Section: Opinion

Don’t let airport angst ground you

Don’t let airport angst ground you

By Kelsey Overbey

By Griffin Burrough

“So how quickly can you run?” the flight attendant asked in regards to the likelihood of making my connecting flight. I thought there was no reason to be pessimistic, so I said “very.” I’m pretty sure I was overestimating my ability given my giant laptop bag around my neck and having to drag a suitcase with me, but whatever; this wasn’t the time for games.

To be fair to airports, when I look at them I see the best and worst of Kenyon. There’s the unbearable noise, which reminds me of the anxiety of finding a table on New Side, but there’s something else. There is that sense of freedom that you can go almost anywhere in the world, somewhat like at Kenyon, where we have the opportunity to shape our very lives.

But little dilemmas happen to me all the time when I fly. Can I make my connecting flight, do I have enough battery on my phone, does this shirt bring out my eyes? Fine, that last one is just a thought I have every day. But there are so many things that can go wrong when flying. Delays are one of them and when your travel plans are a giant house of cards, that one delay can lead to you sleeping at the gate and waiting for the nearest Cinnabon to open. Or worse, you could just keep getting delayed all day and then have your flight canceled at the last minute. “But they will refund your flight!” I hear some of you yelling. Who’s going to refund all the time that I lost waiting for a flight that was never going to take off?

If you’re lucky you’ll actually get on a flight, but that’s where the real fun begins. When flying, you’re allowed one personal item and one carry-on. This is a rule that should be plastered on the door of the gate because inevitably someone tries to bring a giant duffle bag and ends up taking up all of the overhead space. Or worse, they take your bag out and then your bag gets lost.

After you lose your bag, you hear something: the high-pitched wail that can only be a crying baby. Dear mothers, please don’t bring your child with you when you fly —  sincerely, everyone. On top of that, the old couple behind you is trying loudly to understand the intricate game of Candy Crush. The guy in front of you reclines into your lap. Then you have to go to the bathroom but oh, wait, the flight attendants are pushing down the cart of drinks for which you are now charged. People are my nightmare in real life, yet somehow they become even more so when I fly.

Perhaps you are wondering about the anecdote that started all this. Well, I sprinted from one terminal to the next. It must have been quite the sight to see some scrawny Jewish boy sprint across the Baltimore airport. Maybe my luck with flying is finally turning, because I made it to my plane with seconds to spare. I quickly found the last available seat and then I heard it: the wail, then the old couple. The man in front of me used my lap as a pillow. I looked at my phone and thought: “If I get off, Cinnabon opens in three hours.” Drive when you can, boat when it’s available, walk when you’re feeling adventurous, but for the love of God, avoid flying. It’s like Kenyon but without the people that make it awesome.

Griffin Burrough ’18 is undeclared from Summit, N.J. Contact him at

1 Comment

Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at