Gray Matter


Airline Travel and My Flight to Maryland

RT Cunningham | April 30, 2021 (UTC) | Travel

airline ltravelMy flight from Honolulu to Chicago, the first leg of my flight to Maryland, reminded me of how much I dislike airline travel. I’ve traveled by aircraft more times than I can remember, going to places I wanted to go as well as places I didn’t. Things got progressively worse in most ways after I retired from the military in 1998.

The Flight to Chicago

My wife (Josie), my daughter-in-law (Cathy), my grandson (Ezra) and I rode a Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Honolulu to Chicago. The second leg was in a much smaller jet, but I can’t remember what it was. I don’t really care either. The flight was uneventful and thankfully, I wasn’t bored out of my mind.

I didn’t bother with in-flight entertainment. A couple of days before flying, I downloaded a bunch of episodes from an old TV show, “Grimm”, to my cell phone from Amazon Prime Video. I ended up having more than I could possibly watch in 10 hours of flying time (both legs). I was occupied by the videos for most of the trip.

The flight itself wasn’t so bad, but the TSA checkpoint beforehand was a royal pain. There were way too many people going through the lines and some agents weren’t as patient as they should have been. I tried to be prepared for it in advance. Fortunately, I only had a hard time putting my shoes back on.

We ate at an airport restaurant before boarding because I knew, based on my previous flight to Honolulu, that we wouldn’t get enough of anything on board the plane. That turned out to be truer than I imagined. All I got was two beverages and a single snack box. It would not have been enough to hold me over if we hadn’t eaten before the flight. They didn’t have meals for sale either, for some strange reason.

Ground Travel

I had everything planned well ahead of time because I hate what happens when I don’t. We took an airport shuttle service, which I scheduled three days in advance, from the North Shore area of Oahu to the airport (about a 40-minute ride) and it cost me $85. When Josie took a trip to the Philippines in 2019, we paid an Uber driver more than $100.

My older son, Joe, picked us up at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. We managed to fit all our baggage in his SUV for the short trip to his house, about 20 minutes away.

Airline Travel is a Necessary Evil

There isn’t anything luxurious about airline travel. It wasn’t nearly this bad back in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s the only way to travel long distances and overseas to many locations, unfortunately. I would much rather ride a train, even though it takes longer, but trains don’t travel over oceans. I would rather ride a ship to the Philippines, but that option doesn’t exist.

Getting from point A to point B in a short amount of time isn’t the issue for me anymore. Unfortunately, I can’t afford anything else.

Photo Attribution: Emslichter from Pixabay

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