Airports: not always so fly

JENNA VORIS | OPINION COLUMNIST Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

With fall break just ending, and Thanksgiving right about the corner, many students will have traveled this month. Some will have spent breaks at home, some in their dorms and others off to visit friends and family.

Whether students stayed in central Indiana or ventured to an airport near them for this past break, most have experienced the joy of flying to a destination at some point. And by joy, I mean frustration.

Here are the five worst things about traveling by plane.

  1.  Standing on the moving walkways.

The Indianapolis International Airport is equipped with moving walkways.  These devices are essentially horizontal escalators and, according to the airport’s website, are supposed to enhance mobility. Not much is enhanced, however, when passengers decide to stand in the middle of the moving walkway instead of actually going with the flow.

This only results in a line of annoyed and impatient individuals who are trying to catch a connection flight or grab their luggage.

  1.   Putting more than one carry-on in the overhead compartment.

Most airlines allow passengers to bring one carry-on and one personal item onto their plane. This means that a person could have both a small rolling bag and a laptop case. The unspoken rule of the airplane is that one carry-on is stored in the overhead bin while the smaller item placed under the seat in front of you.

With limited space in the aircraft anyway, people who feel as if both of their bags deserve space in the overhead compartment should reconsider their priorities.  

  1.   Everything is more expensive.

It is as if airports and movie theaters are in a constant battle to see who can charge more for a bottle of water or a bag of chips. Anywhere else, it wouldn’t be more than $5 to grab a bite to eat, but airports seem determined to make sure that their prices fly as high as their aircraft.

After all, if passengers find that they have forgotten something at home, there is no turning around to get it. Airports know that and, as a result, survive purely off the desperation and dollars of their unfortunate victims.

  1.    Excessive use of the reclining seat.

On early-morning or late-night flights, it’s not unusual to find passengers sleeping on a plane. Some airlines even provide small pillows and blankets to help. While it is fine for people to catch up on some missed hours of sleep during travel time, it is not as nice when an unsuspecting traveler ends up with a reclining seat in his or her lap.

Respecting the other passengers on the flight is important – probably more important than a nap.

  1. Rude people

Airports are not exactly the happiest place on earth. There are security guards, TSA agents and flight attendants to deal with – sometimes in the early hours of the morning – and this can bring out the worst in some people. These employees are trying to do their job and keep everyone safe, but some people take every rule personally.

Instead of making a big deal about putting all liquids in a Ziploc bag and ensuring sure each is the correct amount, people could follow the rules in the first place and not hold up the rest of the passengers behind them

A lot of these travel pet peeves of mine come down to being considerate and polite.  Airplanes are not exactly the most comfortable place to be. The seats are close together, the recycled air is dry and full of germs, security takes forever and Wifi is not free. What makes these conditions worse, however, is when people think they are entitled to more than their fellow passengers.

If everyone who flew on a plane or set foot in an airport just made an agreement to respect the people around them and treat them how they would like to be treated, I would like everyone at the airport a lot more.

Just please, for the love of all that is good and pure, do not stand on the moving walkway.