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Air Travel Is Hell


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It’s not news the experience of commercial air travel has degraded to the point of teeth-gritting awfulness.

Horror stories abound. In fact, if one wants to get a group of people talking ask them to tell a story about their most recent awful airline experience. Virtually everyone will have something to contribute.

For me, a recent round-trip to Minneapolis was no exception.

On the outbound leg I traded my aisle seat for a center seat so a mother and son traveling could sit together. Not a big deal. One of the stewardesses took notice. Later when she was dispensing beverages, all for purchase, the stewardess offered me a ‘free’ glass of ice water for my gesture. Holy cow! A free glass of water! With ice! I felt like doing my best impression of Victor Cruz’s end-zone salsa jig.

The returning leg was nothing to salsa about. Security was surprisingly high considering that just two weeks ago a 9-year-old boy passed through three security checkpoints at the airport without a boarding pass or identification. The boy then hoped onto a Delta flight to Las Vegas.

The boy’s ruse is stunning considering what it took to get on my flight. After nearly stripping buck necked to get through security, a random security gate check and stuffing my carry-on bag into a box to prove it was size compliant I was allowed to board.

Once at altitude travelers were treated to a five-minute ‘commercial’ for the airline’s Mastercard. The commercial was delivered over the intercom and was seemingly unscripted. It was awesome! I took the application from the stewardess because it came with a ‘free’ pen.

My trip was productive and sometimes there’s no replacing face-to-face meetings, but I’m planning on using Skype until I need a new pen.

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