The Best Thing / The Worst Thing. Thread 1: Aeroplanes / Airports ✈

I thought I’d start a new (possibly weekly) series where we talk about the best / worst things about a certain activity. The first few are likely to be on a transport theme.

And this thread is devoted to the best / worst things about air travel.

Best things? Pre-flight drinks? Looking at the ground from many thousand metres above sea level?

Worst things? The tedium of waiting around between security / boarding? Your ears popping? The destruction of the environment?

Feel free to list as many good / bad things as you like.

Best thing: Flying. In a giant metal tube. Actually flying.


One of the best things: those cool walkway horizontal escalator things. Walk really fast! Do a moonwalk! Just stand there all chilled!


Worst thing: Flying. In a giant metal tube. Actually flying.


Best things: Taking off, Weatherspoons breakfast, presumably going somewhere good

Worst things: Actually getting to the fucking airport in the first place, people milling about dragging their suitcases with no concept of how in the way they are

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Worst thing is once climate change but another bad thing is just how all the waiting around makes people behave. It’s probably a British thing idk but we seem to go into queue overdrive and the potential for (usually silent) queue outrage is always high.

Best things: Chance to just sit with no obligations or pressures for a few hours, have a drink, watch some films, and at the end, you’ll maybe be somewhere cool.

Worst things: All the admin, other fucking people, those nuggets who rush up to queue at the gate even though they’ve already got seats they’re just being cunts about wanting to get their bags in the overheads.

Best thing, travelling to parts of the world in a way that’s only been accessible/possible for a few generations.

Worst thing: confinement and constriction in time and space, it starts before you even get to the airport. If it’s a busy plane, it can be horrible, especially with a bit of turbulence and you’re stuck there. A quiet plane and a seat with a bit of legroom makes all the difference I think.

Best: as @Twinkletoes says: actually being in the air. Also: free booze if you’re flying on a decent airline.

Worst: budget airline peculiarities like QUEUING TO GET ON THE FRIGGING AEROPLANE EVEN IF YOU HAVE A SEAT BOOKED. Wheelie suitcases (the fucking WORST). Queuing at passport control (specifically queuing to go through the controls at Bangkok’s budget airport, I think we waited three hours, urgh).

Best Thing - Getting airside, the point of no return, which is always exciting no matter where you’re going.

Worst Thing - Security… well, I used to work in an airport, so I could tell some stories here! But they only apply to members of staff, so I’ll say… security.

Best thing - Landing (I am terrified of flying), pre-flight booze no matter what time of the day it is being totally acceptable.

Worst thing - Taking off, when the plane tilts, generally everything about being in the air. Also being treated like cattle.

I flew with Lufthansa yesterday morning and for someone so used to Ryanair it was such a pleasant experience. No constant announcements! Free breakfast and drinks! The offer of a pillow for a 1 hour flight! I wish I could afford it all the time.

See also: people who have carry-on items that only just fit into the overhead storage so that they spend an age trying to get them into/out of the storage whilst holding everyone else up

Best thing: you’ll (probably) land somewhere you want to be. Often better than the alternatives.

Worst thing: the entire process of actually flying. Getting to the airport in time, checking in, security, generally being around a large group of people who are inexplicably FUCKING AWFUL at using an airport in every respect, being confined in a flying death tube with no escape and limited toilet facilities, passport control, baggage collection, getting from the airport to where you actually want to be. Then doing the whole fucking thing in reverse again soon.


Best thing about flying: getting somewhere miles away in such a short period of time; getting to watch films and TV that is too rubbish to bother with normally.

Worst thing: when you hit turbulence and the plane shakes like hell; remembering all those descriptions of the dead from that Malaysia Air plane that was taken out by surface to air missile and thinking about how you’ll have a long way to fall in utter terror and maybe you’ll survive the impact long enough to die painfully on the ground.

Does anyone else do that thing when they return from holiday where they mentally put themselves in the shoes of overseas visitors, and try and experience the UK from the point of view of a tourist?

I always get a little down thinking that the first impression of Britain is the grey, the rain, the residual smell of pre-smoking ban Gatwick airport, the cheap carpets and low ceilings, the temporary signs and hoardings around the train station, the delays to connections and lack of information combined with staff who only speak English.


that last bit is what would worry me too at times, I just hope I would pass out is the low air pressure very quickly…

Sure, but lots of foreign airports are equally shit.



Don’t think I’ve ever got out of an airport and thought “that was a good experience”



  • having a few hours with no internet/phone signal and no one can expect you to do anything work-related
  • going somewhere nice
  • flying on a non-budget airline is a proper treat, especially when you get little personal TVs and food/booze brought to your seat


  • security: the last three times I’ve flown I’ve had full-body patdowns plus my passport chip didn’t work in the electronic gate (starting to wonder whether it’s because I’m a bit foreign)
  • how long it all takes, especially without a car on either end

I was thinking that when we came back from the USA last week. It was 29C and sunny when we left Fort Myers; it was 8C and raining when we arrived at Heathrow. Also, the Heathrow Express in grey daylight :confused: