The Case for Checking a Bag

And other travel complaints

Roxane Gay
Gay Mag
Published in
10 min readOct 18, 2019

--

Illustration by Kyle Griggs

TTravel is a chaotic, exhausting experience exacerbated by people who forget the social contract the moment they step foot in an airport. I travel constantly. I chase miles and have status on three airlines. I read websites about how to best manage airline and hotel loyalty programs, airline credit cards, and the like. I have an app that shows me where every single plane currently flying is and other aviation geek information. I have an app that lets me listen to air traffic control chatter. There is a small park near the edge of LAX where I sit and watch incoming planes landing. I have favorite planes (Airbus 380, Boeing 787, Boeing 757, Boeing 737) and planes I truly despise (CRJ 700, Embraer 145). In short, I have made a necessary condition of my work something of a hobby.

As you might expect, I have a great many travel-related opinions, most but not all of which are wildly uncharitable. For instance, United is Satan’s airline and I will take almost any convoluted route to avoid flying them. Alaska Airlines planes smell weird. The food on American Airlines flights is worse than what I imagine dog food tastes like. Delta serves delicious Biscoff cookies and the flight attendants wear festive purple uniforms. The Atlanta airport is a cruel mistress. There is a bathroom attendant in the Charlotte Airport who likes to sing…

--

--

Roxane Gay
Gay Mag

I write. I want a tiny baby elephant. If you clap, I clap back. Books.: Ayiti, Untamed State, Bad Feminist. Difficult Women, World of Wakanda 1–5, Hunger.