It’s Not The Airlines Stupid

October 9, 2009

in Flying Hell Commentary

I am a bit bemused by everyone’s comments. I would not consider myself a frequent traveler, but I do fly a few times a month, primarily for business. It is extremely rare that I find anything to complain about with respect to the airlines. Airlines are very efficient given the price points under which they operate. My issues are with the general traveling public. They are the ones that make my flights unbearable.

Let’s start at the beginning. Children! If you are traveling with children, have some idea on how you are going to manage getting them through security. I don’t want to wait while you re-arrange all of your baby paraphernalia. And if you can’t keep them from crying, please take alternative transportation. The terminal is not a playground. Keep your children close.

DRESS! You’re not that attractive. Put some clothes on. I don’t want to sit next to an obese woman wearing a tube top and sporting a belly ring. And for the men, that beer logoed muscle shirt looks just as bad at the airport as it does when you wear it on bowling nights. Dress like you are going to a business meeting.

Cell Phones! Is it really necessary to screech into your cell phone and blather about nothing while boarding? Based on the phone calls I hear at airports, I garner everyone is the President of a Multinational Conglomerate. C’mon, you are wearing flip flops and jeans with holes in them.

Airlines! Do you understand that airline personnel are there for your safety and not to cater to your every desire?

Food on airplanes is terrible. Eat at home or take a power bar in your bag. You won’t starve to death. If you want great food and service, check into your local Four Seasons. And by the way, didn’t I just see you scarf down a 1200 calorie Big Mac in the food court?

Try and limit what you take on board. I’ve seen what you wear. The entire contents of your carry on couldn’t be worth over $100. Check your luggage. If the airline loses it, go to Wal-Mart and get more crappy clothes to wear. And besides, I doubt that you’re so damn important that you can’t wait 10 minutes at the baggage carrousel.

Drinking! Have a drink or maybe two on your journey, but not 5 or 6. I don’t want to hear your boring life story. I am trying to get some work done here.

If you have to use the restroom, please say so. I will be more than happy to stand up and move into the isle. Don’t crawl over me waving your big caboose in my face or breathing your Johnny Walker.

Note: In the 70’s a roundtripcoach fare from Phoenix to St. Louis was about $650 dollars. The food was good, the service was excellent and the seats were ample. There were not many leisure travelers or families with children. Everyone traveled in a suit and tie and it was a very pleasurable experience. Today that same fare is about $300. Flying today is equivalent to taking the bus. You are getting a great value. Granted, air travel is not what it used to be. And if you think about it, neither are most services we receive today.

If you have a sense of humor and fly a lot, you’ll find this funny. If you are a self absorbed whiny cry baby, then of course you will think I am an ass. Which of course, I am.

Middle Aged Male Elitist

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Hugh October 9, 2009 at 12:42 am

I fly often for business, and I must say that overall I agree with your sentiments, exagerrated as they are for comedic value. I will add, however, that you come across as a douche-bag with your attitude. I'm not sure whether you do that purposely to add to the funny tone of your comments, or whether you are , in fact, a Douche. I will assume for civility sake, that it is a purposeful addition.


Jody October 9, 2009 at 3:23 am

I agree with Hugh.

That said, I strongly agree with a couple of your points. Cell phones — keep the volume down, people! I don't care about your personal life and you don't have to sound so important by broadcasting it to the whole gate area.

Seatmates that have to use the restrooms — If you have to get up, a polite "excuse me" will definitely cause me to get up and allow you room to get out. I sure don't want your behind in my face.

Carryons — well, you frequent-flyer businessmen really push the limits on this one. I've seen your "one item" be a large suitcase that barely fits in the overhead. Check your bag or take less.


Kevin Mathews October 9, 2009 at 4:23 am

I agree with about every point except the children. If you have kids, you'd understand that it's not as easy as you say to keep everything straight going through security. This is very true if you have a child in a stroller because they make you fold up the stroller and scan that too, so everythign that may have been organized before you go in line suddenly HAS to be taken out. In addition to that, in order to keep the kids in line while on the plane, food is needed too and that is an additional pain in the butt because they have to inspect the food.

As far as keeping them from crying, I agree. The occasional cry is going to happen, but the non-stop crying gets annoying.


ps October 9, 2009 at 4:29 am

Very good and verry funny. 1 other thing. The business traveller who tries to stuff the equivalent of a half ton steamer trunk into the overhead is at the top of the list as well as IPods at mega volume. As far as kids, a little whine now and then is okay, that goes for the adult whiners too.


anon October 9, 2009 at 9:10 am

This was kinda funny. :o) Thanks.


B October 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I agree with you to an extent.. but I must say, You did go alittle to the extreme. I used to fly often for business. To say you should "dress like your going to a business meeting" is crap these days. Maybe back in the old days, when there was more room and less people it would be ok. But for someone like myself, who is not a fan of flying, with the added security and cramped space, I would only fly in a t-shirt, fleece pants and flipflops! It's all about comfort in a very uncomfortable situation. Several reasons… No belt to take off, no metal to deal with, and it's easier to take flipflops off and put back on at the security checkpoint. Just because you feel the need to dress up for a flight, doesn't mean you should knock people who dress down for comfort. And those same people you knocked down for dressing comfortable could be like myself who are still important, but know comfort.. and some may even be more important that you.


saw October 11, 2009 at 7:47 am

Well… I fly a lot, and I have a pretty good sense of humor. Some of what you said was funny and it made sense… a few other things though, you're a bit off…

1) With respect to children, you say "And if you can’t keep them from crying, please take alternative transportation."

So easy to say… so hard to actually DO. Sometimes, there IS no other option. Perhaps, next time you're bothered, maybe think about WHY the family is traveling – many times, it's NOT a pleasure trip. And… quick tip.. babies cry – regardless of how hard you try to make them stop. A crying baby is never a complaint of mine. Misbehaving toddlers are much bigger issue.

2) You say, "Dress like you are going to a business meeting."

Bite me. If you want to wear a suit on a big bus from hell, be my guest. me, I'll be comfortable thank you. I'll agree there's some things one shouldn't wear on a plane, but they also correspond to what shouldn't be worn generally in public. Get off your high horse.

3) "Do you understand that airline personnel are there for your safety and not to cater to your every desire?"

Yes, but that doesn't give them the right to give bad service, or behave like asses.

4) "Check your luggage. If the airline loses it, go to Wal-Mart and get more crappy clothes to wear."

Yeah… I'll tell my clients when I'm in a crowded meeting room with 1/2 million dollars on the line, that I smell bad and look like shit because I trusted United with my luggage… again… bite me.


D October 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm

As the mother of 3-year-old twins, I would be THRILLED to take alternate transportation, as getting through security and onto a plane and keeping three-year-olds occupied is from hell. But tell me, what transportation can get me from the East Coast to California with my children in less than 6 hours? And by the way, I'm going there so my 95 year old grandmother, who can no longer travel, can see her great-grandchildren. And when I fly to Portland to see my parents for Thanksgiving–well, I WOULD make them come to us (oh how lovely and easy that would be!) but my mother is in the midst of radiation treatments for breast cancer–5 days a week, no exceptions, no breaks for holidays. Should I stay home with my kids and not let their grandmother see her beloved grandchildren to avoid perhaps annoying other travelers for a few hours? And by the way, I find poorly behaved children annoying too. We bring bags and bags of books, DVDs, games, snacks, etc to try and keep them occupied so that they don't disturb others–that's part of the reason it takes prepared parents so long to get through security! They've packed to be ready for any contingency, and that means a lot of stuff. You should be grateful they're bringing all that stuff with them, as it means it is more likely the kids will be quiet.

And sometimes it is security's fault–I can't tell you how many times my husband and I load everything up onto the belt–stroller last, of course, so that they're buckled in until the last possible moment–we proceed through the metal detector, and then we wait, and we wait, and we wait and we wait while security does a leisurely job of checking someone's bag for shaving cream. In the meantime, we've got two squirming kids and no place to put them and our own bags to pull off the belt, shoes to replace (ours and theirs!), jackets, etc. If security would just check the stroller quickly, send it through, we could buckle them in, they'd be contained, and then it's fine (sort of) if it takes ten minutes for the rest of our bags to get through the x-ray machine.

Now I fully agree that poorly behaved children can be a nightmare on a plane–but that's usually the fault of the parent who brings a small child on a plane and then just expects them to sit there with nothing to do. It's the parents who should be banned, not the children.


DSD October 12, 2009 at 6:38 am

Sorry I completely missed any humor in that post. I feel like death warmed over so I will say what Hugh was to kind to say "you are , in fact, a Douche." I travel in a nice T-shirt and cargo shorts because they are comfortable, and I can keep all my goodies close at hand. Otherwise I might be tempted to strangle you for oozing into my seat.

But if its any consolation I do agree with most of your points.


MJ October 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

Wow, you certainly are an elitist. And an asshole.

1. No, I won't dress like I'm going to a business meeting on an airplane. I wear skirts or dress slacks to work. Jeans are far more comfortable for sitting on a plane for 6 hours. If you don't like what people are wearing, don't look.

2. I regularly carry a laptop in my carryon. Yes, that is worth more than $100. So is my clothing (no, I don't shop at Walmart), and I've had my luggage lost many many times. I'd rather deal with taking it on if possible. I've never gone over the size/piece limit.

If you were a better writer, this might have been funny, but all you do is try to use every negative stereotype about Americans to fix the fact that you aren't funny yourself.


robert October 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I agree with most of what you said. I mean, whatever happened to courteous people? the kind of people that would apologize if they bumped into you? are they an endangered species now?

I also have a group to add on to this: amorous couples

I'll admit, I'm ok with the occasional Public display of affection, but when it becomes practically making out, that is a little much, don't you agree? Keep your love-making confined to the bedroom, plz.


Catherine October 27, 2009 at 7:09 am

Middle Aged Male Elitist – your post is right on in my book. Esp. dressing like you're going to a business meeting. My father was a Captain for TWA for over 30 years and when I flew on my passes there was a strict dress code for spouses/children – women had to wear skirts/dresses (pants were an exception, but they had to be dress slacks) and men had to wear dress slacks. Now I'm in my 30's and don't have those passes anymore, I still dress like I'm going to a business meeting.


Sarah October 27, 2009 at 9:36 am

Thank you D and Kevin Matthews!! I understand that children especially if you don't have any of your own can be annoying and frustrating. But please understand we parents are just as frustrated trying to get it all together and keep everyone in line. I have been fortunate to have amazing strangers step up and help me out when I have travled with my 2 children alone many times. They have helped me lift an heavy stroller on and off the belt whe I have had an infant in my arms. I have never been so grateful to anyone as I was these compassinate individuals. So the next time you go through security instead of getting annoyed and makig a spectacle of yourself trying being just the least bit empathetic and lend a helping hand. I know it's not your job but it will keep things moving faster and make someone's smile and day a little brighter,


MAC November 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

I have to disagree with the 'check your bag' comment. Two years ago I was flying up to interview for a job at a boarding school. Since the school was residential, I was staying in their guest house on campus and was being picked up by one of the faculty there. That pretty much meant that the second I got off the plane, my interview had begun. Except they lost my luggage, and therefore I had to go through an all day series of interviews in the outfit that I had flown in. Don't check your bag if you NEED those clothes!!


Toni February 19, 2010 at 11:55 am

Those businessmen you folks think bring too much stuff…HAH! That businessman bought his ticket yesterday or this morning, and paid ten times for it what you paid for yours. Guess what? He's subsidizing your rock-bottom supersaver airfares to Orlando and Granmaw's. And he does it EVERY WEEK. Be grateful he's on board; make him some room.

And PS, you can "be comfortable" (as if your own comfort is the ONLY thing that matters) without wearing velour sweatpants, flip-flops and a tank top. Do you find khakis, slip-on loafers and a polo PAINFUL? It couldn't be as painful to wear khakis, loafers and a polo as it is to LOOK at you dressed that way. And to the smart-ass who said that if I like it, I shouldn't look. Yeah, right…like the world works THAT way. I'm a flight attendant, and I understand and agree with everything the original statement side. I think the tone is funny too — to the people who GET it. That DOESN'T include the people who wear shorts and tank tops on airplanes, and who bring on their kids with a canister of Cheerios to litter all over the floor.


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: