Yet another reason to dislike flying


I have never been a great flier. I have flown a lot and all over the place – Guam, Europe, the Caribbean, Milwaukee – but that doesn’t mean I like it.

The second the plane leaves the ground I am pretty much nervous until we land. I have gotten better over the years, but flying is still not something I love, or even like, really.

And it seems that flying these days might cause me even more anxiety, due to people basically acting like jerks on planes. We have all seen the people on the news making a scene on a plane – something that is happening with shocking regularity.

By the end of May this year, airlines were reporting about 2,500 instances of unruly passengers on planes – much more than usual. Think about that number. I find it shocking.

Many of those, of course, have been people making a fuss over being told to wear a mask. There is a federal mask mandate in place for transportation, including airlines, until September. If you refuse to wear a mask that is fine. You just can’t be on a commercial flight.

It is not your right, however, to be disruptive.

But this isn’t only about masks. People these days just seem more likely to act like they are entitled to something. Now, many who cause disturbances on planes and elsewhere are mentally unbalanced, I am not talking about that. I am not talking about the guy who recently opened the emergency door and jumped out of a plane that was preparing to take off. He was on drugs.

I am talking about people who don’t seem to mind being intitled, self-absorbed jerks in public.

I am not sure why this in on the rise, honestly. I would be horrified to act like some people act these days. And we are not just talking about yelling here. Many flight attendants have been shoved or even punched.

A passenger recently knocked a flight attendant’s teeth out during an altercation. To be clear, this is criminal behavior.

We just seem to be an angrier society these days. We are incredibly quick to not only judge but tell people what we think of their beliefs. We seem to want to only be around those we agree with. Sadly, that will only lead to more division.

I see people act in ways we never would have dreamed of acting even 10 years ago. People seem emboldened to be rude and nasty and downright mean.

We are starting to get out and about more now that many of us are vaccinated and the virus is less of an immediate threat. That will mean more people interacting. I am not confident things will go well.

I do hope to take a trip to see my father early next year, and that will mean flying. Honestly, the thought of flying right now does not make me feel remotely comfortable. Are people going to be yelling at airline staff? Will there be physical altercations? How will I possibly order that 8-foot tall wooden bigfoot figure for my yard now that SkyMall magazine is no longer on every plane?

We need to try and be civil. Let’s pretend our mothers are around all the time and judging our behavior in that way only a mom can. We need to be more forgiving and open minded. We need to smile more and frown less. We need to judge less and accept more.

And when we are in a flying metal tube, can we please just keep our cool? That would make me and most other people very, very happy.