Is there anything worse than flying? I mean, once upon a time, when you were a little kid, it was super exciting, you could hardly contain yourself the whole trip. Planes! Wow! Then when you grow up a bit you start to realize that actually, it’s just a real pain in the neck.
First of all, you have to organise everything that you need to take and pack correctly at your business or holiday destination. And you just know that there is going to be at least one thing that you forget to pack. If you’re lucky, it’s just your toothpaste, if you’re unlucky, it’s your passport or credit card. Ugh.
Ok, so then there is getting to the airport. What time are you going? Will there be traffic? How far in advance do you need to get there? Will you leave enough time? What if the taxi doesn’t show up! If you’re super organised, and factor in some strange 1 hour emergency on the way, the best that can happen is that you’re at the airport super early for your flight. Again, ugh.
Now you’re at the airport. Brilliant! You’ve lugged your bags out of the car, and you step inside the frosty air conditioning to… a crazy throng of people going in all different directions, loooong lines at every check in counter, and a few screaming children here and then. You look up to see which counter you need to check in at. Great, it’s the one with the longest line. Begrudgingly, you join the end, which is spilling out way beyond the flimsy fabric dividers the staff have put up.
50 minutes later, after playing on your phone and doing a lot of sighing, you reach the front of the line. The woman flashes a smile and asks you to put your baggage on the conveyor belt. “You’re 4 kilos over”, she states. “Do you want to pay $80 excess or repack?” Groaning that you’d chosen a budget airline, you put your case to the side and start shoving the heaviest things in your case into your backpack instead. You’ll probably put your shoulder out with this lot.
You drag your case back over to her counter, and thankfully this time it’s within weight limits. She issues you your boarding pass, and you head over to the security screening area. Suddenly, you realise you just bought a bottle of water because you were thirsty. Now you’ve got either the option to skol your water, or toss it out. The water cost you $6, because, airport. You skull it.
Taking out your laptop, you go through the machine and beep. Oops, remove your watch. Going back through a second time, you collect your things and get stopped. “We are conducting a screening for explosives”. Every time! The man gets you to open up your things while swabbing away making idle chit chat. “Ok, you’re all good, enjoy your flight”.
Now’s time for another line – passport control. A good 15 minutes elapses before you reach the little counter and the passport control officer conducts their check, making those satisfying stamping noises. Finally, you’re free to relax again, and start wandering the overpriced, designer airport shops.
You head to your gate, and wait around until boarding. Another line. A 10 minute wait and you’re on the plane. You stuff your backpack into the overhead compartment, and take your seat next to the window. Along comes a mum, husband, and a struggling baby, aaaand sits down next to you. This is going to be a very, very long flight.
Fast forward to the end of your flight and you are lucky that you had a few wines to deal with the baby who not only screamed, cried, struggled, but also had an astounding array of smells coming from it. Your in-flight entertainment screen was broken, and the flight was full, so all you could do was listen to your music collection about 5 times over. You feel like you are broken. Plus, you know that you smell, you feel greasy, your clothes now feel disgusting, and you are ridiculously dehydrated from not drinking enough water in the air-conditioning.
Stepping off the plane, you head over to collect your luggage, which is slow as a wet week in coming, queue up again for customs, and finally step out into the fresh air. Now, imagine this: 1.5 hours of lugging your bags around and changes on public transport, or jumping into your own car and driving direct to your door in 30 minutes, with as little stress as possible?
Yeah, you know what you want to choose.