Excerpts From The Journal Of Noa Gavin: Steerage Airline Passenger

01/07/2013 · 36 comments

in How Did My Life Come To This, Psychological Warfare, Social Services

Sunday, December 23:

My dearest husband has booked me on a voyage to Liberal, Kansas on Great Lakes Airlines! Why, it has great right there in the name, and that means a quality trip! Thank goodness they were there for me during my last-minute time of need–and for only $500!

Wednesday, December 26th:

5:30 PM

The bag attendant was so kind when he silently hand-wrote my bag ticket in a solid ten minutes! Other airlines tend to feel so rushed with their fancy computers and updated operating systems and software that communicates with the gate! And leaving from the A-terminal, can you imagine? That’s where international flights leave from–how upper class!

6:00 PM

A…61 is the gate I need. It seems that the A terminal, at least by my watch, ends at A 44. I shall find an attendant.

6:03 PM

Oh, there’s a downstairs? A downstairs to an airport? How…Narnia-esque! Paging Mr. Tumnus to the White Courtesy Phone!

6:05 PM

My goodness, the sights do change quickly when one travels! Instead of vast swaths of glass windows and soft carpet and heat, the A 45-70 gates are treated to the safety of concrete blocks and the airy feel of patches of wall replaced with plastic sheeting in December (in Colorado!) It’s all so exciting!

6:07 PM

Why, this terminal must be a whole mile from beginning to end! Thank goodness they’ve lined it with these benches from all over the rest of the airport for people to sit upon. The incredibly narrow walkway has a sort of Bazaar feel with all the hustle and bustle and sometimes heavy, rope-tied luggage being battered about–it’s a bit like Indiana Jones! Is there a Doctor in the house?

6:30 PM

Finally reached my gate and checked in! Having many of the doors open in this final gate area does imply better air circulation, and judging by how many people here are coughing, air circulation is a good thing. I have pulled my scarf over my face, as it seems I am in real danger of contracting tuberculosis. There are a large number of children wandering around here, a group of pickpockets and urchins if sights are to be believed. There is a lack of any food other than what must be a food stand selling hot dogs (if the single hand-drawn photo of a hot dog on printer paper with $6.50 written underneath is to be believed). This is…somewhat of a let down. I’ll persevere though. Though it may be cold and poor and loud with the shouts of confused people who have never flown before, I have faith that at any moment, an Irish folk band will erupt.

7:15 PM

Our plane has arrived! The journey continues!

7:30 PM

We have to walk to our plane! It’s 4 degrees outside!

7:33 PM

There are ten motherfucking seats on this plane. I paid $500 for this motherfucking toaster to bounce my ass around–with no heat–all the way to fucking Kansas. Fuck this shit. It is cold as my heart on this piece of shit bastard-ass dick plane. Everyone on this plane is over 100, and they’re all gonna keep their lights on to read their shitty ass Norah Roberts bullshit books for this whole flight and–THERE IS A FUCKING IN-FLIGHT MAGAZINE? ABOUT SHITBAG SOUTH DAKOTA? You mean to tell me you had time to write and produce what must be the world’s most boring fucking magazine and you can’t heat a bitch up before 9 old-ass ladies and me get on this? FUCK ALL Y’ALL.

7:45 PM

The mothershitting pilot just said, “Hey, we’re gonna go to Dodge City. Buckle up.” And then he sat his bastard ass down and there is not even a door to the cockpit so I can see his incompetent ass the entire time.

7:47 PM

Good thing these propellers aren’t the loudest goddamn thing I’ve ever heard, and that I’m not allowed to use my iPod under any circumstances because the Baha Men will trigger your bitch-ass navigation into diving head-first into whatever the fuck is of any value in Kansas.

9:15 PM

We got the fuck out of Dodge. This plane was not worth the ability to say that with sincerity.

10:oo PM

We just pulled up to the fucking back door of the Liberal Airport, which I’m assuming for a large amount of its life was a strip mall. Slipped on a patch of ice and almost took out the ‘bag transfer personnel’ which is just the oldest woman I’ve ever seen in a pair of shitty-ass coveralls.

10:03 PM

I went to pee, and now the lights are off and the door is locked.




The people who say, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,” have never flown Great Lakes.

Ever had a trip go awry? Ever expected something on vacation and got something…very different?

Favorite Comment From The Last Post:
From Jen: “Noa, I will take your everlasting love and ghetto owl but you can keep your firstborn. I don’t spend this much time and money on quality birth control to have more needy little people drooling on my leg and demanding food and money.”
winopants January 7, 2013 at 2:20 am

I hope you peed on the floor, bastards. This experience sounds terrifying. A small, shaky plane in winter filled with people more “ready for their time” than you? Fuuuck that
winopants recently posted..Django Unchained and the Quentin Tarantino Movie Soup Game

Noa January 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm

The lady next to me wore a coat I am 50% sure was still alive. Fuck that plane.

Mayor Gia January 7, 2013 at 7:08 am

Hmm. I feel like something significant clicked around 7:32. Don’t ask me how, I just know.
Mayor Gia recently posted..Baking is Hard.

Noa January 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

I think your hunch is right.

Sarah January 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

I have horrible luck with planes:

I’ve been in a freak lightening storm, in the air, while the attendants loudly discuss if the other side of the plane just got hit by lightening.

I’ve been wedged in between two large, sweaty firemen in their fifties who called me sweetheart and tried to read my Glamour magazine over my shoulder.

I’ve been in a plane with turbulence so bad that the pilot came on and basically said– sorry, but we’re as high as we can go without destroying the plane, so you’re just going to have to ride it out. I had a third degree sunburn from accidentally falling asleep on a raft in the ocean. On my back.

I’ve been on a plane that ran into the terminal. Thankfully, it was a small bump.

I’ve been on a plane where the pilot and copilot accidentally forgot to turn off the intercom after discussing the weather at our destination and then joked about almost overshooting the runway and killing us all.

I’ve been stuck in a plane on the tarmac for 4+ hours with my infant niece– who apparently decided that was a great time to start displaying the symptoms of a stomach bug (and screaming her head off)– with only three diapers.

In other words, I prefer cars, trains, and boats…
Sarah recently posted..On Non-Resolutions and #OneHourforMe

Bill G. January 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

You’re just reinforcing my notion that I’d rather take the 10 hours to drive between Salt Lake and Denver than take the 90 minute flight. The real irony is that you’re only saving 2-3 hours by flying when you add up the airport time on both ends, driving time to/from airports on each end (Denver airport is over an hour from Denver; they should call it the Buttfuck Dustbowl Anywhere-But-Here Airport), the time it takes the shit-ass shuttle bus to take you to the offsite car rental place, and the time for the slow-ass car rental people to get around to renting a car to you.

The way things are going these days, I’d rather drive the better part of two days than take that flight. If I don’t like the service at the roadside cafe, I can take a walk. And I trust the ornery old ladies at those diners a lot more than I trust the ornery old ladies at Delta Airlines.

Noa January 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Stop flying.

Stop it before you crest the cliff.

I fear for you.

Jenn January 7, 2013 at 11:22 am

Noa, such is our life out here in the stix of Kansas! So glad you made it through safely though. Maybe you should stop back by when it’s 105 degrees and the wind is blowing 40mph. It’s a real treat then too. Sorry you didn’t get to visit Dodge….it’s actually a nice little place to live. Besides an airport, we have cars and malls and even live theater. And cows. 4 different scenic overlooks of….cows.

Bill G. January 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm

105 degrees and 40 MPH wind: you’ve just described my one and only trip to Fort Worth, TX.

Noa January 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Fucking Kansas. I don’t hate it as much as I hate New Mexico and South Dakota, but it’s headed that way.

Jen January 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Three words: My. Motherfucking. Honeymoon. —> http://portlandiamom.blogspot.com/2012/11/50-worst-dates.html

That shit should have been a sign, yo.
Jen recently posted..You Can Stand Under My Umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh

Noa January 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm


Every time, Jen. Every time I think I have something insane, you catch me.

At least I’ll always have 2 housefires. We are profoundly terrible people.

Dana the Biped January 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Huh. I’ve never had a bad flight, but once, when my parents made me take a Greyhound home for Christmas instead of driving the hour and a half to pick me up because they just didn’t feel like letting me bring my own damn car to college with me, I got yelled at for having gifts on the seat next to me. (There were four other people on the bus that might need that space, you know.) And then the bus driver didn’t know where the stop in my hometown even was, and I had to give him directions. Because in the middle of the fucking boonies, EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN DAMN CAR. (No, I’m not bitter at all.)
Dana the Biped recently posted..I’ll Be Beating Them Off With a Stick For Sure

Noa January 10, 2013 at 9:58 pm


Scary scary shit happens on buses.

HeatherRose January 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I once flew American Eagle from New Jersey to St. Louis, and St. Louis to Nashville. From St. Louis to Nashville, we were on a 12 seater prop jet, and the grandfatherly gentleman next to me was kind enough to pat my hand while I cried for the duration of the 1 1/2 hrs down to Nashville in a raging thunderstorm. That same plane crashed on the way back to St. Louis – 4 people were killed.

Also, when I flew from Miami to Tel Aviv, we had to do a layover in Newark, where the tarmac is apparently not quite long enough for the big international planes. The pilot had to come in so steep that I blacked out for the last 30 seconds or so of the descent.

Now I just take great delight in lying to TSA and sneaking shit through the x-rays, so at least if I die on the flight, my last acts will be ones of righteous civil disobedience…
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Noa January 10, 2013 at 9:58 pm


Great Lakes didn’t kill anyone. Suddenly, not so bad.

Abby January 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I hate traveling and have to do it for work next week with a 5:50 am flight. WTF, I know. Here’s my take on airline travel. http://abbyhasissues.com/2012/01/31/this-is-your-captain-speaking/

However, my underlying theme with any traveling–especially work-related–is that until they provide a Xanax salt-lick, I will continue to be a bitter, bitchy pain in the ass (much like how I am on a daily basis, but this time in an unfamiliar environment.)

Oh! And there was one time I realized my flight home was booked for a month AFTER the date I was supposed to come home. I realized this the day before I was supposed to come home. Panic ensued. Long story short, I lived, but you didn’t want to be around me for about a week (see above.) I’m a joy.
Abby recently posted..Three Things

Sarah January 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I second the Xanax salt-lick motion. Can we get a vote now?
Sarah recently posted..On Non-Resolutions and #OneHourforMe

Bill G. January 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

I miss regular airline flights for my job like I miss a good case of the shits.

Noa January 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Adrian once booked a flight from Dallas to NY, and then for our return trip, he booked a flight from Dallas to NY.

That was before we were married. I should have seen his travel psychosis coming.

Cowgirl Red January 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Oh Noa, welcome to my world. I’ve flown in and out of Liberal (Shit Hole) Kansas more than once. The wind was blowing so hard you needed ankle weights to walk to the plane. But we took off anyway. I have a personal stash of mini bottles under 3oz for these occasions. My question ….. What the fuck were you doing in that stinky cowtown? Next time you have to come to Kansas, fly into Wichita. I will pick you up and take you to whatever shitty little western Kansas town you desire to visit. You have peeps here. We have lots of time on our hands and are easily entertained

Terah aka Cowgirl Red Sun City, KS
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Noa January 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm


I spent too much time shopping there as a kid. I spent too much time there flying as an adult, which was just once, BUT STILL ENOUGH.

Fucking pancakes and fucking Dorothy and FUCK THAT TOWN.

Should I ever visit Kansas again, I will need escorts. You may get a call.

Valerie January 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Wow… And this post started off so positive. I was sure there would be free liquor and hot wings on board. Fucking balls man.


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Noa January 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I tried so hard to stay positive. I should learn that I’m just a crotchety bastard.

Jaime January 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I hate fucking flying… after having a long distance bf and having to fly across country 6 times in one year…. I really fucking hate flying.

Bill G. January 7, 2013 at 11:42 pm

I was all excited about going to Korea a couple of years ago. That 14 hour flight from LAX to Seoul was a fucking hardcore reality check. I was damn near bawling with happiness when I cleared customs coming back through LAX.

Noa January 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

NOPE. That sounds awful. Sorry…

Emma January 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I have got on a plane (Sydney to London) so 24 glorious hours only to have the lady next to me say “I do hope they have my special meal because you know I have a colostomy bag”

Noa January 10, 2013 at 10:06 pm

While I realize that it’s mostly lonely people who do shit like that, it doesn’t make it any better.

nadine January 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm

At least they didn’t announce that they needed some passengers to move to the back of the plane to “balance out the weight.” If the Wright brothers could see this flying shitbox now.
nadine recently posted..Shit My Boyfriend Doesn’t Like to Hear When I’m Behind the Wheel

Noa January 10, 2013 at 10:07 pm

They did not. They did, however, just have a flashlight to see where shit was in the cockpit.

Lacy Foland January 8, 2013 at 12:02 am

I was on the east coast last summer, and apparently Greyhound is, like, a THING over there. I had to get from Richmond, VA to Williamsburg, VA. And EVERYONE said to take Greyhound. Ummmm….okay? Bought my ticket, but they wouldn’t print it at the bus station. Right. I guess when you spend $80 they can’t be bothered to spend $.08 to print the fucking ticket. Once I finally got on the bus, I experienced what I expected to experience. I sat next to a woman who had been on that bus for FOUR DAYS. Four days. She smelled awesome. And the air conditioning was broken. And the windows didn’t roll down or open in any way. And the guy across from me kept talking to himself the whole time (although he might have been talking to me, but I was pretending to listen to my dead iPod) about how glad he was that we were on a GOOD bus. Yeah, fuck you, Greyhound. Fuck you in the ass.

Noa January 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Come here. I want to give hugs to people I know that had to ride on Greyhound.

It’s okay. It’s not your fault.

April January 8, 2013 at 8:51 am

London Heathrow airport at 4am on zero sleep in almost 36 hours, crashing from my summer olympics high, in desperate need of a shower, with a migraine.
Travel Log, Aug 11, 2011 – Puked in 4 separate bathrooms in London Heathrow Airport.
Do you know how much a sandwich costs in a London airport? Like 10 pounds which is almost 20 bucks. Tossing up my cookies (and sandwich as it were) was the most expensive puke I’ve ever produced. Silver Lining, a nice lady (also a migraine sufferer) who found me moaning incoherrently on a bench told me that codeine is over the counter in London and even told me where to go buy it. I considered becoming a drug mule that day. But I was almost out of money. Buying olympic tickets from scalpers will do that to you. I’m still trying to recover my savings account.
April recently posted..Ireland Part 4 – Castles, Abbeys and Cliffs, OH MY!

Noa January 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Heathrow is the scariest place I’ve ever been, for no reason other than nothing makes sense. It’s just hallways and hope to get you through. Had I known codeine was easily available, my experience might have been different.

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