Friday, May 20, 2011

Flight nightmare

This is not a horror story about a flight where everything went wrong. It is about a regular guy in the 21st century who took a regular flight. Sounds normal? Well it’s not!

Pre flight
Like any common man I arrived at the airport about 2.5 hours before my boarding time so I can check in easily and have some time at the duty free shops where I’ll buy a huge amount of shaving blades.

When I got to the check-in counter, already I saw the flight is packed and I’m the last in line.

Three babies crying their hearts out with an impatient mother that yells at them and a “just shoot me now” look on the ground crew’s faces.

Walking half nude in my socks and get a four hand massage is always awesome.

Duty free
I can’t remember much. After the first perfume sample was sprayed into my eyes it’s all blurry. I think I got shaving blades… or was it nail polish…?

The horror! oh the horror! What a line. Why do people stand in line when they can sit until it’s their turn?

Darwinism at its worst, the species who stand in line survived. 

Sitting down
Off course I am sitting in the second raw. One raw behind the guys with leg room but still close enough to the babies in the front raw. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies, when they’re mine and asleep.

It takes me a few minutes of repressed panic to realize that this is my space for the next few hours so I just have to suck it up like a man. Then I cry very quietly for 30 seconds and relax.

Now, let’s just sit here and wait until the guy I saw at the duty free shop’s liquor section, looking at whiskey bottles for an hour and a half, realizes the whole airport is calling his name and decides to board like Obama to Airforce 1.

Remember the small panic I faced when introduced to my confinement? Now I have to go through it all over again because the guy in front of me took his back seat all the way down till my knees are forced to be straight. While thinking if I should bite off the right of left side of his head and kill the airline executive who decided this is enough leg room, I remembered that it’s a common practice and the best thing to do is to follow his steps and lower my seat as well. As I approach downward I realize the nice old lady behind me really disproves of the idea.

So there I was, with my knees and my back straight, totally unable to move… and it has only been 15 minutes.
                                Is it really still necessary?

And why is it so slow??? In the past 20 years the average car speed were more than doubled but planes still takes forever to cross an ocean. And don’t tell me about laws of physics! There must be a worm hole between Paris and Rio. Find it!

What will happen when we move to a bigger planet? Watch 50 movies on the small screen?

In flight entertainment
The airline company which I won’t mention by name (but it’s Spanish, starts with an” I” and ends with an “A”) thinks retro is really in right now. So, they blew up all their modern planes (when modern means “suitable for people”) and brought back the planes from the 80’s with the small screen at the end of each line so every time someone wants a glass of water from the kitchen he blocks the view for everyone.

Sky chef
There is no doubt plane food has gotten much better the past few years. No complaints there. What I don’t understand is why the air crew thinks it’s normal to leave it in front of me for 35-40 minutes??!!
I promise you by the time you deliver the last meal you can start clearing the first.

In flight inner dialogue
(“O.k., we took off, ate something, had coffee, I remember there was coffee, watched a movie and a great piece on Kazakhstan’s shoe industry. I am sure at least 4 hours has past, If not 5!”) “Excuse me sir, can you tell me what time it is? No no, not what time it is at the destination. How long since take off?  1.5 hours?? Arggggg……

No sleep. Legs go numb though

Thank god

I won’t talk about the passport line or the baggage claim. I think you got the picture.

Like I said before, there is no change in sight and we will keep on air travel to experience new places, business, start a new life, run away, return or for whatever reason. So what if on the way we have to leave our basic human rights at the airport security.

There is nothing special about my story. Nothing bad really happened. No drinks were spilled, no luggage were lost, no delay in flight and no ‘Friends’ episodes were shown.
But that’s the sad part.

Next week, The Regular Joe goes into a submarine. Find out how was it.

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