The first idea was to title this post “Things I Hate About Air Travel,” but that seems too limited. Here are a few of my “hates” about the horrors of modern TSA-dominated air travel. Readers are invited to share their own in comments.
Check-in: Theoretically this has gotten easier in the past few years as we’re given the option of auto-check-in. But that only applies if you aren’t checking any luggage and I find that the machines frequently do not work very well. It’s always fun to come in on a tight schedule, head to the machines to beat the half-hour cut-off and have to find some way to muscle back into line quick when they don’t work.
Checking baggage: This used to be awful but has gotten much worse. Now they charge you extra for the privilege of manhandling and losing your luggage, and extending your stay in the airport by a good half-hour. Best bet is to find some way, practically any way, to avoid this.
Screening: They always find ingenious ways to make this one worse. X-Rays and metal detectors were not enough. Now we have to take off our shoes and laptops, walk through rapiscans, face patdowns, keep all of our liquids in baggies, etc. It never ends.Airport announcements: I apologize to whoever it is who was walking by me at Sea-Tac Sunday for the swears when the TSA cut into a beautiful piece of music by (I think) the Gothard Sisters to remind us that if we “see something,” we should “say something” or some other routine warning.
Crew-member instructions: Most of these pre-date the modern security state and I have a little, teeny bit of patience for them, because I fly a great deal but many people don’t. But, seriously, we have to be told how to fasten our seatbelts by “fitting the metal tip into the buckle” and see that demonstrated? It’s just insulting to our intelligence and our freedoms.