I’ll explain. To begin with, think about what typically happens as you go through the security line in each airport. It’s mighty stressful. I realize that it’s needed, but the process is identical each time. As quickly as possible, you whip off shoes, belt, coat, anything metal and throw it all into 3-4 bins, all the while the people in back of you are politely pushing and edging you forward. God forbid you aren’t quick enough in dislodging your materials into these bins. Someone jumps in front of you and that creates more anxiety. Of course, throughout this process, the security people are herding each one of us like cattle going to market to get through the line and walk under the x-ray post.
No time to take a deep breath at that point though. Because, just as quickly, you’re expected to grab all items you have on the belt coming out of the other end, or the people’s stuff behind yours will pile right on top. I have to believe it would be really funny for someone to be a fly on the security wall and watch us poor travelers hopping on one foot to get a shoe on, while simultaneously trying to put our lap top back in a briefcase and also slip that belt back on.
I find myself tense, stressed out and needing a vacation after experiencing the security line more than once in a day.
Then, after a few hours of waiting and finally piling on to the plane, the next experience typically happens which makes me feel like a child. When those airplane doors close, flight attendants, who are actually customer service representatives, instantly transform into your worst disciplinarian teacher. And, each of us becomes nothing more than a child forced to follow every single directive and rule. Again, I understand why many of these rules are in place, but it just strikes me as a little zany as to how adult passengers lose all control during the experience.
For example, ever try to get a little more use out of your Blackberry before taking off? I find myself becoming so sneaky just to hide the PDA from any possible flight attendant who could be coming up in front of me, or even scarier… from behind. I typically place the Blackberry between two magazines so that it appears that I’m reading and then sneak a few peaks and write some last minute emails before we ever take off. Getting caught is a brutal experience though. The look isn’t something I’ve seen since my mother used to catch me (after the fact) holding parties in our house (as a teenager) when my parents traveled.
Sometimes it’s even the little things that make you feel just as bad though- How about trying to lower your seat just a tad before take off because when it is upright, it’s just so comfortable to the back? I’ve gotten that glare and have been reprimanded on more than one occasion. God forbid ones briefcase isn’t stowed perfectly under the seat. The resulting lecture from Sister Mary Flight Attendant is the same.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that all of these aspects of flying actually make the experience dreadful. I can take all the waiting around flight delays. But, no one wants to be taken out of their comfort zone so often and the way that makes adults feel like children. Not much anyone can do about it and I understand why the rules are what they are. But, it doesn’t mean that I’ll ever like it.