Fed Up With Flying? You're Not Alone

Airline passengers wait on line at the American Airlines Terminal at LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday, April 9, 2008. American Airlines canceled 850 flights Wednesday, more than one-third of its schedule, as it spent a second straight day inspecting the wiring on some of its jets.
AP Photo/Frances Roberts
After thousands of flight cancellations this past week, American Airlines is back to normal today … and not a moment too soon, in the opinion of our Contributor Nancy Giles:

I remember my first time. On an airplane.

The stewardesses were cool. The seats were comfy - my knees, my hips, everything fit. We had a "light snack." So elegant!

As we glided in for the landing at JFK, I thought of all the times my family parked the Volkswagen on Rockaway Blvd. to watch the planes come in. We'd watch them get closer, closer until the metal birds were right above our heads, and we'd shriek our guts out, but the overpowering noise would drown us out. It was great.

Lots of passengers feel like screaming again. What happened? Did it all start to go wrong when President Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers years ago?

And how did he get an airport named after him?

Somehow we've gotten used to long lines, longer delays, and mass confusion. Why do we accept shoddy treatment?

Remember when "American Idol" gave their voters the wrong phone numbers? And when Starbucks closed for three hours for "re-training"? And when millions of BlackBerry users had their service interrupted? It was infuriating, right? We need coping strategies!

And so, my fellow passengers: don't get mad. Get zen. Find your inner Yoda. Blaming the ticket agents won't help - it's not their fault. Breathe. Bring a neck pillow and a fashion magazine. Don't have children, so you won't have to travel with them. Carry bottled water and extra toilet paper.

As the hours tick by, ask yourself: Do I really have to go on a honeymoon?Can't we watch movies?

Close your eyes. Focus. And meditate on the fact that you'll never fly that stinkin' airline again.