The Miracle And Misery Of International Flight

by Randy Murray on August 13, 2012

Unless you are extremely wealthy, there’s absolutely nothing enjoyable about international air travel.

I can simulate the experience for you. Find a large cardboard box you can fit in, just wide enough for your shoulders, then place a folding chair in it. Seat yourself in the chair, set the timer for six to eight hours, then ask a friend to assist by taking a two-by-four and beating you about the head and shoulders with it at random intervals.

I wish my last flight had been that pleasant.

While I’m complaining, I’ll add that air travel of almost any length has become uncomfortable, undignified, and unreliable. If I can drive somewhere in eight hours or less I’ll drive rather than fly. The ten hour drive from Columbus to NYC is a tossup.

It is miraculous that I can leave my home and in less than twenty four hours be almost anywhere in the world. For the most part, it’s relatively inexpensive, considering the distances and the time. But it is akin to being packed into a cattle car and shipped off to market. There has to be a better way. Frankly, I’d accept the alternative of being administered a sedative for the flight, blissfuly sleeping through the indignities, stacked like crates of oranges, and arriving refreshed and happy, if bruised.

Or perhaps we should just give up on air travel altogether and bring back the much more sensible rail and ocean liner travel. What’s the hurry? Even 3rd class travel on an ocean liner is a vast improvement over current air travel.

The The Miracle And Misery Of International Flight by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan August 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm

So unfortunately true. My girlfriend and I are currently traveling around Europe on first class rail. Slightly cheaper than flying and we couldn’t be happier with the improvement in comfort and dignity. Not to mention the absence or airport security.


Randy Murray August 14, 2012 at 7:44 am

I’m not sure why I fly at all. Yesterday, traveling back from Edinburgh, Scotland, we were up for right at 24 hours straight, very uncomfortable most of the time.

It’s uncivilized.


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