October 29, 2012

Flying Overseas (Part 1)

Today is Oct. 27, 2012, and it is currently 6:21pm, Central time, and I am writing this from an airplane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean ultimately heading to Prague, Czech Republic. I write this because this blog post will likely go live on another day; however, the mere fact that I am writing this from the air is noteworthy. It also made me consider writing a post about flying and all the amenities that we are able to experience today. I thought I’d write about some of the good things about flying as well as some of the disadvantages. I always like to get the yucky stuff out of the way, so let’s start with those disadvantages.

Disadvantage #1: Airports

Yep. I wrote it. The airports are the worst part of flying. I mean, the rules and regulations are bad enough, but then once we pass them, we are stuck in the” boring” (I did just make that participle into a noun.), simply waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Yes, we do people watch, and that is wonderful, but really the fact that we have to arrive so early leaves us with only too much time before take-off. This sucks.

Disadvantage #2: Baggage

On some airlines travelers have to pay to check a bag while on others they have to pay to carry a bag on. Still yet, some make them pay for both. All I’m asking for is a little consistency. Naturally, I would like to not have to pay anything for either checked baggage or carry-on because I must bring clothes and stuff, but I just wish that every airline had the same policy. This would make flying less confusing and less frustrating.

Disadvantage #3: Security

Beyond baggage, the entire security process is just a pain. We all understand that airports and airlines and the TSA are just trying to protect and check for anything dangerous, but it can be so extreme. Before boarding my international flight, I flew from Oklahoma City to a connecting flight at Chicago-O’Hare. I had to exit my arrival terminal to catch the airport transport to the international terminal and then (yep, then), re-enter security there. I’ve flown internationally a bit and never had to do that. By the time I got through my second check-in of the day, my flight was boarding. Had anything gone wrong with security, I would have missed my flight. Perhaps that’s a little too extreme.

I’m all for safety; really, I am. At some point, though, perhaps we’ve reached the extreme. That’s all I’m saying.

Disadvantage #4: The Flight

Then there’s flying itself. Who knows what size plane we’ll get or what our row mates might be like. I do have some good to write about the actual flight, but we have all been on those uncomfortable flights where we think, “I can’t believe I am paying for this. Really.” If one is tall, at all (like me), then she’s cramped. Either the plane doesn’t have enough space to begin with or the person in front leans back as soon as he can thus taking her already limited space.

And don’t get me started on the talkative neighbor. When I fly, I want to write or read or sleep. I do not want to talk to complete strangers about their grandchildren. I’m sorry.  I do participate because I can’t be mean or un-polite, but the entire lecture simply drains me. I’m not rude, nor do I make people uncomfortable, but I do suffer at times when I fly.

Okay, so perhaps other disadvantages exist, but these four are the worst. Of course, in the next post I’ll write about what’s so great about flying, but I like to get the yucky out of the way so that I finish on the satisfaction of the good. Stay tuned for that!

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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