Greetings from beautiful Kauai, Hawaii! The sun is up, the sky is blue, and my God, is it nice to have arrived and gotten off of that darn plane! Getting up at 4:45 in the morning to catch a 6:50 flight for two hours followed by a plane change and a five and a half hour flight, descending into a sticky hot expanse of baggage claims and car rentals, and driving a confusing thirty minutes to a hotel was not exactly as fun as it is now that we are here and lying on palm tree lined beaches. As my mom so eloquently put it to our flight attendant while begrudgingly handing over her credit card for in-flight fruit and cheese plates (no meal on a 5.5 hr. flight?!), “It used to be such a pleasure to fly”.
Yes. It did used to be such a pleasure to fly.
Well, I assume. I am only seventeen, so really, I wouldn’t know. I DO know, however, that the glamorous pictures of celebrities and wholesome families boarding planes in the 50s and 60s look a lot more fun than the stressful experience it is now. Between waiting in lines, getting through a grueling security check, and making it to your gate, onto your plane, and into a seat on time (with carry-ons properly stowed and seats in their full, upright positions), flying anywhere is just painful. I certainly think that when the Wright brothers invented the airplane, they were not anticipating for someone to use it to make a bomb out of toothpaste.
I mean, no liquids? Seriously? You’re telling me I can bring 3.4 ounces of lotion on the plane, but any extra ounces are dangerous? You’re going to pat me down and wipe my hands with weird wipes because I’ve obviously hidden gunpowder in the folds of my hands? I have to empty my water bottle just to rid it of my homemade explosive-ridden water, but I am perfectly welcome to fill it with safe water after security? What if I know how to make a weapon with water? Because if I did, I could sure as hell do it with the airport water. I’m no scientist, but I bet it could be done.*
*By the way, if TSA is reading this, I promise I can’t do that.
And what’s with the cell phone rule? What does airplane mode even do?? I mean, I put mine on airplane mode, but honestly, I’m only doing it because it conserves the battery. Because if the systems of a giant Boeing aircraft can be tampered with simply by my phone being on, I think we have bigger problems. Plus, what about that guy in 22B who already has huge headphones on and seems to be nodding off? Do you think he turned his devices on airplane mode? Is my safety dependent on him?
Oh, and is it really necessary for me to walk barefoot on the gross airport floor so that x-rays can check my shoes for National Security threats? I mean, I guess I get it, that seems a little more plausible than it hiding in my liquids, but even when I’m wearing sandals? Come on.
All I’m saying is, I want the image of those cute fifties kids being served glittering trays of goodies by a perfectly polished flight attendant. Not the screaming baby or the kid kicking my seat while I try to fall asleep and forget this horror. Whoever said it’s the journey, not the destination, clearly never flew on any major airline in post 9/11 America. It’s long, it’s stressful, and it’s riddled with weird security rules that don’t seem to be doing much.
And don’t even get me started on that airplane food.
Submitted with undying love for,
Hawaii, the many places one can apparently conceal a bomb, getting off of a plane, and the potential TSA agent reading this and doing a background check on me,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken