Running for the Plane

It’s my first full week back in the office, and I’m rested, ready and rarin’ to go! In case you missed it, last week I broke the rules about what happens in Vegas. I couldn’t help it! I wanted to remember all of the fun, crazy things I saw.

runningBesides, once you hit the airport, it’s like all the stress you shook off during your vacation just finds its way right back to you. You know the feeling – you get to the airport two hours early with great intentions. You’ve already pre-checked in before leaving the hotel, so this should go smoothly. All your liquids are bagged up in tiny bottles. Your electronics ready to be placed in the plastic TSA tray. And, you’re wearing slip-on shoes. It should be a cinch to get through airport security and to the gate with enough time to enjoy a Cinnabon and charge your phone, right?

Wrong. We spent two hours crammed in a long line, waiting our turn for the TSA body scanners, only to get to the front to be yelled at, groped, and finally set free.

We then joined what seemed like a hundred other people, who were just as rushed and panicked as we were, in a mad dash to the gate so we could actually board our plane. If you see me running, there are only a few possible reasons:
1) something scary, like a bloody clown with a knife, is chasing me
2) there are Margaritas at the finish line
3) I’m about to miss a flight

Sweating and panting for breath, we made it to our gate just minutes before they shut the airplane door. Which brings me to my next ‘Joy of Air Travel’ – walking down a crowded plane aisle, exhausted and sweaty, searching for open spots in the overhead bins. Once, we had crammed our carry-ons into impossibly small nooks and crannies, it was time to cram ourselves into those itty bitty airline seats for the next several hours.

By the way – you’re not getting bigger, the seats are getting smaller. Okay, maybe you’re getting bigger too (it happens to the best of us!), but those seats really are shrinking. According to a 2015 article, the average airline seat has shrunk from 18 inches across to a mere 16.5 inches. One and a half inches doesn’t sound like much – but just imagine trying to put on your favorite jeans if they were an inch-and-a-half smaller!

In our seats, waiting on the tarmac, we spent two – that’s right, two! – whole hours, trying to coax more air from the overhead vents while waiting for a ground crew to fix a broken latch on the plane that was preventing us from takeoff. By the time the plane taxied down the runway, we were more than ready to get off of it.

I couldn’t have said it better than the flight attendant who announced our arrival in Atlanta like this: “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of US Airways.” As for me? I’ve got just two words for that flight attendant: road trip.

Happy Monday,