Sunday, June 30, 2024

Random Rants about British Airways, Dulles Airport, and the still-lousy part of travel


Let's hit British Airways first:

1.  Know how insulting it is to pay $20 for a seat in a movie theater and then be asked to sit through several commercials before the coming attractions start?  Well, imagine paying $1000 for a seat on an airplane and be forced to watch the same six commercials in a row before you're allowed to watch the film you selected from your screen.  And if you pause and look at something else and want to go resume the first thing you were watching, well, guess what?  You have to watch those same six commercials in their entirety again.  

(Oh, and if I may include a 1(b)- British Airways no longer hands out Dollar Store headphones to allow you to actually hear the film you are watching as well as see it.  Maybe you can request them, maybe you just have to bring your own- I don't know, I had my own anyway, but talk about finding a new level of miserly.)  

2.  This isn't unique to British Airways, but they are who I flew last week so I'm going to pick on them for this:  Having to hear a special "welcome" to the people in Business Class or Platinum Members or some Frequent Fliers Club from the pilot along with an "invitation" to join that Very Special Group of People for a very high price.  We already feel like extra baggage sitting over here in steerage, thanks for the reminder that we're just necessary evils to you.

3.  British Airways boards by Group Number because Capitalism, and they'll announce Groups 1 through 4 with considerable fanfare, including jokes from the guy looking at your boarding pass and passport (jokes that got old fast and were completely ignored by the frustrated, sweaty, tired mob that just wanted to get to their seat Shut Up and Scan my Stuff Already.)  If you're sitting in groups 5-9, well, you're supposed to just know when to board, if you really insist on boarding and making the plane crowded for those Special People in groups 1-4.

4.  The repeated emails trying to convince me that if I didn't sign up for an ESTA Visa within 72 hours of departure from Europe I would not be allowed back into the United States.  I'm an American, British Airways.  I don't need a Visa.    Stop trying to convince me to fill out a form and give you $21 to get back into my country.  And that's a good segue into my complaints concerning Dulles Airport:

1.  It took me longer to get home from Dulles to the Maryland Suburbs than it took for me to get from Palermo to London.  This was mainly due to the ridiculous, serpentine line I had to stand in before I could show some guy in a uniform my passport and get his permission to to re-enter my country by telling him why I left in the first place.  There were more than 30 stations but only six were open for Passport checks.  Ugh.

2.  When I got to the Baggage Claim Area, some Official Person thought it would be more convenient for everyone if all of the luggage from our flight was taken off the carousel and stacked into a giant pile for us to pick over.  I had to shove aside several large suitcases in order to dig out mine.  Yeah, this was MUCH better than just taking it off the moving belt.  Thanks, Dulles!

3.  Lack of signs pointing to the Silver Line.  I had to walk toward "Ground Transportation" for several minutes before I saw the word "Metro."  Hey Dulles, the Silver Line is a great innovation that should make use of Dulles easier for everyone.  But only if we can find it.  Who decided to limit the number of signs pointing out the Silver Line?  Was it Uber or Lyft?


  1. There's a reason Farley The Lying Author called INS the Intimidation And Nazification Service.

    1. maybe I expected too much from a country that committed economic suicide with an impulsive hissy fit called "Brexit" eight years ago and an airport named for a guy who thought that the death of every single person on Earth was preferrable to living under a Communist system.