Planes suck

No story today, just a rant.

Plane travel is amazing.  It allows us to travel thousands of miles, as far as halfway around the globe, in a matter of hours.  Our ancestors wouldn’t even be able to fathom such accomplishments.  Not only can we travel at over five hundred miles per hour, for a sustained period, but we are able to do so as the crow flies, surmounting all obstacles in our way.

And yet, despite this, it really, really, sucks.

How does flight lose its magic?  For centuries, man has dreamed of flight, of being able to shed his earthly shackles and take to the sky.  From Icarus to Superman, flight is one of the most common wishes.  We all dream of flight.

Despite this, I dread heading to the airport.  Why?  Let’s look at how we humans undertake the majesty of flight; let’s outline the steps of this incredible journey.

First, we’ll head to a large building in the middle of nowhere, where the air conditioning is always on high and there are never any comfortable seats.  After being segregated and sorted by monkeys dressed in uniforms, we must stand in lines.  After shuffling through these agonizingly slow lines, dragging along our belongings in canvas sacks, we are submitted to a humiliating series of poking and prodding and scanning examinations.  Our belongings are also thoroughly searched.  We must be stripped, x-rayed, and felt down by very unattractive people.

But once we’ve made it through this ordeal, the skies are ours, right?  Yes, sort of.

We are crowded and herded into a very cramped metal tube, filled with other disagreeable members of our species.  We must squeeze through too-small aisles into too-small seats, where we are basically locked into a single bent position for the duration of our flight.  Crammed shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow with our neighbors, whom we often have never met before, we must stare out of tiny portholes as the ground lifts away, while a tin voice blares over speakers about “attaching your own oxygen mask before helping others.”

Faced with such a dreary voyage, we are tempted to slip off into the peaceful oblivion of sleep.  Yet the wailing baby, the small child who kicks the seat, and the obese man who insists on fully reclining all band together to deny us even that simple pleasure.

Instead, we are forced to remain awake, breathing stale air and attempting to entertain ourselves with in-flight magazines of ridiculous purchasable items until we are finally set blessedly free from the confinement.

When did flying become such a chore?  Build us glass planes with oversized windows, with benches and leg room instead of cramped individual seats, with bean-bag chairs, multi-person scanners hooked to supercomputers for ultra-rapid analysis, courteous personnel, and tasty, delicious, freshly cooked snacks for a very minimal fee!  Do this, and maybe flying will once again capture our dreams and imaginations.

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