The invention of the aeroplane has revolutionised the way we transport cargo. Taking local products to new lands has allowed global commerce to ascend beyond measure, but there is something else we transport frequently – people. On this front we seem to be far from futuristic as many people dread taking a plane, not because they fear death, but they fear the inevitable annoyances that come with air travel, including the following.
Flying revolves around far too many queues, just think about it. Before you even get there, you are likely already lining up to get in the car park or onto the train and consequent tram that takes you there. Once you finally arrive, be prepared to fall in line several more times as you first wait to check in. Then get ready for all your Tetris-style packing to be undone as you half unload all your handheld bags into trays as you queue for security. Queue for the toilet before you join the queue at your terminal where you will go single file all the way into the plane, doing the same on the way out. When you finally land, baggage claim, customs and security will have you doing the dance in reverse before you finally get released into the wild making you regret your week of solid theme parks.
Unless you’ve sold off your house and a few off your kids, you are probably boarding economy. Here you can expect to get cosy with complete strangers on a level you may have not thought was legal for several reasons. Elbow to elbow, cheek to cheek with barley millimetres of wiggle room, these seats are clearly not made for comfort or the prevention of disease. Get ready to become oddly intimate with folk you will hopefully never see again (because you don’t look your best when sleep dribbling), gaining only a stiff neck, several aches and a lasting cramp in the process.
Long flight times
If being crammed into a tiny space wasn’t already bad enough, get ready to do it for a bizarrely long period of time. With some long-haul journeys reaching over 20 hours, it can make you seriously contemplate the laws of physics. Surely (you think to yourself in a mild psychotic break at hour 9) if you hovered in the same spot for 12 hours the earth would do all the work and turn halfway round. Whichever scenic route the sadistic pilot takes you on, the worst part is it’s going to feel longer than it actually is, so you have that to look forward to.
Aeroplane food is kind of like dog food in the way that the people who prepare it are delighted that they don’t have to eat it. Of course, it wouldn’t be efficient to have a Michelin star restaurant built into the back of the plane, but a half working microwave and a supply of stale nuts doesn’t really feel like a compromise. There is one benefit though, the mass-produced dwarven prison trays they serve up really make you appreciate the half-melted chocolate bar you paid a criminally inflated price for back at the airport.