April 30, 2011

Flying is a Pain in My Ass!

I've been flying very frequently over the past 3 years. In that time, I've learned a lot. First and foremost, flying sucks! You want an experience that will try your patience, test your ability to plan and think on your feet, expose you to the disgruntled masses, turn you into a contortionist, possibly humiliate you unnecessarily, and/or (mostly, just and) give you less than you put in? Fly.

I consider myself a frequent flyer (though my miles certainly still don't add up) since I've flown 16 times in the past three years. That's more flying than a majority of the world's population will ever do in a lifetime. In these 16 trips I have honed my packing skills, increased my asshole-tolerance level, and become a more patient, understand & adaptive person. Until I become frustrated and pissed anyway.

And today, I arrive at Philadelphia International Airport with a 3 hour layover, only to discover that there are no power outlets at my gate. I have to lug my carry-on & 2 year old baby of a backpack three gates down and sit on the hard floor next to a frequently used phone booth in order to use my laptop. My behind doth protest.

I understand delayed flights due to bad weather or maintenance issues. I accept that all airport concessions will be overpriced. I endure the bratty, whiny children and the obnoxious parents who refuse their right to enforce discipline. I have grown used to the abrupt and discourteous customer service I am sometimes subjected to. But I can't, for the life of me, understand why an international airport of this magnitude can not provide more power outlets* at each gate, or at least seating near the existing outlets.

Flying has become a rather tedious, hassled and trying process as it is. These little, seemingly insignificant, factors only compound the inconvenience of an air travel experience. I wish the airports would take greater care towards the comfort of their patrons. A frustrated customer does no good to anyone. A frustrated customer often turns into a complaining and angry customer. It would make for a more positive experience for everyone, including the airports, if some basic amenities were included or improved upon.

*A compilation of airports around the world and their power outlet locations.
Disclaimer: I speak of Philadelphia airport based on my solitary & limited experience at Terminal F. However, much of the above post holds true for many other airports.