It’s been a year since I booked a flight. I needed almost three months to overcome the resistance to making the trip, mostly because of the stress of flying.
Getting there is so much work! If we leave from our local airport, two or more stops are necessary and the journey to California is at minimum twelve hours. Hub airports are a better choice for departure, and the cost is about half. Newark, NJ to California’s LAX takes only six hours. That’s time on the plane. But–we have to get to the airport, park the car ($$$), and check in.
No carryon bags are allowed on basic economy. Why? I ask. There are storage cubbies provided. Why can’t we use them? Checking our two bags will cost $70. If we check in late, another $25 per bag is added on at the gate.
Once, God willing, we arrive at LAX, we track down our luggage at baggage claim. Then it’s a shuttle to Union Station, and a train ride to my sister’s town. No one wants to pick up visitors at the airport anymore. My sister says there are new, stricter arrangements for where shuttles and friends are allowed to pick up and drop off passengers.
The rest of the trip’s traveling will be done by rental car. Although I’m not thrilled with making our way through the web of LA freeways, LA was my home turf for many years. Plus, we have the added pleasure of meeting up with relatives and friends along the length of the state.
I remember flying to New York when I was about 5 years old. In those days, everyone dressed up to ride on airplanes. It was like going to a fancy restaurant. The trip in the prop plane (possibly a Lockheed Constellation with three fins) was long and noisy. Toward the end of the flight, the girl with whom I’d been playing threw up. And yet–there were no long lines, no one asked us take our clothes off, and the passengers were made to feel as if they were honored guests.
“Flight attendants served meals on china plates, passengers relaxed in lounges on the plane, and most seats turned into sleeping berths.”
Read more here:
I’m not knocking security. I’m glad the procedures are there for our protection. I just wish–sometimes–that flying was a little more comfortable, and a little more fun.