Thursday, 27 August 2015
Ten things I hate about air travel
Whenever I'm getting close to departure on a long flight my thoughts turn to the many frustrations of air travel. Some, such as the hassle at security and the invariable kicking of heels in terminals, are unavoidable. Other's aren't - or ought not to be. Here are ten of my recurring gripes:
Those persistent airport updates that blame delays on the late arrival of the incoming aircraft. Why can’t they tell us the reason, whether it’s air traffic congestion, bad weather, a technical fault or some other problem? It wouldn’t get you away any more quickly but it might soothe our irritation a little and make us a bit more sympathetic if the problem is out of their hands.
Rip off rates at airport currency exchanges. The cost of changing money is already an unfair burden on leisure travellers – without penalising them for leaving it until just before departure.
Being asked for my boarding pass in airport shops - particularly for something costing peanuts such a bottle of mineral water or a snack - and that was before I learned the VAT discount I was supposed to get was going straight on to the retailer's bottom line.
Cabin staff who announce that you are about to arrive into your destination. It’s an abominable abuse of language and, sadly, its use is spreading like Japanese knotweed.
People who carry on ludicrous amounts of cabin baggage - in defiance of the maximum dimensions set by airlines.
Passengers who ram their seats back, especially on short flights, with no regard for the person behind. How I cheered when the traveller opposite me, who had falling victim to a particularly aggressive recline assault, shoved the woman in front’s seat upright again twice – first when she went to the lavatory, then when she leant forward to get something out of her bag. Long legged sympathisers – please copy.
Parents who don’t stop their kids kicking your seat back.
Passengers who hog the in flight lavatories. The toilets should not be used for shaving or applying make up.
Travellers who insist on moving as far as possible towards the exit while they wait for the doors to open – making it difficult to get your carry on bags out of the overhead bin.
And - probably worst of all - people who crowd close to the baggage carousel forcing you to squeeze between them when you luggage arrives before theirs.