Could there be two more dreaded words in the traveler’s vocabulary than “flight delayed”? This week, it’s been all over the news: It’s officially the worst time for flight delays in 13 years. To put that in perspective, the last time we had it this bad, O.J. Simpson was white Bronco-ing it along the Los Angeles freeway.
Every time I fly I am reminded of my favorite Seinfeld quote:
Elaine: I hate people!
Jerry: They’re the worst.
Hour four is usually my witching hour on a flight. That’s when I morph, Incredible Hulk-like, from a fairly patient being who has been known to go out of her way to hold the door open for others, into a real live George Costanza, ready to snap at annoying strangers.
I am loving the bring-your-own-meal (BYOM) trend on domestic flights. If there’s been one improvement to air travel these days, it’s actually the lack of in-flight meals–no more stinking airplane cabins and questionable food lingering on my tray table.
But now snack boxes are proliferating, and not only are they an example of gross over-packaging, but they are also known to be laden with empty calories and artery-clogging fat. I’m telling you now that I don’t ever want to appear on The Biggest Loser, which means you won’t find me “snacking” on chips and cookies at 30,000 feet.
True story: Back in the 80s, a friend of mine flew home from the Dominican Republic with her Spanish-speaking grandfather and a gallon-size container of honey from his farm. As if he were traveling with gold bars, he carefully placed the jug of honey in the overhead bin a few seats away. About half-way through the flight, the unlucky man beneath said bin found himself completely doused in honey, which seeped into his ears, covered his eyes, and slid down the space between his collar and his neck. As everyone on the plane turned to see what the shrieking was all about, my friend–who was eight at the time—became the impromptu translator of some colorful language from the flight attendant to her grandfather.
I’ve taken 13 flights in the past two months, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned – besides mastering that “Lost in Translation”-like blank stare on people movers, escalators and airtrams – it’s that good things really do come in small packages. By small, I mean 3 oz. or less.
This really crystallized for me after watching a woman, who was undoubtedly somebody’s mom, cause quite a ruckus at security because she was forced to check her designer purse (or risk having the nearly $300 worth of beauty products that it contained tossed in the garbage). Then, there was another passenger who accused security of stealing her jewelry (while her husband moseyed toward the gate). I had a good chuckle because she was merely being asked to remove her necklaces before walking through the metal detector.