24 Minor Air Travel Indignities I Have Survived


When I fly somewhere and I get to where I’m going, sometimes someone will ask, “How was your flight?” And I just say, “Ah, it was fine,” because it usually is. But I was on a flight a couple weeks ago, and I started thinking, “You know, this whole experience went pretty well, yet again. But it could have been even better.” So I started making a list of some things that in a perfect world, might have gone a tad more smoothly during my multi-leg trip.

1. Airport auto-flush toilet flushed when I was still seated

2. Repeated failure to trigger automatic faucet in restroom

3. Paper towel ripped into pieces when I pulled on it

4. Gate was far from Jamba Juice

5. USB charger in seats at gate didn’t charge phone quickly

6. Boarding protocol seemed to indicate that I am not special, or at best only a member of the fifth most-special group of people boarding this flight

7. Electronic boarding pass wouldn’t scan right away

8. Said “Good, how are you?” in reply to flight attendant who said, “Hello”

9. No one in first class offered to give me their seat in exchange for my non-first class seat

10. No one in first class acknowledged my existence as a fellow traveler of the air with so much as a simple wave, head nod, or smile and hearty handshake as I shuffled past

11. Person in seat next to me did not seem to think my job sounded interesting

12. Comfort + not as comfortable as I’d fantasized

13. Someone farted

14. Guy manspreaded into my leg space bubble

15. Only 3/8 Mission Impossible movies available on in-flight

16. Plane wing blocked part of view

17. Clouds outside window not interestingly shaped

18. Pilots did not invite me to help them fly plane or even hang out in cockpit at all

19. Plane did not have friendly, fluffy golden retriever patrolling the aisles

20. Loyalty to airline rewarded with “miles” instead of a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on during hard times, or actual friendship

21. No one complimented my new shoes

22. Removing bag from overhead bin required multiple attempts spanning several seconds

23. Human flight achieved in 1903, yet we still await the creation of affordable and widely available jetpacks

24. No smartly dressed driver waiting with a placard bearing my name in a tasteful font when I arrived at my destination