The 10 Emotional Stages of Air Travel

We’re sure you’ve heard the news. United Airlines removed a passenger in a heavy handed mobster-like fashion due to them overbooking their flight. When they couldn’t free up the seat in the usual way (i.e. paying passenger to take another flight), the man was yanked from his seat, kicking and screaming until he seemingly passed out from the manhandling and was dragged down the aisle and off the plane. The whole incident was all caught on video and posted online for all the world to see. Let’s see that video now from a few angles at once, shall we?


Poor guy. The man you see here who was chosen for random removal was a qualified doctor on his way to do some emergency treatments in another part of the country, hence his refusal to be moved off the plane. He may have forced the airline’s hand, but did he really deserve this treatment? Personally we never fly United Airlines on principle, and now we never ever will. There’s hardly any leg room, there’s old and rude stewardesses are aplenty, a dismal grey decor, plus it’s an airline that seems forever stuck in 1992 or something like that, but now this? We’re not united with United by any means, and with actions like these in that video, should they be removed from the Star Alliance? Who knows?

We’ve always made it a point to avoid United Airlines, because it’s not really an enjoyable airline to fly with, but traveling can sometimes be strenuous anyway, no matter what airline you choose. Let’s go through some of the emotional stages of air travel that everyone experiences at least once during a flight.

  1. Firstly, there’s the packing, isn’t there? You have to come in under the fluctuating luggage allowance. Sometimes it’s 30kg’s, sometimes it’s 20kg’s. Sometimes you just can’t make it fit. You’re not even at the airport yet and you’re already stressed!

You want to avoid the overweight! Star2

2. Secondly, especially on domestic flights like on United Airlines, many people have decided to shun checking in any bags, thinking that they are clever and thus decide to bring a literal suitcase for the upper storage lockers, instead.

Is this why Airlines have rolled out charges for carry-on’s? We think so. handluggageonly

3. If you’re a good traveller who always checks in your bags out of common courtesy towards other travellers, there’s always the nervous wait in line for the dreaded final weigh-in of your bag. You desperately want to avoid opening it up again to shuffle around your contents into a carry-on bag and looking like a total idiot in front of everyone. Imagine removing your boxer shorts and shoes from your luggage in front of a crowd of onlookers, all in order to avoid inflated overweight charges.

Am I within my baggage limit or will this cost me $200? Giphy

4. What’s next? It’s time to go in through the security checkpoint. You’ve removed your shoes, your belt, your laptop, basically everything apart from your underwear and you’re ready to pass on through the security check. You hope that the TSA are on their toes as security is important, but you sincerely hope you don’t get hassled as your stress levels are already at a peak level.

There’s always a suspicious lady, isn’t there? Nothing else to see here. Giphy

5. Boarding comes next, and it’s a relief until you realise they are only calling certain rows. You bite your tongue and await your calling. Eventually you get your chance to board the plane, but now you’re stuck behind some old couple in the big line, or behind an abnormally large and sweaty person. Either way it’s going to take an eternity before you physically board the plane with half of your temperament still in tact.

I’ll be here forever, wish me luck! blogspot

6. Entering the plane, you get a sense of relief that finally you’ll be in your seat soon, but some people clearly have too much on their mind. Watch your step!

You stay calm though and you board in style, either way. makeagif   

7. You get to your seat and guess what? There’s an unruly child or baby on board, crying and making a fuss. This is all part of the economy class experience after all, so what can you do? Do what this man does?

That should shut it up for a while?! angloberry

8. You’ve taken your seat and you just want to be left alone now listen to your music, wait for the complimentary drinks or just knock yourself out with a sleeping pill, but as luck would have it, you’re seated next to an overweight person who just won’t shut up. Even worse if you’re on the inside seat, because now you realise you have to stand up every time they want to move around.

We’ve all been there, with that one passenger that talks forever. giphy

9. Trying to sleep on a plane is an acquired skill garnered through years of practice, some choose Xanax, some choose to drink red wine until they just pass out, and some passengers pull out all the sleeping gear (eye roll).

First time flier seen, right there! Not annoying, right? odditymall

10. You fell asleep and wake up sometime later. You think you’ve landed already, but no you didn’t, you didn’t even take off yet, because of this jackass right here! A classic moment from the unseasoned traveller with his carry-on item, once again.

You’ll have to check that, sir! Or we can’t take-off! makeagif

So, as you can see, there are many emotional stages we all go through when we travel by air. We hope you recognised some of these inevitable occurrences which will hamper your enjoyment of your flight in general. Remember to keep calm though; soon you’ll arrive in your destination and you can put the whole messy affair behind you, till you have to go home again. Oh, and remember, never fly United Airlines!


Nice, you landed! Cattle transport done. Mission complete, now just got to do the baggage reclaim and then make a swift exit for the next transport! Izsimile

Brainstain, over and out!

<Story by The Narrator> 

Featured Photo Credit: Bloomberg

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