Getting Ready for the Meat Wagon (Plane Ride)

Oh joy. I’m going on a plane on Wednesday. This weekend, the dread has already set in. Longtime readers know how much I dislike flying. And for a guy who dislikes it, I certainly buy more than my fair share of plane tickets.

As I was prepping for the flight, the reasons to hate flying only became more apparent. Case in point: one of the few things I look forward to about flights these days is the chance to see what movies they’re showing. If I have to be trapped on a tube with wings for 6 hours, I might as well get some entertainment out of the deal, right?


US Airways has helpfully stopped offering any in-flight entertainment on domestic flights. Why? Because heaven forbid they might consider making some part of the trip actually enjoyable. Since 1985 (the time I can start actually remembering being on airplanes), they’ve made the seats significantly thinner, crammed them in more, taken away the (admittedly often awful) food, made it ridiculously hard to get on the plane in the first place, and now they’re taking out the movies?


Back in the day when I was making the flight from New York to Utah on a regular basis, I remember some things I actually liked: the movies, the food (hey–I was a kid, and the food broke up the monotony of the flight), and the ability to ask for packs of playing cards from the flight attendant. (Free cards? Score!) Of course, just as I was about to start protesting how expensive plane tickets are these days, I had to go and research the statistics first. Turns out tickets are down remarkably over the years (though they have risen somewhat recently). So I guess the cheaper tickets come with consequences. Go figure.

So what am I doing to prepare for the planepocalypse? Over-preparing, as usual. If I do a lot of things to ensure as much as I can that things go smoothly, then I tend to feel marginally better about the future. For this trip that means:

  • Downloading 13 hours of movies ahead of time. No in-flight entertainment, US Airways? Fine. I’ll bring my own. Jerks.
  • Buying bus tickets ahead of time. And double and triple checking when all the departures and arrivals are.
  • Downloading multiple new books onto my Kindle. Not because I’ll read them all, but because what if I don’t have a book I like?
  • Downloading new games for my iPad. Again–spending money ahead of time somehow makes me feel more prepared.
  • Making out a complete packing list. (I’m pitiful, is what I am. Pitiful.)

In any case, when Wednesday rolls around, you can follow along with me as I embark on my trek to Utah. Leaving the house at 3:30 am or so. What will happen this time? Will soccer teams delay my flight again? Will I still have knees by the time the flight is over? I’ll be sure to update Facebook and Twitter with all the juicy details, so you can experience it all vicariously through me. Why would you want to do that? Because I’ve found that when you know someone out there is having a worse day than you are, your day becomes infinitely more satisfying and enjoyable.

I aim to please, folks.

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