Thursday, August 23, 2012

13 Suckier Things About Travel

You caught me.  I say I love to travel.

But what I really mean is I like to be in different and strange places.  Nobody really likes to travel these days.
And if you're forced to endure the ordeal that business travel has become I pity you.

This post is dedicated to you.  Let's commiserate!

13 Crappy Things About Travel That Have Only Gotten Worse in Recent Years

1. Airport security.  The illusion of safety.  Now we have body scanners.  If body scanners are intended to detect items not picked up by metal detectors, and vice versa, why doesn't the TSA march us through both?

2. No free meals.  Remember when you'd get a free sandwich for coast-to-coast flights?

3. Airline baggage fees.  Every airline now charges for checked bags depending on your status.

4. Overhead bins.  The overhead bins for carryon luggage are smaller and crammed fuller than ever before.

5. Packing.  You are now forced to allocate your toiletries into Petri dish-sized containers.

6. Standby.  Have a change of plans?  Want to get home before that terrible storm rolls through?  Unless you have earned a mid- to high-tier status, you will now be charged a hefty fee (~$75) to standby for an earlier.

7. Mileage status.  Your travel miles earn you fewer perks.

8. Mileage status (again).  Should you lapse in status for one year, the next year you're deported to the end of the line.  Hello, boarding group 11 and 12!

9. Delays.  The airlines will try to sell you the idea they have improved on-time performance.  Just look at our shiny new statistics.  What they don't tell you is they measure their performance by an inflated "travel time" not actual flight time.  They don't even need to burn extra fuel to make up the time in the air.  The extra padding ensures an "on-time" arrival for most flights with a late departure.

10. Common courtesy.  Passenger courtesy has declined significantly.  People push and shove to board so they can pack their sprawling belongings into the overhead bins.  These also happen to be the same folks eager to slam down into full recline without checking for a laptop or sore knees pressed into their seatback.

11. Flight options.  Fewer and fuller flights mean you have fewer alternatives when they cancel your original flight for "mechanical" reasons.  Don't fret!  You may receive a discounted, $99 hotel voucher to the dirty airport hotel room of your choice.

12. Hotel pillows.  I'm pretty sure the only reason the pillows in the hotels are worse than in years past is because they are the same pillows.  Does anyone like feather pillows?

13. Toilet paper (yes, I went there).  Any time your toilet tissue crinkles, you know you're in for an uncomfortable stay.  To make matters worse, this rough (cheap) toilet paper somehow has been designed to ensure frugality and rips off into individual squares.

Do you think traveling has gotten better or worse in recent years?

Thank you CubaGallery on Flicker for the great photo!


  1. You're so right--I say I love to travel, but I really do just love being in new or different places.

    I'm with you on everything else, but what's wrong with feather pillows?

    On an unrelated note . . . November is fast approaching. Will you be doing NaNoWriMo again this year?

    1. Hi Lori,
      My head's like a bowling ball, so feathers are simply not supportive - structurally speaking. Yes, I know NaNo's coming up. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it. It was such a huge challenge and I don't know if I want to play those odds again. I really like the WriteIns though. So either way, I'll probably do some of those.

      What about you? Are you up for the challenge?