The Chat: Some like flying, some don't
JEN: It's spring break season. If you're willing to pay for grossly escalated airfares, it's time to get out of Dodge!
JENNY R: Hey, we're all flying in the next few weeks. You two are heading out on spring break, and I have my beach week with my YaYas.
MISSIE: I haven't flown in two years; I'm so excited. I love the festive mood I experience at an airport. And my trip was a great deal because I booked eons ago.
JEN: Mine wasn't. I have never paid as much for tickets to Phoenix as I did last week.
MISSIE: That's because you booked seven days in advance. Who does that?! I've been packing since you decided to book.
JEN: You can't rush these things! You know I'm notorious for putting this stuff off—but we stay with my parents, and we eat their food, and drive their car, so it's easier to justify those last-minute flights.
JENNY R: Do I remember that you're shipping your clothes?
JEN: I hate the carry-on game. I hate the whole, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is a full flight, so there will be limited space in the overhead bins…" spiel.
MISSIE: I know. It puts me on edge: What if there isn't room? Neil's already freaking out. I think he's going to leave the night before and wait at the gate to be first in line.
JENNY R: That's why I don't carry on. I check it all. I hate having to schlep.
JEN: There's nothing worse than rolling your suitcase all the way down that narrow aisle, only to have to rearrange everyone else's stuff to squeeze in because they put their COATS in the overhead bin. Ugh. So I only do under-seat carry ons, and ship the rest in advance.
JENNY R: That would stress me out more than waiting for my checked luggage.
JEN: Also, I want to be the last person on the plane—not the first. And if I don't have to worry about stowing my stuff, I can wait until the last possible moment to board.
JENNY R: Finally, a voice of reason.
MISSIE: I can't do it. Flying is a ninja mission. No relaxing. I have to get on there and claim my space.
JENNY R: Not me. Last one on, and, after we land, I read my book while all of those obnoxious people stand and wait and stare at you because they are standing and waiting for NOTHING. The doors are not even open, people.
JEN: I know! Why stand in the aisle when the plane lands? It's not going to get you off the plane any faster.
MISSIE: But it puts their butts in your face. So I stand, too—hunched over beneath the luggage bins.
JEN: Listen, I think air travel is remarkable. I'm sincerely in awe every time I fly, because we are soaring 600 mph across the sky in a giant, metal tube. It's practically unfathomable.
MISSIE: I try not to think about that part.
JEN: My point is this: I don't complain over late flights, bad travel weather, etcetera. These things happen. But people who pull on my seat to stand up? People who put the arm rest up so they have more room… on my seat? People who leave the arm rest down, but hog it?
MISSIE: Or kids kicking! I have no boundaries. I'll say something.
JENNY R: I won't. I just sit in my own misery.
MISSIE: Don't be a victim!
JEN: I get passive aggressive. I look behind my seat repeatedly like, "What was that? Oh, YOUR KID AGAIN."
MISSIE: Right! Then I add, "You have to STOP THAT."
JEN: The last time I flew, I had none of that. In fact, the passenger next to me wore headphones and put her nose in a book before I even sat down. I thought, "Oh, I gotcha honey. We won't talk."
MISSIE: I love it when people don't want to talk. I don't want to talk, either.
JENNY R: Where's your humanity? Learning other people's stories is the best part of travel.
MISSIE: No, not really. I don't want to talk to anyone for three hours straight. I like to know where people are from and where they're going, but after 20 minutes, leave me alone.
JEN: You know, despite all the travel quirks, we're pretty lucky. Flying is so much more accessible and—when you plan ahead—affordable than it used to be.
JENNY R: The world is much smaller than it used to be.
JEN: … especially when you're squeezed in next to strangers.
MISSIE: … who elbow you and won't stop talking.
JENNY R: … with their kicking, screaming kids.