I Hate You, Airline Industry

I hate flying. I hate airplanes. I hate airlines. I hate crews. I hate ground handling teams. I hate everything that has to do with that shit. Deeply. Disturbingly. Profoundly.

I hate the way you airlines cram hundreds of people into the smallest of spaces. Do you really think my femur fits the distance between your seats? Do you really think I enjoy being pushed sideways for hours by my seat neighbor because the armrest is too narrow for the both of us? Do you really think I can eat my meal when the seat in front of me is in the horizontal position? Do you really think I can’t avoid numb legs and feet during long flights? Do you really think I can go to the toilets without waking up all the people in the row in front of me or my neighbors?

I hate how long boarding and getting out of the damn plane takes. Haven’t you noticed that airplanes usually have more than one door? Then why the fuck are all 380 passengers of a 747 getting into the plane though the same, unique, small door? Can’t you design airports that take that into account? Can’t you, jetty makers, airport designers, add an extension to boarding gates that goes above the wing or below the tarmac so that we can all get in and out through several doors at once?

I hate how you dare selling double tickets to obese people. Wouldn’t it be better to have a couple of special seats in the front of the aircraft for them? You don’t have any trouble overselling tickets and leaving people in the ground wondering what happened and begging you for a hotel voucher, but of course you can’t plan in advance for the 5% of potentially obese passengers that have to endure your fucking shit. And let’s not talk about families with kids, ok?

I hate your in-flight entertainment system. When it works (which, as per Murphy’s Law, most often don’t), your music sucks, your film choice is crappy, the sound is bad, and even worse, I hate how the captain interrupts my movie every 10 minutes to tell me that the outside temperature is about 3 degrees Kelvin or other nonsense that nobody fucking cares about, babbled through speakers that sound like if they were built in the 20s. To begin with, haven’t you heard about that Dolby thing? And most importantly, don’t you think we are already annoyed enough, to just shut the fuck up and fly this thing in time? That’s the only thing we care about, you moron: to get outta here as fast as possible.

I hate your crappy food. I hate how it tastes, I hate the bad manners of the crew members serving it, I hate that I can never have meat instead of pasta because I always happen to sit behind the person who got the last one and that yeah, you’re very sorry about that. I’ll have a Coke, please.

I hate how airline websites fail big time. I hate how I have to always spend longer than required to find what I’m looking for, that your search engines are useless, that I have to spell correctly the codes of the airports, that your date picker is unusable without Flash or JavaScript, that the back button resets the whole form, that your animated intro annoys me every time I want to fucking spend money on your idiotic company because you happen to be the only idiots flying where I need to go. And airport websites are not better, so here goes a message to those dear airport webmasters: I want to know, right now, fast, without any more required clicks, if my flight is delayed, canceled or in time. I do not, let me repeat, I DO NOT CARE about how nice your first class lounge is; I will most probably never use it. The same goes for any other information. Put it behind a menu and don’t bother me. Thank you.

I hate how I get the same crappy level of service when I pay 25 bucks for a 2 hour trip to Madrid or when I pay 2000 dollars for a roundtrip flight to Argentina that lasts 14 hours. Are you fucking kidding me? What is your problem, you dickhead? Do you really think I do not see how you are fucking filling your pockets with my cash?

I hate how inaccessible, unfriendly, broken and even expensive, airports are. I hate how immigration booths are all closed but one, and you spend more time waiting to show your passport than in the flight. I hate how your tax-free shit shops are more fucking expensive than downtown shops, and how they shamelessly pretend to have the best prices on Earth. Do you really think I was born yesterday?

I hate the mind-boggling algorithms I have to execute in order to know which terminal my flight is leaving from. It goes something like this, starting with the basic questions, domestic or international? Air Exhaust or Air Compression? Oh, then it’s terminal G, door 257. You must enter through terminal N and then take our new air-magnetic-levitation-superconductor-enabled-robot-train and get out at terminal H, then walk through the panoramic gateway above the tarmac, and then you’ll see the checkin booths at your left. Oh, since it’s a code-sharing flight, you must use the booths of Blowjob Airlines to check in, then pay the airport tax in counter 734 and proceed through security and later through passsport control to gate Y35, but hurry up, your flight is boarding right now.

I hate how airport terminals are miles away from each other and how bad they are referenced and how hard it is to understand your information panels. Haven’t you noticed that small airports are usually faster to get in and out, have shorter distances between the plane and the terminal, people board using both doors and even better, are easier to get to from cities? The solution is not having two- or three-stories tall planes carrying 800 people at once; STOP THAT SHIT. That won’t work. If your airports can’t handle 200 people at once per plane, do you really think you can handle more? Really?

I hate how connecting flights are always clutching at straws. A small delay in a flight, a longer queue in the security checks or even the fact of having to recheck-in on the new flight (because some airlines can’t access the computers of each other in order to check you in all legs at once before departure), and your flight is gone. And if you are really unlucky, you will see the door of the gate being closed in front of you as you sweat your way to it, together with the grins of the ground team looking at you. You are then left to pray that you won’t have to pay for a new ticket, that you will get a hotel for that night, and that all the shit printed in the “passenger rights” posters behind the counter is true. By the way, showing those posters implicitly tells me that something has gone really wrong with your industry.

I hate your security controls that don’t protect anyone, that don’t prevent anything, that just annoy and harass everyone. I hate your assaults on my personal sphere. I mean no harm to you. Leave me the fuck alone with your security pricks. I hate listening to the same security information every fucking time we take off, about how to put my oxygen mask or how to fasten my seat belt. The airline industry might have a lower number of accidents than other forms of transportation, but when you are involved in a plane crash, the odds of getting alive are lower than in the highway. No wonder sometimes people applaud when planes land; we just don’t trust you to get us there alive.

I hate the inhuman conditions you airlines make your crews work in. I hate how they have to strike in order to have some attention, while you fucking MBAs running these companies get big bonuses at the end of the year. Because when you treat your employees like shit, they spit on my coffee, you shithead. They work overtime, they try to do a living in the worst of industries, and you treat them like shit. No wonder they get in strike.

I hate how you fucking dare losing my bags. I hate how I have to cross my fingers every time I travel to avoid having them sent to Timbuktu or Novosibirsk. Don’t you see the tags with the airport codes and the barcodes printed in them? And, even after losing them, is it really that difficult to send it faster than 3 days later to their owner? Really? Do you really think I will buy new clothes every time I travel just because baggage is handled by pathetic monkey-like systems unable to read correctly a tag? Oh, but of course, you will tax me for every extra kilo in those same bags like if I was carrying gold bars. Fuck you.

I hate how everything is a good reason to be late, or to not fly at all. Snow. Strikes. Rain. Late connections. UFOs. Other planes. Storms. Winds. Birds. Clouds. Thick air. Thin air. Engines. Flaps. Eyjafjallajökull. Wings. Terrism. Airport facilities. Tires. Oil. Gravity. Mountains. Plains. Seas. Passengers. Bags.

I hate how a plane can disappear in the middle of the ocean without a trace. Haven’t you heard about this thing called a satellite? Can’t you have a direct, permanent link with a satellite, so that in case of accident you can be notified milliseconds, not hours, later? We are in 2011, you fucking murderers. Black boxes were a neat idea in 1924, shouldn’t you be upgrading that thing anytime soon?

In other words: WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? If you are unable to provide a service, well THEN DON’T DO IT. Do I provide healthcare? Am I a lawyer? Do I own a grocery store? No, because I know shit about those professions. BUT I DON’T PRETEND TO EITHER.

I do not trick people with nice advertising showing how big your first class seats are (probably the most useless kind of advertising ever). I do not fill my mouth with useless shit about your commitment to service. I do not lie to people about what I do and how I do it. Be frank: say that your service is as bad as anyone else. Say it. Admit it. Be as much as a failure as you want, but please, don’t be hypocrite.

The airline industry is deeply broken. It must be redesigned from scratch. If you are reading this and you happen to be the CEO of one of those fucking airlines, then please know that I wholeheartedly hate you, that you and your company are worthless, and that you have won the Guiness record for making the most millions of unhappy people per minute. Go to hell.