The Excruciating Process of Airline Boarding: An Imaginary Tale

Almost midnight. The incoming flight had been delayed over three hours.

No respectable food establishment open at O’Hare and I’ve stuffed my face with every lousy carb that can be banged out of a candy machine. Not a shred of self-discipline or pride remaining, I pick the lint off a honey pretzel left in my pocket from the last flight.

The voice over the loudspeaker is scratchy.

“Apologies for the delay, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Flight 658, Chicago to Los Angeles. It’s late, so let’s get you on board as quickly as possible. Starting this evening with passengers holding a First Class or Business ticket.”

Rewards programs are out of control. Four hundred thousand accrued miles in my account, and still, no upgrades. Too many people with too many miles. What’s the point of airline loyalty?

“Now boarding our military men and women. A heartfelt thanks for your service to our country.”

Wait! Are Girl Scouts officially considered a military group? This is screwy.

“Respecting our past servicemen and women, now boarding anyone who’s ever served in any one of our armed service groups.”

Every man left in the terminal is on that line – except me. I can feel their disrespect. Back off with the attitude, buddies! I have flat feet. Lived through public school wearing metal arches. Have I not suffered enough? Who’s the real hero?

“Boarding parents with children or anyone needing special assistance.”

That’s actually a NO kids – NO canes line. One woman’s got a handicapped sign around her neck scratched out by a four-year-old with crayons. Totally random. 

“Boarding passengers who are multilingual. Personas que hablan más de un idioma.”


“And yes, ladies and gentlemen. Of-way ourse-cay. Pig-Latin ounts-cay.”

SERIOUSLY? Pig Latin is considered a verifiable language?

“Boarding passengers with gym memberships.”

Get real! Nobody on that line’s driven past a gym in a decade!

“People with trust funds.”

That’s what I thought. It’s confirmed. I’m the only one left in America without a trust fund. I gotta tell you – this one hurts.

“People who regularly donate to charities.”

Wait. What does regularly mean? I contribute to charities once a year at Christmas. Is that regularly?

“Now boarding people who need people.”

What the hell? Isn’t that a Streisand song?

“Men with prostate issues.”

What men? I’m the only man left standing here! I’m the only person – left – standing – here!

“Boarding those with perfectly aligned chakras.”

I’ve lost the will to live. 

“And finally, boarding 64-year-olds at the apex of mediocre sales careers.”


Share your boarding story in the comment section below!

8 thoughts on “The Excruciating Process of Airline Boarding: An Imaginary Tale

  1. You are too funny. Thanks for the laugh! And Happy 2017!


    Joan Wistrand LaBelle Sent from my iPhone


  2. Thanks, Joan. Same to you and your beautiful family.

  3. Constance Parrott January 1, 2017 — 3:51 pm

    Holy s**t, Howard! I’m ashamed to find so much mirth in your discomfort. Every line is funnier than the last. Forgive me for laughing at you. 2017 better bring a boatload of blogs (no pressure intended). I can’t help that I’m now addicted to blogs that make me laugh written by someone whose initials are HF. You started that. The “clever” was enticing but the “hilarious” hooked me. Happy New Year, Howard. You do know that 2017 is the Year of Howard Fishman, right? Lucky us!

  4. Thanks, Connide and HNY to you and your family!

  5. Hi Howard:

    Very funny!! (as expected) I love your blog. Love Lori

  6. Hi Lori. Thanks. I’m so thrilled that you’ve been reading the posts on my site!!

  7. NinaPintaSantaMaria January 9, 2017 — 4:37 pm

    And what about the “care” pets. Last week, I saw a great dane gate area. Enough is enough!

  8. Hahaha. Wish I had thought of that one!

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