We can’t all have perfect flights. This photo from http://conversation.which.co.uk.

Go Girls love to travel and explore. We know how to pack light and adjust to the ups and downs of the travel process, but that doesn’t mean we appreciate each of the “downs” equally. Even within one mode of transport–in this case, airplane travel–there is a hierarchy of annoyances. Each of these hypothetical circumstances has recently been experienced, and found trying and true, by yours truly.

Nevertheless, it is the possibility of these circumstances which adds to the excitement of the travel process. Experiencing the little annoyances and the hassles–and doing so with relative ease and enjoyment–helps to make travel as powerful and rewarding as it is.

So, without further ado, my top 5 list of in-flight frustrations:

5. Being super proud of yourself for packing only a carry-on…

…but having to check the bag anyway because there’s no more overhead space. Missing your train/bus/whatever because you had to wait for baggage claim (and your bag was last to arrive).

4. Getting the aisle seat (and the ice shower that comes with it).

I was minding my own business in an aisle seat. The aisle beside me was less than one seat’s width. The man behind me ordered a drink but forgot to request a solid cup. Something hit my shoulder, and I gasped. The flight attendant stood above me, gabbing away, holding a cup leaking ice-cold water onto my shoulder, completely unaware of what was occurring. On a positive note, she gave me a coupon for my next flight.

Real-life in-flight frustrations don't compare to the ridiculousness in Airplane. Image from impawards.com
Real-life in-flight frustrations don’t compare to the ridiculousness in Airplane. Image from impawards.com

3. Forgetting your deodorant.

I find it much worse to be the smelly person on a flight than to be sitting next to a smelly person. When you’re the smelly one, there are the added aspects of guilt and embarrassment. I don’t know about you, but the combination of cranked up dry air conditioning and being squished in a tiny seat, makes me sweat more uncomfortably than if I were just a little bit too warm. My apologies. I now bring travel-sized toiletries on board.

2. Losing your luggage.

When your flight was only 1 hour long and you had no connections so you don’t know where your luggage could possibly have gone. This is especially frustrating when you’re in another country and don’t speak the language and will, ultimately, never figure out where your bag went.

1. Getting the middle seat between two companions who, for whatever reason, don’t want to sit together.

“Would you like to sit together?” I asked when I noticed that the two women on either side of me were travel buddies. The one to the right of me shook her head no. Then they proceeded to lean over, talk over, laugh over, and spill over me during a 6-hour flight. And, of course, with only 45 minutes left and me mid-snooze, they asked if I wouldn’t mind scooting over to the window seat.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list. We can’t forget “sleeping on the floor of the air terminal during a layover,” “missing your connection because the gate change wasn’t announced,” and “getting pushed to a later flight because yours was overbooked and you are less important than the other travelers.”

Yet, given all these frustrations, we Go Girls continue to travel. And, really, the stories are so absurd and the rewards so great that we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 What are your recent airplane travel frustrations or amusing stories?