Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The flying experience

I used to the in the Air Cadets and harboured plans to become an RAF pilot. It will come as no surprise to you, then, to learn that I hate flying.

It was on a flight back from Amman about a decade ago that it hit me: I am sitting in a tin tube with 100 other people, and I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE. flying's not been the same since, and my trips abroad are tainted by the creeping dread and bouts of claustrophobia.

That being the case, I try to make the unpleasantness as fun as possible, and make it my business to be that one annoying passenger that everybody hates. I just love to watch my favourite cattle, and take notes.

It starts at the boarding gate, with the business types scared witless that they won't get an overhead locker, mooching around, pretending not to queue, when they are - in fact - jockeying around to get to the very front as soon as the gate opens. I keep my hand luggage under my seat.

Of course, the exact opposite when we land (And I tell anybody within earshot that "Any landing you walk away from is a good one" to calm their nerves), when there is an unseemly dash for the overhead lockers, followed by twenty minutes of standing around waiting for the Club Class berk in Seat 1D to get his act together and get off the plane.

These twenty minutes are usually the worst for any seasoned traveller, as you have an aisle seat, and therefore somebody's arse in your face. For twenty minutes. And they had the fish.

Still, they always play my favourite in-flight movie: Giant Cartoon Plane Flies Slowly Across A Wildly Inaccurate Map. The only problem is they always switch it off just before it ends. Does anybody know if Giant Cartoon Plane ever got there?

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