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How do People Tolerate Flying?
Old 08-21-2018, 08:05 PM   #1
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How do People Tolerate Flying?

I must be different from many people, because I don't see how anyone can tolerate flying. I think it's because I don't like waiting or being uncomfortable.


This kind of thing (from trip from SFO to Denver):



Speaking of which, is there some reason that even though we were toward the back of the plane, we boarded last? Shouldn't it be the other way around?


The flights went well, although the flight back was delayed three hours, so we left after midnight. We even had three seats each, and could lie down. But still: unpleasant.



Funny story: I fell asleep, and when we hit turbulence, I thought I was home, and I started to yell, "Earthquake!"



Anyway, I'm hoping that I will never have to fly again. I'm not sure what I'll do if DD has a baby, or one of my nieces or nephews gets married.


I know: I'll volunteer to be put on the Do Not Fly list!
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:14 PM   #2
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Given the alternative is days on a train, or by car, or not going anywhere..even domestically, it's a shorter amount of discomfort than the alternative. I'm in FL, so I can't get anywhere in a day without flying.

As far as "why don't they board the back first" - I did read somewhat recently that, while that's an intuitive sounding approach, in studies it is no faster at all.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:23 PM   #3
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Do what I did and take flying lessons so you can fly yourself and bypass all that nonsense. Though that works best for distances under about 600 miles.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:28 PM   #4
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I completely agree. I avoid flying whenever possible.
But when I have to, I made a vow last year to fly first from then on. I'm sticking with it. The last two flights my DW and I flew on were in first, and the contrast was like night and day. First to board, relax, spread out, sip a cocktail while the rest of the plane fills up. I refuse to be crammed like a sardine any more. I felt guilty while I watched others walk by, to be crammed into coach. But the feeling passed rather quickly.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:29 PM   #5
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We attempt to reduce the ordeal by taking east or westbound repositioning cruises. Both DW & I hate airports & flying.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:32 PM   #6
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I completely agree. I avoid flying whenever possible.
But when I have to, I made a vow last year to fly first from then on. I'm sticking with it. The last two flights my DW and I flew on were in first, and the contrast was like night and day. First to board, relax, spread out, sip a cocktail while the rest of the plane fills up. I refuse to be crammed like a sardine any more. I felt guilty while I watched others walk by, to be crammed into coach. But the feeling passed rather quickly.
Blow that dough. To me, this expense is worth it.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:34 PM   #7
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I must be different from many people, because I don't see how anyone can tolerate flying.
You're not different from me. I very much dislike flying. I feel like cattle. I wish there was an airline that could price in some comfort without the full cost of first class, which is outrageous. I'd pay a few more bucks to be comfortable. And what they sell as an upcharge to a basic coach ticket is a joke. I need a wider seat more than a couple inches more leg room. Look at the row of three guys in the first row in the picture. There's no way they can sit back in their set without invading each other's personal space.


I've never seen a plan lately that wasn't full. I'd be ecstatic if I could stretch out in a three seat row. That'd be great even if it were me and DW in a three seat row.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:38 PM   #8
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I used to fly fairly often for work. Had enough of it and completely agree with OP that flying in normal coach class is just short term misery. The only consolation is that it gets you to location quicker than alternatives if longer distance. Even the supposed economy plus with a bit larger seat spacing is no fun at all. No matter what class seat you have, the security is a PITA. Unfortunately there is not a good alternative for going long distance except paying the money or using lots of miles for first class.


I do not mind driving, and now in retirement I have the extra time so that I can drive if I choose. Now i can decide if I want the flying bus or my own vehicle.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:56 PM   #9
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We decided, after our flights in baggage class between BOS and LIS last Autumn, that it was business class from now on.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:02 PM   #10
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Increasingly, if I have to get on a plane to get there, I don't want to go. Dw is campaigning to fly somewhere on the Tuesday of thanksgiving week right after I get back from a high altitude elk hunt. I would rather cut off a toe, but I am guessing of will lose the argument.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:07 PM   #11
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I haven't flown in nearly 15 years, by far the longest length of time in my life not having flown, and that includes my childhood. Before that, I had flown about once every 2 years from age 4 through age 40 (15 years ago).


I have no real desire to fly again. The last long trip I made, back in 2014, I went by Amtrak from NY to Indianapolis on the way to Louisville, Kentucky, to visit my ladyfriend's family. It was scenic, and the trip going went as planned. But the return trip ended up taking 8 hours longer because the Amtrak train got fouled up.


Nonetheless, I have no desire to fly there, or go by train there for that matter. just couldn't deal with all the hassles of flying. Hell, I don't like travel any more, even driving from Long Island to Brooklyn is a major PITA. After all those years of commuting on the trains to work, I have simply had enough of traveling by any method.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:16 PM   #12
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I tolerate flying because it gets me to places around the world I want to see in a reasonable amount of time.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:16 PM   #13
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Since ER, I seldom take any short flights and don't run up enough miles for upgrades, etc. But when we do fly, it is international paid with cash.

The back of the plane gets there in the same time as the front of the.plane. And for the cash expended, we can take two or three flights/entire trips flying coach.

My wife was mobility challenged this Spring and in a wheelchair. We went to the front of every line, and we got the seats with the most legroom in early boarding. Although a knee replacement has been done, my wife says she may continue traveling with her chair.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:24 PM   #14
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I tolerate flying because it gets me to places around the world I want to see in a reasonable amount of time.
This. It's a trade off. Wherever the plane takes me has to be worth the inconvenience and discomfort of sitting in a metal tube for somewhere between 25 minutes and 15.5 hours (my shortest and longest flights taken or soon to be taken).

Nope to weekend trips. Yes to a short flight for a 1 week trip. A looooong trip (subjectively defined by me as 1 or more segments of 7-8+ hours) requires at least 3-4 weeks wherever I'm going, and hopefully 1-2 months.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:25 PM   #15
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Well it helps to be short. I'm 5'3" and don't really need that much knee room. As for why you got on last, it's because the people in the front all paid for the privilege to jump ahead of you, one way or the other. Either they flew a whole lot or they played the credit card game or they just paid for better seats on that flight.

Southwest has better than average knee room and usually the least number of people who paid more to jump the line.

I will also say that when we flew Jet Blue to FLL last spring the amount of knee room was amazing. Even my DH (not that he's much taller than average) had a full hand length of space between his knees and the seat in front of him.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:26 PM   #16
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I don't see what the big deal is. You have a reserved seat. Get on the plane last, but after everyone else is seated. You don't even have to wait if you get to airport late.

I like to fly. I find the seats comfortable for me and the flight attendants pleasant. I wear earplugs and often simply sleep on the plane, just like T-Al did Or I meet the most interesting people.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:39 PM   #17
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I hate to fly today. I spent too many hours in the sky on Megacorp's dime. The new wore off very quickly.

I eventually managed to get out of many trips, but I did pay my dues. Just after air traffic started post 9/11 none of my peers wanted to fly. I was drafted by my manager to travel for what could have been a conference call. Not long after that event he would back my request to back off travel.

One of our last flights DW used her conceal carry purse. It worked well, she waltzed through security with a loaded single stack 9mm 1911 magazine in it! We found it after we arrived. Yeah, I'm safe on an airplane.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:01 PM   #18
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I don't mind it. I'm small and once I'm tucked into my seat, I get out a good book, order a glass of wine, and in 2 or 3 or 10 hours I'm someplace wonderful.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:18 PM   #19
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Perhaps I do not mind flying because I grew up in a large family, where trips were always in a crowded car . After years at Megacorp with some assignments requiring several flights a month (and at times a week), I am used to it.

The only part of flying I do not like is connections. I'd rather pay extra for a direct flight than take a cheaper flight that requires connections. Too many experiences with missed connections due to delayed or cancelled flights (at the airlines at times acting as if they are doing us a favor by rebooking our reservation.

On the other hand, I have gotten free upgrades to first class, free miles, flight/hotel/meal vouchers, and a couple of times asked for a date by just acting nice to airline employees at stressful times... so overall the bad has outweighed the good.
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How do People Tolerate Flying?
Old 08-21-2018, 10:32 PM   #20
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How do People Tolerate Flying?

My sympathies, Al. Flying has sure gone downhill during my lifetime. I used to love it, but that was then and this is now.

We haven't flown anywhere since my DD's wedding, back in 2009.
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