Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not Being Angry About Flights

It took a long time for my flight(s) home from Dallas to make it to Hobart, there were delays and re-routings and unhelpful counter staff and lost luggage. At the end of it all I was face-smashingly angry and even thinking about it makes me kind of mad. But I'm not going to rant about it, I'm going to go to my travel happy place instead.

I appreciate the vast distances planes can cover and the speed they do it at, especially as an Australian, but after 37 hours of continual aggravation I looked back with immense fondness at travelling about on trains when I was in Europe. Ignoring the general enjoyability of watching passing countryside and the less extortionate price gouging if you want to book a ticket late, the three advantages of the train I enjoyed most were:
  1. No hassles. You can arrive at a train station five minutes before the train leaves, or ten seconds before if you like to live on the edge. Nobody wants to pat you down, rifle through your luggage, or even check your ticket.
  2. No nerves. I'm not a nervous flyer, or I don't think I am, but their is a noticeable change in the atmosphere of a plane as it takes off and lands. People close their books or grip their arm rests a little tighter. During a flight when you hit turbulence other passengers shift their eyes around, trying to figure out whether or not it's enough to worry about. On a train you can relax completely and do whatever you want, whether it's sleep, read, work or just stare out at the landscape. The only moment of concern you're likely to have is searching through your pockets for the ticket when the inspector comes around.
  3. Better destinations. Airports are mostly in the middle of fields where there's room for runways and giant noisy planes to takeoff and land all day. When you pull into Berlin Hauptbahnhof and step onto the platform you just feel as though you have arrived in Berlin. When you fly into London Heathrow, the first thought is what you have to do next to get to London. The feeling that your journey is almost over after a 10+ hour flight is deflating to say the least.
In addition to these points your luggage will never get lost because you carry it yourself the whole time, and if you want room to stretch your legs, the sleeper and first class upgrades are in the magnitude of a night at a cheap hotel, not the week with a high class hooker airlines charge.

So, in summary, yay trains.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.