Air travel is up in the United States, and you can count me as one of those travelers who took to the skies during the Christmas holiday. You can also count me as one who thinks air travel right now is just a horrible experience.

I know what you might be thinking. Is air travel really ever fun? Well, personally, I enjoy it. Sure, TSA is annoying with their ever changing rules about what can be left in a carry on versus what needs to be in a separate bin. And yes, fellow travelers who act like they haven't stepped foot inside an airport since 2001 can be annoying, but that's all to be expected these days.

Since I was a little kid, I loved getting on planes and traveling to a new destination. That was until COVID-19. To be fair, I was looking forward to traveling until the airline I was taking announced they would begin filling middle seats again. Most airlines are now doing this because the data says it's safe and I believe it is.

The problem is, it's just not fun to fly and no matter what, you will probably find something to be annoyed with. Gone for now are the flights short enough where you could get a drink, whether it was adult or your favorite carbonated beverage. Instead, we were offered a plastic cup of water, only 1, don't even think about asking for another.

And that might be fine on most one to two hour flights, but when you remember the days before COVID-19, when you could order a real drink, it just takes a simple pleasure away.

Oh, and let's not forget about masks. Some people think masks are very uncomfortable, but if you're flying, you had better mask up and make sure that your kids are masked up as well.

Something else I noticed during the holiday travel season was that the airports, even here in Lubbock, didn't seem to have the staff needed for such a busy time. Lines were long, even longer during this era of social distancing, it seems.

Eventually, air travel will get back to where it was I hope. It wasn't perfect, but it was still something that some could look forward to. Now as we're all packed into flights, yet warned about social distancing, it's the little things you miss most -- like that can of Coke or bag of pretzels. At least they haven't taken the Wi-Fi away.

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