee propped up on a 3 wheeled push scooter complete with handlebars called the TLC; Turning Leg Caddy.

He was a lot like the kid in school who bumped his elbow on a desk but came into school the next day with his arm in a sling. Everyone knows it’s a sympathy ploy, but all the teachers go out of their way to accommodate him anyway.

Hey needy guy, instead of pissing off every one on the airplane, why not get yourself a pair of crutches and give your scooter to a 10 year old girl who actually needs it.

Boarding the airplane is a lot like getting ready to go outside for recess. When the attendant announces that “We are now boarding,” people start circling the gate like vultures.

And even though everyone has a ticket, and will get on the plane, people still push and shove towards the gate entrance like they are trying to buy the last mango in Pakistan.

Then the teacher has to get angry and say that only the good students who wait in the line can get through.

My particular flight I was flying direct from New York to Savannah (yes I know that’s in Georgia hot shot). The great/awful thing about this direct flight is that the plane is always pretty small so there is no first class.

Now I don’t really give a crap about first class because I can’t afford it. I can barely afford coach. In fact, the next time I visit my parents I’m pretty sure I’m just going to ship myself down there in a UPS box addressed to “Mommy.”

But the fact that there is no first class means that all of the upper crust of our society, the social elite, the captains of industry… have to sit with my sorry butt in a tiny ass plane that looks like an Airstream trailer with wings.

We are all equals now. Everyone is equally pathetic. Nobody is getting any special treatment. We are all in detention. Welcome to Air Detention.

Once the airline finally lets everybody on the plane it becomes a series of minor rule infractions, people trying desperately to hide their insubordination from the flight attendants.

But people really get indignant when they are told to turn off their cell phones.

“What? Me? Turn off my cellphone? You must be mad! I am awaiting a very important call from Prince Ali of Akrabah!”

I understand important calls need to be made, business transactions must occur, information must be exchanged. But just because you are in the middle of writing a text, that does not make you special.

On the trip down, the flight attendant made the announcement to turn off all electronic devices and then proceeded to walk down the aisle to make sure all of the students were abiding by the rules.

I then watched the man sitting next to me, the man with a wife and 2 kids at home with the flu (I was reading his texts) hide his cellphone under his leg mid-text as the attendant passed by, and then pull it back out to finish his message.

Really middle aged guy? You are an adult! You are not hiding Pixy Stix and Pez from the Nuns. You are a grown up. Act like it. You are texting about how your wife is pissed at you.

The only acceptable text would have been;

“IT’S THE GREEN WIRE! CUT THE GREEN WIRE!”

Texting during takeoff does not make you a rebel. You are not Cool Hand Luke. Put your cell phone away and mindlessly page through the Sky Mall magazine like the rest of us.

Eventually the plane landed and the dismissal bell rang causing everyone to flood the aisle and push and shove to get off the very plane they pushed and shoved to get onto.

And as I’d find out on my return trip, I should have shipped myself home UPS.

To be continued…