I’m still fascinated by the view above the clouds whenever I travel by airplane. I do not travel a lot, but whenever I do, I love to gaze out the window at the minature world below.
However, there are a few things about airline travel that deserve special attention.
For example, who could deny the joys of cramped seating? It’s an experiment in social psychology, as people sit within each other’s personal space, trying to avoid eye contact. This is very important because you don’t look at somebody in the eye sitting that close unless you are ready to pucker up. That’s why it’s ok to have a conversation on a plane only if you are looking at the seat in front of you. You can glance at the seat in front of them, in order to indicate who you are talking to, but do NOT look directly into the eyes of the person next to you. The ensuing discomfort will result in a social anxiety akin to the feeling one gets in an over-crowded elevator that is stuck between floors.
Then there are the strange smells. On my recent flight to Phoenix, there was a little girl curled up in the seat in front of me who apparently is at the tail end of her diaper days. She has odorized the cabin of the plane repeatedly, leaving everyone in rows 1-8 wishing they had chosen those seats further toward the back of the plane. Fortunately, her chemical warfare attack has caused her to stop crying. She’s feeling much better now. That’s the only reason none of us are complaining. The ear piercing screams during the first part of the flight have given way to nose piercing gas. So for the first time on a flight, I was praying that we would hit some major turbulence––unless there is some other way for those oxygen masks to drop from the ceiling.
Finally, airplane food is an easy target. Or should I say “food.” On most flights within the U.S., they no longer serve a meal. Instead, the flight attendants pass out a box of leftover, rejected packages of preservative-packed cookies and crackers from a cookies-and-crackers factory in Mexico. This stuff is not made using actual human food ingredients. The label reads, “Packed with cheese-like yumminess!” I don’t have to tell you why this is a bad thing. But at least you can wash it down with water from a can! Nevermind that the aluminum makes the water taste like mercury. That’s not just your imagination.
So next time you fly the friendly skies, enjoy the ride knowing that airline travel is 900,000 times faster than traveling by camelback.