Paris, Part 1: Let’s fix the annoyances of air travel and make it joyous again

Day 1 of any trip overseas involves waiting in lines, taking your shoes off, and strapping yourself inside a metal tube full of explosive liquids.

Note: yes, you could technically go all Young Bruce Wayne and trade coats with a homeless person before sneaking aboard a cargo ship, and yes, there are people who’ve rowed across the Atlantic, but we are talking about getting to Paris before 2028.

So how can we fix airports and flying?

Here are a few ideas.

Idea # 1: Trains, trains, trains

Nobody likes driving to the airport at oh-dark-thirty, paying for parking, and taking a shuttle to the actual airport. How could we make this suck slightly less?


Take your luggage and hop on a train that takes you directly to the airport.

Boom, no driving, no parking, no hassle.

SeaTac does have a train to the airport now. Though I live in a one stoplight logging town far away, it would be seven separate flavors of awesomesauce to catch a ride to Olympia, hop on that train, and hit the airport.

Sorry, parking lot barons. You provide a useful service, but trains would eliminate a major annoyance.

Idea # 2: Make boarding less silly

Right now, how do you get on the plane? IT IS THE CHAOS.

Let’s make this infinitely smoother by boarding window seats first, back to front. You go, Window Warriors.

Next up, middle seats.

Last to board should be aisle seats and first class / VIP people. Having them get on first slows things down. What’s the great thing about getting on first and waiting longer for takeoff? Feed the people holding special expensive tickets some special and expensive champagne while they wait and get them on last.

Idea # 3: Seats that fit

We have the numbers: average number of people who are tall, short, whatever.

Make seats on planes reflect real people instead of a mythical average, so anybody over six foot doesn’t have their knees shoved into the seat in front of them and average to shorter people get a break on price for taking up less space. But if we’re making prices reflect reality, average it all out to cost the same as now instead of overcharging tall folks.

Idea # 4: The adorable screaming bebes

Hey, I’m a father, and I get it. You want your pookie to see the world, or visit grandma.

HOWEVER: Itty bitty babies and toddlers don’t do well on long international flights, and by don’t mean well I actually mean a 10-hour flight often includes a free 10-hour chorus of screaming and inconsolable babies.

Babies and toddlers won’t remember a trip to Paris or Tokyo.

Multiply the age of the pookie by TWO and that’s how many hours the kid should fly. A baby can do two hours, a two-year-old can handle four, and so on.

Idea # 5: The Kiosk of Dumb Questions

At the Brussels train station, helpful staff stood at a kiosk to guide confused travelers to their train.

Airports around the world should do this. Otherwise, sleepy passengers wander the airport, staring at screens and asking random people questions in languages they don’t speak.


Traveling by plane is more annoying than it should be, but we can dream. What would you do, if you could wave a magic wand and fix it?

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