Ten things we miss about flying (and few we don’t)

It’s been so long since many of us have stepped onboard an aircraft that we’ve all probably forgotten what we even liked about travelling in the first place. Here are ten things that we think help to make flying so much fun

  1. Excitedly waking up early knowing that you’re going flying today 

While most people don’t like being woken from sleep early, there is always one exception to the rule. The sense of excitement you feel on the day of a flight certainly trumps the momentary annoyance of having to leave the comfort of your bed. 

  1. Breezing through the terminal to departures because you’re on a simple day trip and are only taking hand luggage 

There are many advantages to travelling light, the main one, of course, is not getting caught up in huge queues at airline bag drop and check-in points and being able to go straight to security. Because you’re doing a day trip, you’ve chosen the first flight out and naturally the terminal is empty and so you cruise through to departures in less than ten minutes. 

  1. Having a beer with breakfast at seven o’clock in the morning 

It’s something that seems to only be socially acceptable in an airport, but having a beer with breakfast is a signal that you’re on holiday and no one can judge you for it. 

  1. Having a post-flight nosey in the flight deck to chat with the crew 

Even if this is your 45th trip on an Airbus A320, the obligatory trip up to the flight deck at the end of the flight is normally a highlight of the day. 

  1. Returning to your home airport and taking advantage of the ePassport automated gates 

There’s nothing more satisfying than walking into a packed border control area of an airport knowing that instead of queueing in the infinitely long queue to be processed by a border control officer, you can seamlessly transition in a matter of seconds through the automated passport gates. 

  1. Witnessing a spectacular sunset from 30,000ft 

Sunsets are beautiful when witnessed on the ground, but for most aviation fans, there’s nothing better than seeing one from 30,000ft in the air. If your flight is heading westbound and chasing the sun, then the setting takes an extended amount of time, prolonging the spectacular event. 

  1. Experiencing a landing in a strong crosswind 

It’s always quite satisfying to be a passenger on a flight during a strong crosswind. If you can see the runway out of your window during the entire approach, then it’s a suitably exciting experience. Once the pilot skilfully kicks it straight, you take further delight in feeling one set of wheels touch before the others. 

  1. The exhilarating experience of the take-off 

We all know how exciting the take-off can be. As the crew advance the engines, you’re pushed into your seat as the aircraft accelerates rapidly. At rotation speed, the wings begin to flex as the angle of attack changes, and they begin to generate lift. Before you know it, the ground rushes away and your airborne! 

  1. Sitting in the airport and watching the aircraft turnaround process 

The aircraft turnaround procedure has the elegance of a well-choreographed dance. As you watch on, all the different components from catering to refuelling, and baggage to cleaning, all play their part in getting the aircraft back off the ground within the hour. 

  1. When the IFE has a film that you’ve been meaning to watch for ages 

It’s always very satisfying on a long-haul flight when the inflight entertainment system actually has a film that you’ve been meaning to watch for ages. You’ve now got the time to finally see it. 

Now, of course, not all things about flying are great, here are a few that we certainly don’t miss. 

  1. When you book a specific flight for the aircraft type and the airline has an equipment change 

It can be rather irritating when you select a specific flight based on the rostered aircraft type and at the last minute, instead of a Boeing 747-400, the carrier swaps it out for a much more generic Boeing 777. 

  1. The dreaded window blind closer 

You’re an aviation fan, so it’s a given that you’re going to want to be able to see out the window. The worst-case scenario, of course, is the person that closes the blind immediately after take-off and leaves it shut for the majority of the flight. You may as well sit in the cargo hold if you’re going to do that! 

  1. Missing your connecting flight 

This is never usually a fun experience as it usually involves running through an airport only to be disappointed when you finally get to the gate and the flight has left.