Hate flying? Just shut up and appreciate it

You're a mob of whingers. No, wait – we're a mob of whingers. I do it as well, without even realising.

Airlines. Airports. Flying in general. Surely there's no industry, with the possible exception of telecommunications, which inspires bitching and moaning like air travel.

We complain about everything. Start with the costs – of parking at the airport, of a cab to the airport, of food at the airport, of food on the plane, of the price of the flight itself. It's all a rip-off, or something like that.

Hell, the other day I even overhead someone complaining that flights are too cheap. "It's ruined travel," the guy said, shaking his head. "Remember when you used to pay more and get real service? People think it's good to pay $500 to fly Toronto to Vancouver return. It should be twice that."

But wait, there's more. We whinge about the standard of service on airlines, about the long check-in queues, about the food, about the hosties who don't smile and say "thanks" in the expected manner when you walk off the plane.

We complain about the uncomfortable seats, become obsessed with the degree to which they can recline, measure distance to the next one, check online to see which ones are best positioned and then complain when we don't get them.

And budget airlines! People love to whinge about budget airlines! The food costs too much, the service is pathetic, it's always delayed, the seats are uncomfortable, blah, blah, blah. It's called a budget airline for a reason – it's for people on a budget. Surely if those things were so important to you you'd lash out on a full-service carrier. But no.

And that's even before anything goes wrong. Then all hell breaks loose.

We were stuck on the tarmac for 20 minutes! We had to wait half an hour for the bags to arrive! The flight was cancelled because of fog! The thing was delayed half an hour and no one explained why! I want my money back! I want to complain! Whinge, whinge, whinge – moan, moan, moan.

Now breathe. And then check out the video of comedian-of-the-moment Louis CK appearing on Conan O'Brien a while back. He goes a few different places, but the funniest bit is Louis's take on people being unhappy about flying (which starts just before the 2 minute mark).

Sure, there might be delays, Louis says. And a few things mightn't go the way you expected them to. But when all is said and done, "You're sitting in a chair in the sky ... You're participating in the miracle of flight. Literally everyone on board should be going, 'Wow!'"

You can see what he's saying. In all this obsession with flight times and seat pitches and free newspapers, we might be forgetting that not so long ago you had to sit on a ship for a few months to get to England. You had to get in a crusty old car and drive to Brisbane.

Now, however, for next to nothing, you can fly anywhere. You can spend eight hours and a single day's wages and be in Kuala Lumpur tonight. You can watch six movies and catch a few hours sleep and be eating croissants in a Paris café by tomorrow.

You can go to any place in the world, and the only price of inconvenience you'll pay will be the odd leg cramp and screaming baby. No scurvy. No famine. No wild animals to fend off. Just a seat pitch of 32 inches and a rerun of Big Bang Theory (which is marginally better than a wild animal attack).

Air travel can be easily be annoying, I get that. You do get stung for crazy amounts of money at crappy airports. You can get frustrated by delays when you've paid for a certain service.

But it might be time to look at the bigger picture. We live in an era where air travel is as easy and as affordable and accessible as it's ever been. It gets us places fast, and it's cheap.

So maybe, just maybe, you should stop your whinging.

Do you think people whinge too much about air travel? Or is it warranted?

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