Flying notoriously involves plenty of stress. Last-minute gate changes, too-close-to-call layovers, the indignity of airport security — the list of things we dread when we head to the airport goes on. But if we had to identify the worst part of flying, we’d point a finger at airlines’ boarding processes. (And we’d bet that plenty of travelers would agree with us!)
After all, there’s nothing like a full flight to induce traffic jams both at the gate and on the plane. Below, check out all the reasons why boarding the plane is really the worst part of flying.
1. Every airline does it differently
One of the most fundamental complaints about the process of boarding an airplane is that every airline has a different boarding process, so you can never be 100% sure what’s going on. We’d always advocate for listening carefully to what the gate agent has to say. However, we think airlines make the boarding process a lot more stressful than it has to be. LifeHacker reports that most airlines board elite travelers first, and then use some variation on a rear-to-front boarding method. Airlines break up their boarding groups into as many as nine different zones, which can make the organization confusing and chaotic.