I did not intend to break my blogging silence with rant about United Airlines—because, generally, American Airlines will always provide a worse experience, especially when flying through Dallas—but I have just spent $15.00 to entertain myself with the internet for a measly two hours, and I think it deserves commensurate internet compensation in the form of an unhappy soliloquy.
First of all: I do admit I am partly to blame for my experience. For the last 2-3 months, I have been functioning without headphones because my Bluetooth headphones—which already died once despite being only a year old—died a second time, and no amount of “Lazarus, come out!” worked on them. I’ve learned how to manage my gym experience without them, either by consenting to be “that person” in the studio/spin room who makes everyone else listen to their music (for the most part this is okay since everyone else has functioning headphones) or by going for runs in silence, listening to the sound of my own thoughts, which can shockingly propel me for over an hour.
BUT as I prepared for my vacation—I’m going to Maui, Hawaii, to meet up with my parents—I had made a mental note to buy headphones for the plane ride and, I suppose, life in general, but with an increased sense of urgency.
Did I buy those headphones, though?
No. No I did not.
For the last week, I have spent every spare moment at the new Greek market that opened in Providence (article forthcoming), and my schedule just didn’t allow for a 30 mile adventure to Target and/or TJ Maxx—which is sadly where I make most of my earphone purchases and may account for their untimely death. Midweek last week, my roommate suggested I visit Amazon, and had I followed through with that thought immediately, I could have purchased something that would have arrived on time. But I got distracted during my internet shopping foray by looking at books, three of which I purchased, and I forgot the real reason I was online. By the time I remembered, it was 11pm on Thursday night and I resigned to my fate. Maybe I’ll go shopping on Sunday, I thought wistfully.
On Friday and Saturday I lead food tours throughout the city Providence, a bachelorette party and a group of 14 celebrating birthdays and graduation, respectively, and it’s occurring to me now that writing about food tours would have made a much better blog, It’s my new (fourth) job, and I absolutely love it, but at the end of the tour, I am in no shape to go shopping. By the time I’ve walked around the city for 3.5 hours in the elements—extreme heat or pouring rain as it’s consistently been—I want nothing more than to relax with a drink and some food of my own. (Please note: tour guides do not partake on the food stops during the tour, only the tour-goers do, so I’m pretty hungry by 4pm.).
I used to reward myself with Malted Barley’s Downeast Cranberry Cider and gourmet pretzels, but now that the aforementioned new Greek market (Yoleni’s) has opened, I vanish through it like it’s a black hole. There was one Friday after the tour that I invited my roommate to join me, and we were there for over five hours.
I’m telling you: this place is just like Greece! It is my happy place!
Anyway, I’m getting derailed by Yoleni’s and food tours and my roommate, all of which are topics way more worthy of my blogging energy, but I just checked the clock and TIME IS MOVING SO SLOWLY* and my boredom is so immense that I have to return to my rant.
So, back to United Airlines and the de-evolution of flights as we know it. I’ve flown on many 8-hour flights, and even for 17 hours to South Africa and 14 hours to Hong Kong, yet this 8.5-hour flight is THE LONGEST FLIGHT I’ve ever been on, and here’s why.
- In Flight Entertainment. In flight entertainment has now been reduced to our cell phones. No longer are there screens built into the seatbacks in front of us, or even old school hanging from the ceiling; we are now told to download a United App onto our phones and stream movies that way.
- Not having headphones makes enjoying this entertainment difficult.
- Headphones are no longer provided.
- Even if United provided headphones (which I was hoping, although now I see the entire premise I was banking on is no longer applicable), I couldn’t have used them anyway because Apple has ensured “normal” headphones do not to fit into Apple devices, and I 100% did not bring the headphone adapter with me.
- My phone can’t charge with headphones plugged in regardless, so at some point this system breaks down.
It’s occurred to me that Apple is also at fault for my predicament.
- Food. I thought crossing an ocean merited at least one meal (during my travels to Greece—a six-hour flight, mind you—I received both dinner and breakfast), but the only food they have are snacks for purchase. And one small bag of free pretzels. Come on, man.
- Drinks. The drink cart has come around only once. True, every once in a while I’ll catch a flight attendant walking around offering a cup of water, but PEOPLE, I’M DESSICATING IN THIS DEHYDRATION TUNNEL. (there’s an article about this, actually)
- Internet. It’s only available for purchase in increments of one hour ($10), two hours ($15) or the entire flight ($25) which I did not jump on immediately—acting on principle and the fact that I thought reading would sustain me—but my books didn’t hook me and I’ve succumbed to the internet, hence this rant.
- Checked baggage. Is one checked bag really so unreasonable that we have to be charged $25 for it? This is the kind of charge you’d expect with a $35 Ryanair flight from Dublin to Frankfort, but nine hours across the continent and Pacific Ocean? Really?
I am just so bored. So bored. And hungry. I only brought a bag of popcorn chips and a small cup of homemade hummus because I was afraid they’d make me throw it away as a “liquid,” so I checked the rest of it into my costly luggage. My parents and I plan to eat together as soon as we land, so I don’t want to ruin my appetite on plane food. But eight hours on popcorn chips and pretzels with no water is making me crazy.
Time to end my rant. I need to publish this post while the time is still ticking. The good news is I am on vacation!!!! And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to write a couple of blogs that are actually worth reading. I’ve missed you, Fushilou readers. Thanks for checking in.
*no brownies were involved in the creation of this blog