I will start this post on a positive note. This Reddit post picture demonstrates a family’s concern for fellow airline passengers. A refreshing little point of light in the abyss of inconsiderate airlines and airline passengers. The darker side of kids on the plane is when the airline loses your 10 year old. I carry ear plugs, but if you read some of the air travel stories from hell in the Reddit link above, you will see that you may need more than ear plugs for kids on board.
Fortunately, I don’t have to fly much anymore, so I guess my one or two air trips a year may make me a typical non-business traveler.
Flying today is a question of 1) SIZE : Can this person get his twice-over-45-liner-inch-limit bag in the overhead bin? Will that 25 inch butt fit in a less than 18 inch wide seat? and 2) COMFORT: Will the blood circulation to my arm be cut off by the large arm overlapping my shoulder? Will I need to change shirts after absorbing someone else’s sweat for 3 hours? Do you really think that a tank top, cutoffs and sandals is appropriate travel attire for a 300 pound guy? Well, it’s comfortable.
The airlines continue to reduce legroom and seat width to pack their planes with even more uncomfortable bodies. If you follow the 2 previous links, you will see that that they are passenger torture innovations initiated by United, the company that made our trip from GEG to MEM so miserable recently. But they’re going to make more wi-fi available. It might be hard to use, though, considering the mummy-like positions we are forced into in our seats.
The TSA could help solve the problems
Those TSA folks are polite but quite diligent in risk checking. I had a couple of upper body frisks. Why can’t their diligence extend to carry-on size, human size, and a very simple dress code? Airlines post a fairly consistent carry-on policy, and have policies for oversized passengers, but they don’t seem to want to enforce them themselves [However they are quick to bump a Down Syndrome passenger as a flight risk]. I say, don’t let oversize bags get by the TSA checkpoint. Turn the passenger around and tell them to go pay to check the steamer trunk they are trying to bring aboard. TSA could also scan and screen people for size: you’re too wide for the 17″ coach seat, sorry, go buy a second ticket. And maybe a simple dress code, like 80% of your skin surface needs to be clothed.
And I won’t even get into the what happens to the baggage that you do check.
Remember when United’s slogan used to be “Fly the Friendly Skys”?