Ahh. Welcome back. It's OK that my flight back was delayed a half hour. It's OK that they charge for everything including coffee on board now. It's OK that parking is more expensive and flights are less reliable. It's still the easiest way to get across the country.

Having driven cross country several times, I can tell you it's still a bit faster to fly. That said, it's more than slightly annoying to arrive late and then sit on the tarmac for 40 minutes waiting for a gate to open.

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I mean, don't they schedule these things? And why are so many gates empty while you're sitting on the plane? Maybe it's a staffing issue. Or maybe the discount airlines have to wait longer than the major carriers.

Either way, sitting and watching empty gates late at night when all you want to do is go home, is annoying. Add to that the most annoying sound ever and you have a long night in the making.

Several callers chimed in and said that it was likely a generator keeping the air flowing and the lights on. Fair enough, but I can't remember a sound that piercing in all of the hours I've spent traveling.

I also got to thinking about staffing. So, not enough staff to keep the planes docking at the gate, but a full staff of flight attendants and only one beverage service on a 5-hour flight seems unbalanced.

We had an airline captain call in and mention that the FAA requires one flight attendant for every 50 passengers. One to open each of the aircraft's four doors. Again, seems outdated.

After all, there are four window exits over the wings, and as someone who seeks out the exit row for more legroom in coach, it's the passengers charged with opening the escape hatches.

Ferran Feixas via Unsplash
Ferran Feixas via Unsplash

I think we could change that rule and potentially lower costs. OR, maybe with four attendants, the airlines could offer more service?

I miss the free bags of peanuts.

How about you? Is airline travel more aggravating now than it was before the lockdowns? Hit me up on the free New Jersey 101.5 app and weigh in on the conversation!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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