It took an economy class, twelve-hour flight, no frills attached and supplied bum squashing seat to get me to Cape Town. British Airways, thank you so much for having a direct flight. Leaving me free of frantic stopovers where you end up running like a loon for a flight only to arrive at the gate flushed to the hilt, sweat pouring from places it should never pour from, begging for oxygen. Done that before. With the hubster. A stopover in Dubai. During that mad time when the fog was playing havoc – who knew Dubai had fog? – certainly not me. On our approach, the pilot and head flight attendant had announced words to the effect of.
“Tough lot you lot, chances are you’ll miss your connecting flights, but don’t worry you’ll get a free food voucher that will cover a big mac and some fries that with luck will plug your sobbing gob while waiting twenty-four hours for a next flight. As to me, well hey-ho, I’m heading home for feet up, glass of wine – is that allowed? – and a healthy meal that won’t leave my arteries straining. Hope you have enjoyed your flight, and hope to see you soon. Oh yes, to claim said voucher, keep your eyes open for the longest queue on the planet, and you’ll be in the right place.” And all in the sweetest, corporate tone that does nothing to satisfy a frazzled flyer. No, rather it’s more about gnawing the inflight magazine and wondering if you could get away with ankle tapping the cabin assistant when they next pass with a laden tray of plastic cups of juice and water.
Restraint in place, suffice to say we made our flight, along with with probs twenty others. We launched ourselves from the stationary plane, en masse, cabin luggage flaying as our feet hit the ground and the sprint for the gate begun. I swear it was like Moses with the sea as those waiting in the departure lounge parted with haste, if not from fear of the stampede as sweaty, day-old clad folk of all ages, belted like the clappers, eyes wide with panic, caring little of odd shoes and socks and underpants being dropped as we surged forward and descended on our respective departure gates.
Hubster and I, barely able to speak, slammed into our seats and hoped of all hope that oxygen masks would release, only to be told there would be a forty-five minute delay due to . . . FOG. Restraint, Ruth. Restraint.
Back to BA, while I am eternally grateful for said direct flight, sadly you haven’t banned snoring passengers. Just saying, but you really should add a snoring capacity to your booking process.
It could be a simple tick box, with an algorithm along the lines of:
Do you snore?
Yes. I don’t know. No
If NO, go to ‘continue with your booking’
ELSE IF, I don’t know, go to
‘Good try, however, YOU HAVE BEEN BLACKLISTED FROM OUR BOOKING SYSTEM. THINK ABOUT GETTING YOUR BIG FAT SNORTING NOSE FIXED.’
ELSE IF, YES, go to
“WE’RE NOT WASTING OUR TIME ON EXPLAINING THIS. NO SEATS AVAILABLE. TODAY, TOMORROW, EVER.’
Suffice to say the traveller to my left, a nice, polite, reasonable young man until he fell asleep was a mild snorer. Now, when said seat occupant is not your spouse, partner or whatever, you can hardly thump them and whisper loudly to shut the flucking shells up.
However, what you can do is tell people to shut the flucking shells up.
Being roused from sleep and having attempted to cover my ear with the thin, oh so very thin and itchy blanket, and even bunched my fist and pushed it in my ear, there was no blocking a LOUD American chap sharing his political views to an elderly English couple, who being English were politely agreeing and not managing to get a word in edgewise.
Breaking cover of my blanket I twisted my neck and settled eyes on the three of them. There they were standing in the spare area up by the toilets. I gave them a few minutes to shut the flipping heck up, and then that was it. Blanket flung, fight with the seatbelt to free myself, earphones untangled – how the heck do they manage to get around everything – neck cushion still in situ, up I get, march to them and ask them very politely to “tone it down a bit.”
The elderly lady offers a genuine apology and after my loo break – well I was in the area after all – I head back to my seat.
I should add, that on arrival and heading towards immigration I spied the elderly couple ahead. Their pace was gradual yet sufficient to allow a blue tog bag to gain momentum and gently swing. Hmmm, should I take this moment to increase my pace, reach them and offer an apology? For, to be honest, I was feeling much like a grumpy old cow. My heart said yes, go for it and I closed in, a little like a leopard stalking, waiting for the moment to leap. Edging in, just as my hand was about to raise and the words were on my tongue, I dropped back.
Suddenly I was aware of how sometimes you just have to let things go. But more so. Yes, more so, if said elders were tired and irritable, chances were the mild swinging of luggage could pick up momentum to warp speed and flatten me.
Oh the joys of flying.
NB this one took a bit longer than 15 mins.
This blog has no theme other than to allow me a place to write for 15 minutes. Thank you for popping by