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Flying is the safest mode of transportation; it's also a lot of fun

Catch Team | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST


It's set to be the hottest year on record, and if you're traveling somewhere you want to make it quick and cool. No one wants to deal with the delays that come with the Indian Railways or the long monotonous hours on a bus (not to mention the possibility of a failed air conditioning system). Luckily, flying exists and not only is it faster than ever, it's also more affordable than ever. Oh, and for any of you afraid of being trapped in a giant metal bird, it's also the safest form of transport.

Flying isn't perfect, just ask Icarus. But then again, Icarus never flew Business Class. Still, we can't all fly Business, which is why there are still some flying peeves we've all experienced.

Here are some of the best things as well as some of the most annoying things, about take a flight

Let's start with the bad:

1. Booking tickets

You're thinking of taking a flight to England. Maybe you've just been charged with defaulting on loans, in which case, hello Mr Mallya, or maybe you're just going on vacation. You log on to the web, book a flight and voila, you're done. Then, only moments later your friend calls to give you some good news - he just booked tickets to England. Online. And his were cheaper! Getting the perfect deal is not impossible, but, more often than not, someone else always gets a better deal and it's hard not to get annoyed.

2. Long security lines

You get to the airport well in time for your flight. You check-in for your flight and head to the security line knowing that at least the traffic-filled dash to the airport is now behind you. Half an hour later and the line seems slower than the Delhi traffic. Yeah, queuing for ages just to get an awkward pat down from security personnel is not our idea of a fun time.

3. Overhead compartments

Once you're on board you imagine your ordeal is nearing an end. You look for your seat hoping to settle down. Maybe you'll get a snack and read the paper, or even just browse the internet on your phone while you wait for boarding to end. But in that moment of contemplation, you forget something. There is one last hurdle, finding an overhead compartment close to your seat. And guess what? That moment of contemplation means you're now too late. All the overhead compartments closest to your seat are full. Full with people carrying oversized baggage or multiple bags. Or both.

4. Not enough leg room

There's plenty of demand for flights but not enough room for everyone, so what do airlines do? Cram their planes with as many seats as possible. It's a win-win. Until you remember that most humans have legs. Even if you're short things can get a bit uncomfortable. If you're tall though, prepare for a few hours of desperately trying to contort yourself to fit into what feel like a (barely) reclining matchbox.

5. Turbulence

Whether you're a newbie to flying or a frequent flier, turbulence is terrifying. There's something about being miles above ground and feeling the tin can you've put your faith (and fate) in being rattled by the forces of mother nature. It's enough to make even the most hardened of atheists utter a prayer (or many).

6. Crying babies

This problem ain't exclusive to flying but it's simply the most annoying. Most adults are cranky on flights, but babies even more so and if you happen to be seated next to one of these aby banshees, prepare to hate your life for your foreseeable flying future.

But, lest we put you off of flying, remember that there's plenty to look forward to as well:

1. Fastest mode of transportation

Yes, unless you're flying a short distance, flying is the fastest mode of transportation. Even including the long security lines and all, catching a flight to a distant destination is fast. Very fast. Just think about it. Would you prefer to travel by train or flight from Delhi to Goa? Yeah, we thought as much.

2. Food and drinks

Yes. On flights that are more than 90 minutes, the airline provides you with a meal. Sometimes even two. And it can be spectacularly good. Sure it may not be Wolfgang Puck or even Vikas Khanna, but then again, that's not the standard to compare it with. Compared to the shady highway dhabas buses stop at or the Indian Railways' terrible tomato soup, in-flight food is a treat.

From you basic beverages like water and juice to even alcohol on international flights, you're never going to remain parched on a plane. The food isn't bad either with airlines now stocking a wide variety of food for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Some airlines, like Emirates Airlines and others, have a bar and a sandwich/chips counter.

3. Personal entertainment systems

To distract yourself from counting down the hours until landing, you are provided with your very own personal entertainment system. While we once had to crane our necks to watch an in-flight movie on a large common screen, most flights today have moved way beyond that. Now, not only do you have your very own in-flight television to watch shows and movies, you can also listen to music and even play games on it. Whiling away the time on an airline has never been better!

4. Safest travel

Countless studies have proved it - catching a flight is far safer than traveling by car, bus or train. Even though you hear about a plane crash here and there in the news, that doesn't mean the overall scene is bad. Flying is fun and safe and most pilots today are capable of the smoothest of takeoffs and, more importantly, landings.

If you're thinking of traveling anywhere this summer, take a flight because the point of a vacation isn't the journey, it's what you do at your destination.

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First published: 23 May 2016, 3:15 IST