When I was a kid flying on an airplane to a far off destination was exciting. I would think about it for weeks.
The stewardess (that's what we called them in the old days) gave me a little set of pilot's wings. I got to sit in the cockpit with the pilots. And they gave me a plastic coated souvenir bag. It was so cool. Even the food was good.
Flying is not so fun anymore.
Since my family moved to Montana I've flown up there a couple of times. In October 2006, Tabitha was away at a conference so I decided to take the kids to Montana for the weekend. We booked our flights from Ontario, through Denver, to Missoula.
If you ever need sympathy from fellow travellers take a plane trip by yourself with two small children.
Our flight into Denver was delayed due to a blizzard. Our flight to Missoula was cancelled. We diverted to Spokane and drove a rental the rest of the way. I paid $300 to drop the car off in Missoula. And then the TSA Nazi asked me to remove Aidan's shoes when we went through security.
What the hell?
I know airline security is mostly BS. I know the TSA knows airline security is mostly BS. Did he seriously think I had placed a bomb in my 10-month-old son's size three sneakers? Having the ability to read a situation and decide upon alternative courses of action is a sign of intelligence. Removing shoes from an infant for "security reasons" is not.
Why should I pay good money to arrive 2 hours before my flight, pad through the security screening in my socks, explain why I have a bottle of formula in my carry-on, cram into a torture device disguised as a seat, eat soy nuts and drink half a bottle of water, hope my luggage made it, and then do it all over again to come home?
Missoula is about 1200 miles from my house by car. It should take 3 hours at the most to fly there. Instead, I usually have to devote 12 hours.
I can drive to Pocatello, Idaho in 12 hours. I can drink the biggest bottle of water my bladder can handle. I can eat as many bags of Doritos as I want. And I get to drive through the Virgin River Gorge, past the Wasatch Front, over Moneida Pass, and into the open spaces of Montana.
And now I can stop at the In-N-Out just outside St. George, Utah.
No thanks. I'll drive.