Top 21 awkward things about plane travel

While airplanes don't make me break out in cold sweats, I don't think anyone would say commercial flying, especially trans-Atlantic flying, is on their lists of favorite things to do. The problems don't so much arise from huge discomforts and problems (though I'm sure around the holidays is a different story), but from little annoyances and awkward bumps and interactions. When it comes to being awkward, you've got a winner in me. I've done a fair bit of traveling in the past three years, much more than I have in my life, but that doesn't take away my novice mentality. If anything, it makes me feel like a poser. Yes, I should know what I'm doing and how to respond to your comment, but I'll just sit here nervously checking my phone while simultaneously praying that it won't die.

However awkward I can be, I'm guessing it's not just me. With my trip to London this week, the flight over is all I can think about. I can't wait, but I also feel somewhat apprehensive on the situation. Reasons? My top 21 most awkward things about plane travel...

  1. Not knowing which security check to go through at the airport.
  2. Not knowing how to search for a seat at the gate with a charger without blatantly staring at the seats already taken by phone-charging passengers.
  3. Walking down the airplane isle without hitting other seated passengers with my carry-on (this is probably my least favorite thing about flying).
  4. Immediately wanting wifi as soon as the flight attendants say to turn off your phone.
  5. That slight headache you get in smaller domestic flights that isn't awful, but just bad enough so that you want to complain (but can't, because is your life really that miserable?)
  6. Small talk, or lack thereof, between row-mates.
  7. Figuring out how to work the damn seatbelt. I know they're all the same, but why is this one being so difficult?
  8. Pushing images of plane crashes and "what-if" situations out of your head as the plane takes off/descends
  9. The constant feeling that the person sitting next to you is reading/seeing/stalking what you're doing.
  10. Wanting to rest your head against the window in order to see the clouds, but also knowing how many children and adults have already done that, and not wanting to share forehead germs, no thank you.
  11. Wanting to Instagram the clouds, but also judging yourself for taking an airplane cloud photo. Because Instagram doesn't have enough. But it's so beautiful!
  12. Crying babies, but more than that, the pain you feel for the parents taking care of said crying babies. Not pain enough to not hate the babies, though.
  13. Painstakingly monitoring the battery life of your phone, because WHAT IF IT WERE TO DIE?!
  14. Praying you don't have to pee on the flight.
  15. Or worse.
  16. Stifling your laugh at a funny movie while your row-mates are fast asleep.
  17. Uncomfortably maneuvering your neck pillow to a position that you could possibly sleep in within the two inches of extra space you have.
  18. Rummaging to get something out of your purse, which you've put under your feet, and trying not to elbow your row-mate in the knee.
  19. When you can't find that thing in your purse, so you have to give up or hoist it onto your lap to do more digging.
  20. Realizing you didn't bring the thing, then carefully putting your bag back on the floor in shame.
  21. Flying on a plane.

So those were my top awkward things about traveling! What are yours? Let's share our discomfort and maybe never fly again?