Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Five Things That Are Still Awesome About Air Travel

With my family scattered haphazardly around the country and the two years my mom & stepdad spent living in England, I've spent more time on an airplane than your average bear. (Bears, on average, fly once or twice in their lifetimes, usually because they refuse to mate with the only other bear at the zoo so they're shuffled around via FedEx until they make more bears. I'm sure this is a fact.) Maybe I have fewer SkyMiles than the Executive Vice President Of Making More Money than Me, but there's still been a lot of airport security in my life. And I hate flying. I despise it. The air is icky and the seats hurt my butt and even getting drunk sucks. But even though flying is the bane of my first world existence, I present for your stale pretzel snacking enjoyment: Things That Are Still Awesome About Air Travel.

(1) Winning at Security: Remember ten years ago when you could just get on a plane? I remember hopping off a plane at LAX with High School Boyfriend in August 2001. His mom met us immediately at the gate next to the little airport Wolfgang Puck's. I mean she was RIGHT THERE. Then 9/11 happened almost exactly a month later and now we're scared of shampoo, so airport security is a little more intense than it used to be. Still, I pretty much always win at baggage/body screening. I'm so good at travel that I don't check bags. No, I enter the screening area with all my sh*t and I can get my laptop out of its case and my shoes off my feet before the rest of y'all even realize you'll have to remove your belts. The TSA loves me. In some airports, they even have a special Black Diamond "expert" lane for people like me, people who are awesome at airport security.

(2) The People Mover: This thing is like the Speed Force. You get on it and you're walking at TWICE your normal speed while your badass rolling suitcase grinds along behind you. You can thumb your nose at the plebes on their first plane ride to Orlando who don't understand that they're supposed to stand on the right so you can breeze by them on the left in a cloud of self importance as strong as half a bottle of Clinique Happy. Don't they know who you are? Don't they know you're in seat 38C on the next Delta flight? MOVE.

(3) Airports with Trains in Them: Because they are airports. With trains in them. Detroit probably has the best example of a Train in an Airport, but they also sell underwear with "Motown" scribbled across the butt, which almost cancels out the indoor train, but not quite.

Add a log flume & a dark ride and you've got a theme park.

(4) Excuse to Buy Celebrity Gossip Rags: Sadly, I don't take advantage of this nearly often enough. I usually buy The Economist because I am a self important windbag who is terribly concerned about what other people on the plane will think of me, and at the very least I want to make certain they all notice that I'm more worldly and intelligent than they are because I'm reading the f*cking Economist on an AIRPLANE while they thumb through last week's People. Hell, reading The Economist should get you automatically bumped to first class. Dear Sir - I am awesome. Except when I'm travelling with my sister. She buys People. And I desperately beg her to share.

(5) SkyMall: SkyMall is the greatest thing ever. Only when flying would it occur to anyone that they definitely need a six foot replica of King Tut's sarcophagus to go with their new "personal massager." While you're at it, why don't you get some patio furniture covers, a bridge for the front yard and a f*cking seat from Yankee Stadium.


[Follow my exploits on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or subscribe.]
[Um, wanna 
buy a book from me? Or some other stuff? This SkyMall bill isn't gonna pay itself.]

31 comments:

AmyQOTWF said...

Holy crap, you're funny! I spent way too much time on planes last year and would always budget for two mags, Harpers (so I'd look like I cared) and whichever gossip rag had the most boobs on the cover. Thanks for pointing out the positives.

Midwestern Mama Holly said...

Having just earned my first time flyer wings at the age of 45 - I cant say I remember these times, but I do like the people mover.

marvimarti.com said...

I love this! caught it on Twitter from @MidWesternMamaH and I'll be retweeting!!!

Marti

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I just took a flight back to Chicago yesterday, and unfortunately I wasn't so lucky with security. They did the pat-down thing with me, because apparently a 29-year old chick in blue jeans is suspicious looking.

Mara at Welcome to Adulthood dot com said...

So funny and true. I especially like your emphasis about how "even getting drunk sucks." This is really true. Southwest sent me some free drink coupons and I tried to drink "red wine" on a flight from San Diego to San Francisco. I almost threw up, and it wasn't due to the turbulence.

Also the Denver airport has some great trains. You can take a train from one terminal that does not have fro-yo, to another terminal that does have fro-yo, without having to go through security again!

SkyWaitress said...

I agree with all these things! As a very frequent flier I can't tell you how much I love being behind passengers like you at TSA. I have to remind myself everyone doesn't fly all the time because sometimes I just want to yell "It is NOT that hard, people!"

Also, about magazines. Those trashy gossip ones? Are like gold to flight attendants. If you finish one hand them off to a flight attendant and he/she will most likely love you forever. I'm just saying from experience. They're easy to read when you get interrupted 50 times.

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I love this list - most of all because I always buy The Economist when I fly. For two reasons really. 1)I have to be forced into a non-internet available situation before I'm gonna read something other than Cracked, and 2)I really do want other people on the airplane to think I'm smart, especially as I'm likely to fall on at least one of them during the duration of the flight.

Oh, it's classy.

kate said...

I, also, am a master traveler. I grew up as the daughter of an airline employee and then went on myself to work for an airline for awhile...I can get through security in the blink of an eye (and usually bring something mind-numbing like one of the Twilight books along to read - but I always make sure to take the dust cover off so that it's just some important-looking black book and not so obviously some romantic teenaged dribble). The first time I flew with my husband, I was appalled that he didn't know to take his hoodie off before being instructed to do so by the TSA. I've had to train him before flights how to do it better to keep myself from the horrible, horrible, I'm-flying-with-a-dumbass shame.

logan said...

hey don't forget about ATL having trains! Well they are more like subways I suppose. I do travel for work and spend lots of time in the airport. even with my frequent security checks I'm pretty much always subjected to the body search... I'm thinking its the beard... that and anyone with a gov id is easy prey for offsetting the allegations for racial profiling!

Jo said...

Clearly, there's a whole bunch of amazing airport stuff that I'm missing, simply by not being in America. That's right. The only thing about airports that folk look forward to here, is being able to drink alcohol at 7am.

Dancing Branflake said...

I am flying on Saturday so I am loving this post!

WhisperingWriter said...

Sky Mall does have some cool crap in it.

I hate going through security. They once took my lotion from Bath and Body Works! The bastards.

alonewithcats said...

Airports with trains are, like, the Russian dolls of the travel industry. Because transportation *inside* transportation? Awesome.

Amber said...

I like to get on the people mover and pretend that I'm in that old school Jamiroquai video. "Futures, made of, virtual insanity..."

Danaconda said...

I always moowalk on the people mover.

Okay, I meant to type "moonwalk" but I simply couldn't delete moowalk. If you would like to figure out what that could possibly mean, be my guest.

Stilettos And Coffee said...

OMG I've never seen an airport with a train!!!! I'm in looooooveeeee.

Junket said...

The solution is simple. Buy the Economist but use it as a book cover for US Weekly. No one will know the difference. They'll just think you are incredibly intellectual with an Economist double issue. I particularly like Surfing World magazine. You should see the looks I get. They look at the mag...look at me...back at the mag...long lingering look back at my fat ass. There is no better time to eff with someone than in, on, or around an airport.

Annabelle said...

Delta is like a sunny little island of free snacks and free TV... in a sea of crap. I will gladly pay $75 to check my luggage to avoid sitting on an obese man's lap on USAir.

kelsiesma said...

People watching in the airport is my favorite thing about air travel, but I have to admit that the trains and people movers are pretty cool!

The Fickle Nickle said...

People always act like the DMV is hell on earth... well, I think it's airports. I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I even have to go pick someone up curbside, let alone go inside for traveling purposes.

I do have to admit though that I LOVE the people mover, guilt-free gossip magazine reading, and... that's about it! :)

Shinxy said...

There's a SkyMall? I did not know that. I want to go on a plane now.

I gave you an award on my blog! Come and get it please :)

Chels... said...

Super hilarious. Winning at security is awesome. Losing, and having to surrender your shampoo bottle, not so awesome.

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Did I mention that Dulles (my airport) recently got trains like all the super cool airports, and I'm no longer shamed by our outdated people movers?

It's far less exciting to others than it is to me.

Martha said...

I have been wanting to comment on this post, and then keep getting distracted. But anyway, I lived in Detroit for nine years, A's paternal grandparents live in A2, so we visit a few times a year. The absolute best part of Detroit's airport is this hallway between terminals that also leads to the baggage claim. It has the moving sidewalks, but it also has this kickass lighting along the walls with ocean-like lights and soft, eerie music playing. It is truly surreal and feels like you're coming home at the end of a cheeseball movie or entering into a sci-fi flick.

KLZ said...

If it were up to my husband, our house would BE Sky Mall.

love.this.apartment said...

This = hilarious! I am usually an expert flyer until the last time we flew and I left a water bottle in my bag. They had to stop the xray machine & dig out my bottle and then hold it up for the entire airport to see how stupid I am. The most embarrassing part is that I forgot about the water bottle since it was from our first flight 7 days before that one. I tried to sneak 7 day old water through security..idiot.

Cassie said...

Wow, you hit the nail on the head with this one. (I, too, HATE people on People Movers who don't actually understand its purpose.) Thanks so much for following my blog! Looking forward to keeping up with yours.

Cassie

IT said...

Reading the Economist will only get you into first class if it has your name as the subscriber on the cover.

I've flown in and out of DTW numerous times. Where's the train? Oh, I did see Tiny Tim there once.

ilanlar caddesi said...

I like it!

noktour said...

I like to get on the people mover and pretend that I'm in that old school Jamiroquai video.

janice said...

So funny and true.

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