Thursday, November 22, 2007

Holiday Traveling -- as you might expect

Ken and I traveled across the country to Virginia this Thanksgiving to spend it with the fine people of the Moore-Richardson-Shannahan clans. But I dreaded traveling for Thanksgiving because air travel is already so much fun during the rest of the year. The terminal in which we landed at Dulles was exactly how I imagined traveling at this time of year: loud, hectic and lots of bodies but our flights were all on time. Typically we fly on Alaska Airlines but this time we took United, an airline that evidently doesn't settle for 2 hour delays. We even boarded early on our connection out of DC to Norfolk. (I guess this is how the grown-up airlines do it.)

But on our initial leg from Seattle to DC, we sat in steerage (economy) and wedged ourselves into spaces that even a petite person would find small and just our luck, we ended up next to a plump mother with a 2-year-old child sitting on her lap. You should also know, she didn't bring one toy or book to occupy him with so he did was came naturally and threw the safety card around, grabbed for Ken's laptop, slammed the tray table closed repeatedly and when unhappy screamed at the top of his lungs. Thankfully, he slept for an hour or so and good that he did because I was in the middle seat next to them and having a really hard time keeping my cool. Of course she was saving herself at least $600 by having him on her lap. Those airlines--they get you. Ken and I talked about it and decided that coming out for Christmas allows more leeway and not everyone is flying the very same days to and from. I think that is what we will do going forward. Not that this Thanksgiving wasn't awesome. But more on that later.

Another thing about our flight I had a hard time with was the in-flight entertainment they showed. The first movie was called "Hot Rod" with the SNL Dick in a Box guy. Without sound, it looked stupid so I can only imagine. But it was appropriate for a Thankgiving crowd which included lots of kids. But the next movie was called "Shooter" with Mark Walberg. As you can imagine from the title, it contained lots and lots of gun violence. It was about a sniper in the military who gets strong-armed by government agents to assassinate a high powered official. I derived this without sound as well. I don't understand how United would have made such choice during flights with lots of children on them. Why couldn't have played "Ratatouille" or "Princess Bride" or anything remotely family oriented? I know, I sound old and cranky. But really, as a captive and uncomfortably seated audience, couldn't you at least play something for us that was uplifting?

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