I say that with a hefty dose of sarcasm.
In the last 9 weeks I've been on 12 commercial flights ranging from 1hr to 15 hrs. I've travelled in economy, business and first class. Of course the shortest flight were when I suffered in first class, and the long haul flights were when I enjoyed the comforts of economy class.
Despite some close connections I never lost a piece of luggage, something to be grateful for.
I did however have the pleasure of seeing one of my bags come round the luggage carousel with a handle torn off and a gaping hole where said handle had once been attached. Not entirely sure if anything was lost out the hole. But if it was, it obviously wasn't very important because I can't remember it.
On the flight from LA to Sydney the plane wasn't very full yet I was somehow seated in the only full row. In the window seat as well! I hate window seats on flights. I like to get up and walk the aisles otherwise my legs get restless. Stuck in a window seat for 15 hours is not my idea of fun. Every time I wanted to get out of the seat I had to wake up my row mates and the couple in the row in front of us. They had their seats reclined and I couldn't get by without them putting their seats upright. Yes, I was that annoying passenger.
My flight from Sydney to LA had to be diverted to Honolulu. Why? For a medical emergency that could have been avoided. The lady sitting in front of my was not well from the get go. Sweating, shaking, vomiting, the list goes on. Her and her husband hid if from the flight attendants until the first drink cart came round. I don't think they intentionally hid her illness, they were probably more embarrassed than anything else. The crew moved the lady and her husband to the back of the plane where they could treat her with more privacy. Turns out the lady was diabetic. Her insulin was in her checked bag, not her carry on, and she had not eaten all day (we were on a 230pm flight!). Shortly after the pilot requested any passengers who were medical practitioners or any passengers who had spare insulin to identify themselves the announcement was made that we were diverting to Hawaii for a medical emergency. We were an hour on the ground in Honolulu while the passenger was offloaded and the plane was refueled. And the diversion added an extra two hours of flight time meaning lots of missed connections in LA.
I do hope the passenger was okay, but seriously! If you need prescription medication why would you pack it in your checked luggage? Especially for a 13+ hour flight.
I have dual Australian and Canadian citizenship. You might think that sounds exciting, but it can cause some problems when traveling between Australia and Canada. Canadians need visas to enter Australia, and Australians need visas to enter the US. When I tried to check in for my flight to Sydney via LA in Vancouver the check in agent wouldn't check me in. I had given her my Canadian passport and it didn't have an Australian entry visa associated with it. So I gave her my Aussie passport but then she couldn't check me in with that either because it didn't have a entry visa for the US. She had to call a supervisor. I've held dual citizenship for 5 years now and it's never been an issue before. First world problems, I know. Some would consider me lucky to have such a problem.
Flights of 4 hours duration or more put me at risk for blood clots. How many of those 12 flights I've taken have been that long or more? 8!!!. Prevention, prevention, prevention. Get my ass out of my seat every hour or so and walk for a few minutes, which is why I hate window seats. Do those exercises they have in the inflight magazine. Drink lots of water, which has the added bonus of making me need to go to the bathroom lots, see why I hate window seats? Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Wear ugly compression socks. Except I have new ones... Pink argyle compressions socks. They're cute.
Saturday afternoon I flew from Vancouver to LA, later today I'll sign on to my next ship. The US immigration officer sent me inside for secondary processing. That's a whole lot of fun! My ship contract is from March 30th to September 28th. Immigration issued my B2 visa with an expiration date of September 20th. See a problem?
I'm taking a shuttle from the LAX hotel I'm staying at to the cruise ship terminal in Long Beach. The company sent me a travel info sheet with a phone number to call to book the shuttle. Great, except the 1-800 number they provided is for "LA's hottest chat line"! Awesome!
I love traveling to LA. Security screening is such fun. Both in Vancouver and in Sydney I had to almost strip naked before they'd let me through security. In addition to removing my jacket, belt, and shoes, and emptying my pockets, I also had to remove my watch, my rings, my bracelet and my earrings. Oh and the hair elastic that was around my wrist. I still set off the metal detector. It was the underwire in my bra.
Inconvenient? Yes. But just a small price to pay to be able to enjoy the travel that I do. Besides the joys of travel make for good stories, no?