Champagne Taste, Beer Budget
I am visiting my younger sister in the UK, which of course necessitates a humungous aeroplane journey. I do it in two tranches because I just cannot handle 24 hours straight in a plane. I swell up so much I fear I will explode.
As I board and am told turn right madam, I longingly look to the left where the seats recline, there is more to eat than “fish or chicken?” in plastic boxes and where champagne flows freely. First world problem I know, but is the air pressure less in the front of the plane perhaps and if I sit there will my carpal tunnel-inflicted fingers look less like little sausages when we arrive?
There is no time to consider this as I am squeezed into my tiny seat, bolt upright with the teeny, tiny television screen about 12 inches from my failing eyes. It will turn out to be a blur and a contraption that as usual I can’t operate until asking the flight attendants for several lessons.
Cue the food and drinks trolley, the most exciting thing on a plane as all will attest. The words “fish or chicken, but don’t be upset if your choice isn’t available” are emblazoned across the screen on top of my re-run of Mr and Mrs Smith.
The little plastic boxes of weird salads and piping hot chicken arrive. It is probably awful, but it tastes as if it were cooked in a Michelin-starred kitchen because it is something to do. Do all airlines get their bread rolls from the same bakery?
The “are we there yets” from my daughter start around six hours in to our 12 hour journey. I feel it will never end. My feet swell, my shoes have to come off. I can’t sleep, I try to, but I feel like my back might snap in half. My legs ache, my eyes sting.
And then we land. Phew. Now just the joy of dragging all the bags on a train to our hotel for a night’s sleep in a horizontal bed. Can’t wait.
One thing that does concern me as I walk the almost entire length of the plane is the pigsty so many passengers leave on and around their seats.
Blankets and pillows just tossed in the aisles, food and wrappers on the floor, headphones flung everywhere. It seems so disrespectful.
Tomorrow we do the next 12 hour trip and don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful and excited to be going, I just wish the trip were a bit shorter and I was a bit less puffy at the end!