I can understand John Madden’s choosing not to fly preferring instead the bus. I am beginning to hate flying. It’s not for the usual reason like safety, it’s simply just no fun anymore. True it gets me where I am going quicker and in one piece, but it’s the peripheral things that make me look for alternative means of transportation. At the end of next week I will be beginning another video project which will take me across the U.S. I have chosen to drive with my equipment rather than flying. There is no rush and in my travels maybe I’ll meet interesting people. Because I am not wealthy, I cannot fly business or first class, I wind up in steerage crammed in an uncomfortable seat with about 4 inches of leg room. For a flight from SFO to Heathrow (have I told you how much I hate Heathrow?) or Di Vinci I am told to strap in for 11 hours and enjoy “your flight.” Enjoy? Really?
I was recently in Rome and Spain with the Chamber singers from my former high school on a tour and before that I went to Scotland for a job interview. The starting point for my already acute Airport Anxiety was the push back of Virgin’s departure for nearly 5 hours. Not a good PR move no matter what the reason. Vouchers for dinner were offered but the ticket agent ran out after a few people snagged them. Enduring the humiliation of the full-body scan to LEAVE the U.S. was only the beginning. Before you write and say “they” are only trying to keep me safe and I shouldn’t be concerned if I have nothing to hide, but it just seems to me too intrusive. I don’t like it and I don’t feel any safer. I gave the two finger salute when I was being scanned, I guess no one caught it or maybe a star was put by my name so I will be further humiliated the next time I fly. I am not concerned as are some over radiation from the machines I am concerned over the machines themselves and their electronic “strip search.” There must be a better way. Sheesh.
Upon arrival I cannot get out of the plane fast enough. I have often thought of slipping into the emergency row and pulling a Slater sliding down to the tarmac with a Sprite in my fist. Although there is much more to the story I can vaguely understand why he did what he did. (Did I tell you how much I hate Heathrow?) I would have thought it would have been a passenger rather than a flight attendant. For the most part, once one gets beyond the extra fees up front and hidden fees and the crappy food and the sometimes rude attendants who hit your knee with the food cart, getting off the plane can take 15 minutes. No I am not a happy flyer. So now I am going to fill up my car with gas at $3.39 a gallon and hit the road.