Return to Sender … Airline Unknown.
Residing in the Northern hemisphere, we have all been seduced by the notion of warmer temperatures during the winter months. Geographical relocation rears its provocative head throughout the season.
Commercial aviation is a massive industry involving the flying of tens of thousands of passengers daily around the globe. My experience is somewhat limited, never surpassing more than six hours in the air, having sustained just as many or more impatient hours waiting to be in the air, whether on a runway or circling above my destination only to be rerouted. It is at precisely these moments that we promise ourselves, never again, will I subject myself to this form of inconvenient, yet momentary suffering.
The allure of being whisked away to sandy shores, soft tropical breezes and a welcomed change of scenery is highly appealing. It seemingly shortens those chilly weeks and multiplies those hours of sunlight. Who can resist the array of available excursions, direct flights, packaged inclusives, only hours from home with simply the swift exchange of financial details. We are eagerly compelled by the irresistible price point, the exotic menus displaying curious flavours and contrived libations, unfamiliar yet welcoming faces and the comforts of sky travel. That exhilarating moment when the jet engine renders you airborne, you realize that you are about to escape!
Let’s consider the airport experience. We check ourselves in, choose our seats, check and label our own bags, fill out the required customs forms, navigate the premises to locate gates for arrivals and departures for continued transportation. Tireless employees scattered throughout terminals are dispensing snippets of instructive information. The boundless line-ups of strained voyagers seeking palatable nourishment at a premium prices that can only be purchased with an accepted credit card on a delirious iPad screen are predominantly accepted. (Seems we don’t need servers anymore, hits a nerve for me) The ‘hurry up and wait’ of it all.
There are standards. Always that one aggravated mouth piece that can exalt the tribulations of this being the worst airline ever. Consider the dignified traveler, silent, patient, agreeable, reading to pass the time. Then there’s the fractured family, partially at peace, negotiating amicable interaction, sore ears and attention issues. All walks of life, really.
That’s the real beauty of the entire experience. Smell the roses, the pungent coffee and locate the oxygen mask … You’re going on a trip and you’re safe and sound. Please share your air travel stories!