The 8 worst things about travel

As voted for by Mobal Members. It’s enough to make you want to stay at home…

1. Uncomfortable airplanes

Lee Lutz says:

“Where to begin? Probably the small seats with your body contorted.”

Daniel Dougan says:

“It’s not the lines at check-in or security. I think it’s just the hours of sitting on a plane. I often wonder when the Star Trek Transporter will become a reality.”

Richard Thomas says:

“Without a doubt, the long, uncomfortable flights. We live on the west coast and enjoy traveling to Europe. Even with the best connections, getting there and back is almost unbearable. Every one of our trips begins with the discussion about whether we really want to go there – because of the pain and discomfort of the flights to and from.”

Jean Gilnert says:

“Going anywhere in the U.S. on dirty, cramped, U.S. planes that nickel and dime you for everything.”

Jack Barry says:

“Having to sit like a sardine in a plane and be treated like an annoyance by the flight attendants (in most cases).”

carol says:

“Those dam boxes under middle seats on long hauls. You think, oh I’ll be able to keep my feet elevated, that’s good for me. Wrong. The box is too big. You and up “sharing” the minimum space next to you!”

carol says:

“oh, and I gotta agree with Daniel: the 8-9-11 hours in “steerage””

2. Airport security checks

Nelda Kersey says:

“Having just returned from a trip to Portugal and an almost trip to England (we were delayed an extra 8 days in Portugal due to the volcanic ash, could not get to the England portion of our trip and had to wait our turn to get home to USA)the travel headaches are many. The most glaring are the inconsistencies in the security process from airport to airport and the rudeness of service people in airports–government and private. The nicest service people seem to be in-flight airline personnel. Air travel is very hard work and takes mega patience and flexibility.”

fred says:

“Security lines at airports. I am a frequent business traveller. The security lines are so unpredictable it is hard to plan how much in advance you need to arrive at the airport. Then it’s the taking off shoes, getting out the liquids bag, taking out the laptop, taking off the coat…then doing it in reverse. All while some minimum wage person is yelling at you while the line snakes forward.”

Sharon Clay says:

“We just returned from a trip to Italy. My daughter was “elected” to go through 3 different types of security screening.”

3. The whole flying experience

chansen says:

“Without a doubt – the whole flying experience. Everything from trying to find the best rates, dealing with additional charges, the line at check-in, security, waiting at the gate and being herded aboard, being scrunched in the seat for hours on end and the inevitable delays. I hate it. I wish I could take a pill and wake up wherever I’m going..or beam me there, Scotty.”

Benton Stewart says:

“Air travel. No question! It is the most tiresome and unrewarding part of travel.”

Walt says:

“Travling is the worst thing about traveling!”

The increased costs of baggage and significant reduction in customer service and the long waits for security, etc. make travling uninviting!

Jim Gardner says:

“The air lines, the airlines, the airlines. Believe it or not flying was once a fun thing to do. Now every trip that involves flying will be a pain in the behind.”

Kim says:

“Without a doubt the airlines make travel a nightmare”

Lynn says:

“Keep in mind that the word travel is derived from the word travail. Nevertheless, I was a road warrior before the phrase was coined and I can tell you the worst part of the travel experience today is every aspect of the air travel, which has, in the nearly 60 years of my air travel, gone from a pleasure to a suffering. I’d rather ride a public bus almost anywhere in the world, and have, rather than traveling via today’s flying cattle cars and contending with the crowds, baggage, security and all other kinds of hassle. I try to use mileage and other perks from my frequent flyer status to upgrade to roomier seating and make use of private clubs, choose the best route to result in the shortest possible time in transit getting to my destination and travel as lightly as possible. And for Mary, in one of the preceeding comments, I would add that she should just lean back in her own seat and get as comfortable as possible. Airline seats are the worst design for the human body one could imagine and the slightest bit of relief from leaning them (even the few available inches) backwards is necessary and justified to get some relief. My wish for the specifiers and designers of the seats is that they should spend the hereafter riding around in one for eternity.”

Viktor Nagornyy says:

“I have to agree, air travel does suck from time to time. That’s when you need something extremely entertaining to keep boredom away. Or sleeping pills :-p”

4. Luggage

Martin Flahive says:

“By far it is luggage – carrying, screening, toting, minding – the whole thing. Packing light helps, but it’s still the worst aspect of domestic and international travel for me.”

Charles Schmitter says:

“While returning from a medical mission in Guatemala this past weekend, I was held captive by a TSA woman in Houston who repeatedly x-rayed my carry-on contents together and separately, commenting that I had “too much stuff” in my bag!I am convinced that she deliberately caused me to miss my flight to Detroit so that I had to stay overnight in Houston.”

Sharon TOm says:

“Returning from a short term mission in South Africa. The airlines actually lied to us (big duh?). Said we were 3000 pounds over weight. By the time they “resolved” this issue, we taxied out (late), #2 in line for take off…the pilot announces the flight is canceled…due to too many crew hours.

OK, back thru Immigration, grab the luggage and wait and wait and wait for hotel rooms.

Next day, we again are 3000 pounds overweight and late. Guess what? When we landed in the US…no luggage, they took our luggage off AND we missed our connecting flights. Pilot again lied that no luggage would be taken off. What is with this? They don’t fly enough? Lying, just lying gets me!”

Sandy says:

“The whole airline experience from start to finish has become unbearable. The baggage issues have me thinking twice and three times about traveling.”

5. Airport transfers

Phyllis Rizzi says:

“Getting to and from airports, train stations, etc. Best cure for that is to stay in one place for a longer time.”

6. Other passengers

cap manuel says:

“Unruly kids / children and passengers talking loud as if everyone wants the hear their comments and complaints…

why is that when the plane arrives at the gate…everyone stands up as if they can get off before the door is open…??”

Mary says:

“The inconsiderate idiot sitting in front of me who insists on reclining his/her seat, thus parking their big ole head in my lap, and simultaneously preventing me from lowering my tray, viewing the movie screen, or getting anything out of my bag on the floor. I think I feel a nasty coughing fit coming on!!”

Sharon Clay says:

“Then we got on our 747 and found that there was a 3rd person in our 3 across seating row, and we were accompanied by a group of 50 15 yr olds on a trip to the US.”

7. The price of flying

hundred dollar bills

Masrud says:

“The price of airline tickets. I think most everything else can be dealt with, ticket prices are rising and it doesn’t look like things will change for the better any time soon.”

8. The check in process

Texas Traveler says:

“What I dislike most is the airport departure hassle. Long flights are not fun, but the frenzied, crowded atmosphere that so often surrounds airport checkin and security lines is worse. I try to start in plenty of time to turn in the rental car (especially early if I’m not familiar with the airport), check bags (only if absolutely necessary), and go through security unconcerned that anything in my carry-on is verboten and knowing I won’t have to sprint from there to the gate. Leisurely airport procedures are a thing of the past, and there’s no getting around it. Airports have become the bus stations of the 21st Century, with necessary security procedures on top of it all. I find that large doses of advance planning and patience are the best antidotes for departure stress.”

Agree or disagree? Got another suggestion? Leave it as comment below…

15 thoughts on “The 8 worst things about travel

  1. Liz

    You forgot the announcements (partially, also, the horrible music in airport restaurants).

    The thing is, you can’t go ANYWHERE to get ANY silence when you travel, let alone make a peaceful phone call to your loved ones who you left behind–for your numerous business trips if you’re anything like me.

    You get seated and catch your breath and then BING a crappy, repetitive, monotonous, STUPID, intrusive announcements about carry-on luggage, the current color of the fictitious “threat level” interrupting your every peaceful thought or attempt to connect with your loved ones on your cell.



  2. Ross

    People. Get lives.
    You’re great grandparents made the trip from New York to London in months, not hours. Stop whining and count your blessings

  3. Pam

    Traveling is work but it results in so much fun and pleasure. I think people are spoiled and don’t realize how lucky we are to be able to travel as we do. I try not to complain as many people I know cannot afford this enjoyment no matter how much hassle it may be at times.

  4. Joy

    In Europe, in Japan, and even in several parts of the US, the train is becoming more and more essential to keeping sane while traveling. The web sites are not always as streamlined and user friendly as the airlines (and to be fair, there are some US routes that habitually run late) but if you do your homework ahead of time, the train often beats both flying and driving. You owe it to yourself to try it a couple of times.

  5. Barbara-Anne

    I’ve just returned from California, and certainly every single one of the inconveniences your writers mentioned. One I’d like to add, since I’m mobility challenged, is waiting for a wheelchair at the end of the flight. The one on which I to wait for myreturned to Canada had to change arrival gate at the last minute, so no one knew what happened to the wheelchair. I had to wait an extra half-hour while someone found a wheelchair, then a golf cart to take me to the customs and baggage hall. One good thing–I didn’t have to wait for my suitcase!

  6. Art. Dellow

    I am from Canada and yes I avoid the US airlines and airports. I fly to China on a Canadian airline and am well taken care of with no hassels. If you what to see good service fly to the Hong Kong Airport, everyone at immigration speaks English and treats you nice, plus, getting on and to your next flight is easy. North America could learn something from the new Hong Kong Airport.

  7. Ralph

    If you think the security process is time consuming and ineffiecient in this country, try foriegn travel!! Granted the TSA has a lot of room for improvement, but how would you like to br manually patted down at each security point, your carry on’s completely spilled out and inspected one item at a time and spent 2 to 3 hr going through the process?? Try traveling in eastern europe to find out !!

    I don’t know about you all, but if the cunbersome system we have in this country now stops even one potential problem passanger from causing problems on a flight (or maybe worse), the system has done its job. What price would you put on security for the passangers and people in the Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11/2001 ???

  8. Joe S

    Beyond a doubt, the flying segment. While there are exceptions, in general, the airlines are simply not customer oriented regardless what they say. They’ve done everything possible to increase revenue resulting in a disagreeable experience for travelers, at least those of us who can’t afford to fly business class or 1st class. Airline executives & managers should be forced to fly once a month – no, once a week – in the middle seat of coach. If not that, Dante’s Inferno should have one more circle added to it.

  9. Maria

    Imagine having to sit in your seat for 8hrs where there is vomit on the floor in front of you and the steward asks if you want to hold up the whole plane to clean it up. Does not offer other seats nor assists with some kind of clean up.

    Nice hey

  10. Robert Hegland

    The tentative issues–will my carry-on get passed? Now get to the airport 2-3.5(!!!) early-will your plane be there? Will it actually fly? Will the crew leave because they have too many hours in the air? Will they run out of food/water/drinks–even at $6/small glass? Let’s go by bus or cruise ship!! Boycott the airlines!! Stay home-see a movie!

  11. Bruce

    The federal government puts security people in charge of the TSA airport security gate process and they do not have a clue about how to process anything efficiently. Feds need to put someone in charge of making it faster and more efficient so the TSA agents can spend more time on possible problem people or baggage instead of spending the same 15 seconds on everyone and everything and hoping to catch something. After 9 years the process has not improved one bit.

  12. D.B.Porter

    If in the U.S.A. & you have the time, then just drive. you will see and enjoy it more. Also, if destination is within a days drive, then why not drive, because with the security process, rental car process, and connection time to and from the airports you will find that very little time was saved, plus your nerves are frayed.

  13. Virginia Kamke

    Although usually the folks at check-in are pleasant, for me, going through security is a pain, as I have artificial knees. So, I always beep and am delayed for an extra security check. Although I know this is for our safety, it is just getting to be too much. I know of no one today who enjoys the air experience. And that includes extra charges for any checked luggage–what a rip off!!!

  14. Lee Greb

    Just think that the Latin word for baggage is impedimenta. In English impediment means something which is a hinderance.
    What can be a greater hinderance when travelling than suitcases and peripherals?

  15. Ron

    Worst run industry in America – the airlines – and we have no choice but to put up with it……because almost all of them are equally bad. Imagine if we ran our businesses the same way – we’d be out of business, but not the airlines – they’ll just whine that they need more of a government bail out to give us all the same terrible service

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