I remember an incident from about a year ago, when traveling through Schiphol airport. They, being the Security Nazis, tried to send me through leaving my handbag behind, I protested that my bag wasn’t in my sight and the SN had the nerve to tell me , “it’s not my problem”. I replied, “No it isn’t? If my bag gets stolen because of your stupid security measures, I will kick the value of it out of your ass.” He tuned red and replied, “ Yes and you will go to jail.” “True, but this is Holland, I will be out of jail before you are out of the hospital, do you want to chance it?” Was my parting shot.  He shut up after that. I was traveling with a discount airline at the time. Things haven’t improved.

I have seriously come to the conclusion, I FUCKING HATE DISCOUNT AIR TRAVEL! Yes you get there cheaply, but the toll it takes on your nerves, your dignity, and your legs last longer that any money you saved on buying a cheap ticket. First off, I think they specially train the staff in rudeness and anti-customer service. They go out of their way to exasperate and just piss you off for the sheer hell of it. I would be pretty much a malcontent if I had to work for a shitty airline, so to some extent it is understandable.

Then the security restrictions are even more numerous with your average discount airline, you can only carry one bag on, it has to weigh so much, it has to be a certain size, usually smaller than that of the ‘normal’ carriers allow, and you have to pay for your luggage. Low and behold if it is one f’ing kilo over the barebones minimum that they allow,  they can/will  slap another 20-30 euros on top of what you have already paid for baggage. I mean have they forgotten we are traveling, and by virtue of being in transit, we will have some kind of baggage with us? So to make you pay for the flight and then the baggage, and the ingrained rudeness of the staff is in my opinion ridiculous. Oh, did I mention they make you pay for the shittiest food imaginable?

Then to carry on the insult, the security measures are extreme in there stupidity, hasn’t anyone realized all you do is frustrate people, cause delays, and accomplish absolutely nothing in stopping a terrorist from wrecking havoc if they so chose? Christmas 2009, springs to mind. This unfortunate young idiot passed through the hallowed halls of Schiphol airport on his way to the US, with his strap-on bomb in place. The taking off of the shoes, the limiting of liquids, the opening of lap tops and such didn’t stop this would-be terrorist from getting through and almost causing a major disaster.  Aggravating travelers is not the way to prevent terrorism, if anything it is a good way to cause normal individuals to want to turn to terror as a means to alleviate some of the frustration they feel, when some jackass at security, who hasn’t a clue what to look for is making you late for your plane, because your f’ing lipgloss isn’t in a stupid ziplock baggie!

Ok so you have cleared the insipid security measures, managed to not shove your lipgloss, or foot up some Security Nazi’s ass, and now you have the pleasure of walking the entire length of the airport! Because it is a cheap discount airline, they stick them at gates seriously bordering on another province let alone the airport environs. So, not only are you late for your flight, but now you have to run a marathon to get to the gate, only to discover that they have moved your flight, maybe they announced it, maybe not. Who knows! They certainly don’t care. That is one less pissed off passenger they have to deal with.

It certainly doesn’t add to the travel experience at all. But I am safe in the knowledge that I will soon be in a suite at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona, with a masseuse waiting for me to rub away all the stress of the nightmare that airline travel has become. If only I could have one waiting for me at home when in a few days I have to relive the nightmare of the return trip.