I love traveling, for the most part. It’s the process of getting there that makes me cringe.
This past weekend, I visited my hometown in Illinois for the weekend (Thursday-Sunday). Winter traveling is never easy, and in the last 5.5 years of living in Boston, I should have known that. I always get stuck in some way or another due to weather, canceled flights, missed connections, mechanical issues, etc. You name it, it’s happened.
Boston > Chicago, Chicago > Peoria, typically. But for this trip, I ended up flying through Charlotte because the times were decent and it was less expensive. I spaced it out nicely with a nice 2-hour layover to get into town by 1pm – perfect.
Overall, I spent a total of 27 hours either on a plane or in the airport. It was a test of patience and sanity – both of which I am already lacking.
Breakdown below, if interested. If not – just go to the bullet points on everything that is wrong with traveling these days.
Boston > Charlotte – we were on the tarmac for 3 hours before even taking off.
Three. Hours. No water, no TV, no bathroom breaks, no beverages or Biscotti things, nothing. It was like prison. They say it was weather related, but it was just a couple inches of snow in February. Boston should be more equipped to deal with that. Oh, and our pilot was late, they had to de-ice twice and refuel. Almost everyone on that flight had missed their connection before we even took off… it was obvious I was about to have ‘a day’.
Charlotte > Peoria – We landed in Charlotte 3.5 hours late and I missed my connection. Turns out there are only 2 flights to Peoria a day – cool. I had to wait around for 8 hours before the next flight out. During my time of reflection, I noticed a couple things about the overall travel experience:
- Airport bars should have just as many outlets as the coffee shops.
- Playing Kelly Rowland at the airport bar is the quickest way to get me to leave.
- $9 beers is robbery – this isn’t an NYC nightclub, I’m drowning my sorrows for my travel woes and they should have some mercy. Flights are expensive enough as it is.
- Cooler Ranch Doritos should not be available for purchase and should NOT be eaten on a plane. I love them, but only in the comfort of my own home, and not in close quarters with others. I’m way too considerate.
- People who put backpacks and jackets in the overhead storage space should be kicked off the flight.
- Why don’t they have TVs on planes anymore? To spare a couple thousand pounds? Terrible.
- I REALLY miss Cinnabon. It was the highlight of my day when I found one in Charlotte. I may have eaten it twice, but I had to reward myself for not going Ben Stiller on everyone’s asses on the plane (Meet the Parents).
- Jamba Juice needs to be replaced with REAL juice bars – Let’s spare everyone the misery of eating Burger King before a flight and replace shitty food options with healthy options, shall we?
- Please don’t bring Burger King or Bojangles chicken on a full airplane. You’re making everyone jealous and sick.
- Leg/shoulder room, anyone? This is America, we are not elf-size – build your planes as such and stop packing us in like sardines.
Needless to say, I went crazy for 8 hours. I lapped the airport 4 times (11k steps total) and was hypersensitive to literally everything. I was too riled up to knit for a long length of time, so I people watched like a caged animal. It sucked.
Eventually, I made it home Thursday before midnight (after an 18-hour day). I had a wonderful time visiting my mom, gran, and my friends, which is the most important part. I left early Sunday because I had big plans to be back in Boston early. Big plans.
Peoria > Charlotte – mechanical issues, 4-hour delay and another missed connection. This time I had to fly standby from Charlotte > Boston and hope for the best. They did secure me a seat last minute and I made it home to Boston in time for the snow storm. We got more snow that night than we have all winter. 10-14 inches. Good timing.
I’m happy to be back, and happy to not be in an airport anymore. I am 100% not traveling from December – April any more. For the safety of everyone around me, I will stay put until winter is over. I know this happens to everyone at some point but I do NOT handle inconveniences well. My tolerance is low and depleting every day I’m on earth – SOS.
I would love to hear your travel nightmares, it will make me feel better .