I like to think I've gotten better over the past couple of years at decreasing my envy of everyone who is richer or visibly more prosperous than me. But the one thing that unfailingly brings on the envy is traveling economy class in a North American airline. Actually, flying in general. Why is flying such a harrowing experience these days? A trivial 5 hour flight leaves me totally spent now and this used not to be the case.
I'm short enough that my feet don't hit the floor so I want a foot rest. I could carry one but that would add weight to my carryon and I feel silly lugging around something that I will use for 5 hours (on trips that sometimes extend for weeks). I would fold my legs up but the seat is too narrow for me to do that without intruding on my neighbor's space. Plus, now the airlines charge us for checking in so the room in the carry on is a consideration.
The seat is shaped exactly wrong for someone of my height. I want that pillow, that neckrest etc. But I don't want to carry them (see above) and I don't want to pay those outrageous amounts they ask for a pillow/blanket. Why should a small, poor quality, pillow I use for 5 hours cost $7? All they have to do is launder the slip cover. I can buy a new pillow for that and so can they.
The noise has always been an issue for me but I wonder if those noise-canceling earphones actually work at reducing fatigue. Any reviews? Are they worth the expense? I use ear plugs and they do help but I find them very uncomfortable and actually painful if they are left in for more than a few hours at a time. Why can't they improve the sound proofing in the cabin? I think the noise levels have actually gotten worse in the 25 years I've been flying while sound proofing technology has improved.
The thing I most resent I think is the food/drink situation. I realize that you can take an empty bottle through security, find a water fountain and fill up. You can take certain foods through security. But what if you forget/are pressed for time? The available food/drink options are so unhealthy. Once in a while you will find someone charging outrageous amounts for a piece of fruit or an aging salad in a small stand but otherwise you end up at a ridiculously priced bar and try to get them to make you an egg white omelette. Anyway, a list of security friendly healthy food would be nice. I mostly try to work with granola bars (and I dislike them).
I'm aware of how useless ranting about monopolies is, but any flying hacks (ideally healthy, minimalist friendly hacks) would be appreciated.