I know I’m usually all “ooh, travel with a baby is so fun, and so worth it, and aren’t I so awesome for taking my daughter all over the world without totally losing my mind” but I can’t hide it any longer: I don’t always enjoy travel, and I don’t love every part of it.
In fact, I hate, hate, flying.
We just returned from a few days in Shanghai and nearby Hangzhou, famous for its (over-rated but still pretty) West Lake. Everything went totally smoothly, Charlotte was an angel, and we had a great time. But still, the flying totally sucked.
What is it exactly about flying that I so deeply loathe? Well, since you asked…
I Hate Flying Because:
1. I can’t stand the ‘hurry up and wait’ mentality: hurry to the airport, wait in line forever to check in. Hurry through security and customs, wait forever to board. Hurry to board, wait forever for take-off. Hurry to get off, wait forever for luggage.
2. Airplane bathrooms. Need I say more? Now, imagine it with a squirmy toddler who likes to touch everything, and who thinks it’s fun to visit the airplane bathroom every 20 minutes.
3. Airplane food used to be good, ok maybe not actually good but certainly edible. Then airlines got cheap. Now, if food is offered at all, it’s pretty nasty. The dinner selection on last night’s flight: pork with rice, or pork with noodles. Neither were edible. And that whole buy-on-board concept drives me crazy. Why can’t they just charge me an extra $10 for my ticket, and then give me a nice “free” sandwich? It would just be so much more pleasant.
4. My luggage usually comes last. Pretty much the only time that it doesn’t come last is when it doesn’t come at all. Which is not fun when you have a 30 lb kid sleeping in your arms and you desperately need the damn stroller to make an appearance before your arms fall off.
5. Customs people are mean. When I studied in the US, the US customs guards would not let me through without making me cry first. I resisted at first, which resulted in missed flights (which resulted in lost luggage), but quickly learned to turn on the waterworks as soon as I handed over my passport. I’m pretty sure they were also mean in Russia, but luckily I couldn’t understand what they were yelling at me about.
Flying amnesia is so not fair. Whenever I fly, I always grumble “what was I thinking? I’m never ever flying again.” This usually lasts a few days post-flight, but then I slowly start thinking about somewhere else I want to go, and after a couple of weeks I’m scouring flight deals, brushing off long layovers and super-late arrivals, until it’s time to go to the airport and once again I remember, “oh yeah, I hate this. What was I thinking?”
I know once I get a good night’s sleep and stop smelling like airplane I’ll be back to my pretentious travel-mom-extraordinaire self again. And in fact, after this rant I must say I do feel a bit better
What do you hate about flying? Or, more importantly, is there anything you like about flying?