Nick's Journal
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2007-03-24 00:47:48 (UTC)

What the fuck happened to air travel?

well i don't know if i've stated this before in a journal,
but the airports and people participating in air travel has
really taken a turn for the worse. this coming from someone
who has flown extensively his entire life. when i was a
young buck from the early nineties to the late nineties my
family would do a summer trip back to austria to visit
relatives. i remember my mom would always have my brother
and i dress nicely because it was a 'special' occassion to
be flying. and truly it felt that way.
while in the airport we seemed to be around the 'upper
echelon'. the businessmen hurrying to and fro in their
snazzy suits and large briefcases. the women dressed in
revealing clothing, normally either mistress or secretaries
i suppose (read: mistresses). well to do passengers
(usually older people) while not dressed in business attire,
still in nice clothing.
in short. going to the airport and flying was like going to
an exclusive country club. there was a certain type of
person who was in this realm of society.
now it feels like i'm in fucking price club. you look
around you and you can't for the life of yourself figure out
how someone can drop $250 on a flight to iowa but not have a
t-shirt that doesn't have a grease stain on it.
what with 9/11 and the airlines just losing their shit,
every idiot able to use a credit card is now on an airplane.
it's just plain sad. now instead of having a reprieve from
the muffin tops, saggy chins, and smelly auto mechanics, i
get to sit next to them.
which of course leads me to the people i got to sit next to
on a 4 hour flight. right next to me, squeezed in between
the armrests like a fucking sausage coming out of its casing
was this woman who just looked way too young to be so
i felt badly for her as i took my aisle seat. you could
tell that she was self-conscious as her fat elbow kept on
slidding over the armrest and into my ribs. she was
breathing like she was chasing a twinkie and all she was
doing was reading the in-flight magazine.
she was really sweet and a joy to be around other and also
provided warmth as her fat draped over into my chair. the
guy next to her in the window...another story.
first off, he was just generally pissed off. i don't know
why, but he was being such as shit head to the lady. he
kept on bumping her elbow all rudely as it slipped down the
armrest. he seemed really pissed to be saddled in between a
window and a manatee for about 4 hours.
anyhow, he was complaining about everything. like he wanted
a beer the second he got on (cos it's a great idea to drink
in a crowded airplane 30,000 feet above the ground, when the
only bathroom you have smells like a homeless man who's been
rotting in an alley for 5 days) and the stewardess (who was
more polite than she should have been) kindly told his
alcoholic ass that this was impossible as the beverage
service didn't start until after takeoff.
with a few choice words he admonished her and then after we
had reached cruising altitude blissfully threw his head rest
back and went to sleep.
or so i thought.
a few seconds later he got really agitated with the people
behind him. from what i could see over mt. everest sitting
next to me, he kept on peering through the seat and telling
them, to "stop it or he would put a stop to it!".
seriously, we were about 10 mins into our flight and the man
was already threatening people. apparently the people
didn't stop what he didn't like (and for the life of me i
have no idea what they were doing that was wrong), so HE
KICKED BACKED IN HIS CHAIR!!! like a fucking child!
i heard a "hey, what the hell are you doing!" and
immeidately turned quizzical. that sounded like an elderly
man! up until this point i had thought there were some
rag-tag teenagers back there messing with his short fuse.
so i get up to "go to the bathroom" to have a look.
sure enough tthere's an elderly couple behind him! and not
the crabby ass, wanna stick in a home old people, but the
sweet grandmother who bakes cookies and grandfather who
tells stories kind!
but that wasn't it. the elderly couple started playing
cards which apparently required shuffling every 2 mins.
while not excruciating it definitely was audible.
i swear to god, that dude lost it. he was hurling insults
like it was nothing. finally i turned to him, stared at
him, and after he confronted me with an angry, "what?"
i was like (in my best, 'talking to a dude on pcp with a gun
in his hand' voice),
"man, it's alright. they're not trying to agitate you."
"yeah well then they'd stop."
"it's a 4 hour flight...they're just killing time."
"they're killing me nerves!"
"you should really invest in those noise cancellation
headphones or some ear plugs."
"well if the headphones didn't cost $15 dollars i wouldn't
be in this situation!"
he had a point there.
"just, please..." and i gave my best austrian smile, "take
it easy."
he glared at me. glared through the seat. and finally
passed out.
i swear to god. what the fuck has happened to air
transportation? those security checkpoints should screen
for anyone wearing a.) sweatpants b.) a hat that is tilted
in any which way on their head c.) or that is muslim.
just a little would go a long way.