Annoyances on the airplane

I am currently on a two hour and forty-five minute flight to Denver, Colorado.  Upon boarding the flight after an almost unprecedented (and mystifying) wait in the security line, I was happy to realize that no one seated around me has any heavy perfume or cologne on—this is certainly a huge blessing to me, as my migraine brain has a low tolerance for such scents.

What I find alarming every time I fly with you is how incredibly loud the speaker system is on when you play pre- and post-flight music and when you show us advertisements for in-flight entertainment.  (The security video is loud, too, but I’ll give you that one—you can’t risk not having people hear that one.)

Within ten minutes of leaving my house, I realized I had forgotten one of my most important and treasured travel accessories: my headphones.  They’re sitting in my desk drawer as we speak, surely a little bit tangled and utterly useless.  I am okay not listening to music as I walk through the airports (though that is one of my favorite parts of travel), and I am okay not listening as I sit here in my seat.  What I do miss is their ability, however subtle, of diminishing the effects of your boisterous speakers.

Even the woman sitting next to me seemed startled by how loud the movie preview was, especially the whining intro music that played for a minute before the preview began.  I looked around at others and, as is often the case, I was genuinely surprised that something that so thoroughly assaulted my senses didn’t seem to have a visible effect on the majority of the people around me.

Then two guys—two at once!—started snoring loudly.  I’m talking C-grade sitcom snoring, with catches in the throat and loud rumblings.  Someone near me—a comrade, at last!—asked for earplugs. “Headphones are $5 a set,” the flight attendant replied. “OK, but do you have ear plugs?” “You want headphones?” “No, I’m wondering if you have earplugs.” “No, we don’t have earplugs.”

I had two thoughts, one right after another.

  1. “Ear plugs! I packed ear plugs! I am a genius! I will put them in now!”
  2. “Oh. Ear plugs. They’re in my checked luggage because I didn’t think I’d need them until bedtime, because I always carry my headphones.”

In the grand scheme of things, this situation doesn’t register at all.  On The Migraine Girl scale today, luckily it barely causes a ripple—that’s because, at least for now, I am having a blissfully migraine-free day. But my already-sensitive hearing already feels assaulted—I hate to imagine how frustrated I’d be if I were in the midst of a migraine attack.

This all makes me wonder what airplane-related triggers (or even potential triggers) get to you the most when you travel.  Please share your thoughts below. Despite my liking to stay positive whenever possible, you can feel comfortable sharing your gripes—you’ll have me on your side to agree, I’ll bet! 

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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