What Bothers Me Most About Flying?

I have been flying for decades now. I have flown for pleasure and for business. There are some airports that I dread, and I mean absolutely dread traveling through, and there are others that I adore. They just know what they are doing . . . and they do it well.

Traveling has drastically changed in the past decade. . . . as the world has changed. I happen to think traveling abroad is much, much easier than traveling within the United States. I think the US airports are a bit on over drive these days and they are staffing employees that are perhaps some of the rudest people I have ever encountered in my life. 

Flying is a form of benign custody, I do think the guards can show some humanity. Now, not all guards are inhumane. I have found some to be quite pleasant. Like the time I forgot a water bottle in my back pack in Orlando. I mean, I really could have been in some serious trouble here . . . but she just took the bottle out, tossed it in the trash bin and told me to have a safe flight.

I'm usually traveling with three kids in tow and that is not easy. It is getting easier as my kids get older, but it still sucks sometimes. I don't expect special treatment because I have three kids trailing behind me, but please, extend some grace.

Like the time when I handed the guard our tickets and my drivers license, after our tickets have been checked by the ticket agent, another ticket agent and one guard already and she freaked out and handed them back to me and stated loudly . . . "I will not take these in a stack . . . one at at time or you can get out of line". First time that ever happened to me. I always hand our tickets over in a stack and no one has complained.

Her, that day, needed some coffee! Me, that morning, bit the inside of my cheek until it bled so I would not say an unkind word to a guard that would forever get me banned from flying on any airline for the rest of my life. Also, I taught my children how to extend grace back to rude people.

I know I am already setting myself up for dirty looks when I even step foot in an airport with my three kids behind me. They each have their roll-on luggage and their backpacks, as I do as well. I can see the dirty looks from other travelers and know what they are thinking. "They better not be on my flight: "Great, not just one kid, but three" "Hope she has some tranquilizers" Believe me, I have heard it all.

I know some passengers hate and despise kids on planes. My kids have been traveling with me since they were born, literally. My husband and I have been bringing our babies with us everywhere. I have even heard people mutter that kids should be banned from flights. Perhaps airlines should consider a kids club on airplanes, right? Or better yet, a special compartment underneath the plane, just for babies??

What I really want to say to these passengers is . . . should I have never had children? Should I never go on vacation? Should I not teach my children about this vast world we live in? Are they not allowed to see the Eiffel Tower? But mostly I want to say, my kids will be paying your retirement funds when they grow up (unlike you all) so get over it.


The world does not revolve around planet you. Earth to losers, get over it.

Believe me, I want my crying child to stop as much as you do . . . probably even more. If you are irritated, believe me, I am ten times more irritated because I know I am getting death stares from everyone on the plane. I once endured a screaming child on a fifteen hour flight to China. Believe me, I wanted to jump off the plane more than you wanted me to.

When my baby or child is screaming their head off and I finally, through some miracle, get them to fall asleep . .  some food will turn on their light or bump my seat . . . and the entire process will begin again. Thanks arsehole!

My major complaint would have to be after many many hours of planning a family vacation . .  because believe me it is not easy planning a vacation for a family of five, and not the least bit cheap I might add. Why for the love of God do you change the flight number and move all my seats that I selected months ago. Now my five year old child is sitting by herself in the back of the plane! My son is somewhere, no where near my husband and I and my other child has no seat assignment at all.

This is the most irritating, most frustrating factor of flying for me. This has happened to us more times than I care to admit. I'm at the point now that I don't even like to select seats for the five of us, because I know it will not matter in the least. We will be bumped, moved, and casually tossed aside for someone else to enjoy our seats. There is no use complaining either. Because the airlines, just don't care.

I can't even image how frustrated the airline attendants who check in families are. Some are nice, some are cordial, some are flat out mean. The last flight I was on with my daughters, I really, really had to pull out all the stops to not tell her off. She was horrid, absolutely horrific to me. I don't even know how she has a job working for a major airline. She was quite literally, the rudest attendant I have ever come across in all the countries I have flown though.

So, here are my top five complaints:

The arm rest monopolizers.

Passengers who do NOT have a close personal relationship with soap and water.

The alcoholic who becomes the frequent toilet user.

Why does the single passenger always have to sit in the middle seat? {If I get the middle seat, I'm taking both arm rests. Don't even try to use one!}

The instant we achieve cruising altitude, the passenger in front of me slams his chair back as far as it will go and enters a state of coma from which he can't be roused until landing. I have to sit like Quasimodo, I can't use my tray table and I can't see my console in the back of his seat, as his slumbers require the screen to be situated at nipple-height. Oh and I am left with about 10 cm of breathing space!

Quite honestly, I never know what to do about reclining my seat. On the one hand, if they didn't want you to recline your seat, then why'd they give you the option? You're supposed to recline your seat right? But I HATE it when the passenger in front of me does. I feel like I'm in a flying coffin. So I don't do it ... unless the person in front of me does it and then I do, which really isn't fair for the person behind me?

When flying I just accept there will be issues. I check in online, print my own boarding pass, travel light, and I show up two hours before departure. All this to just get on a plane. I keep hoping the privilege of flying will once again become a wonderful experience.