I’m not the best flier in the world, and it doesn’t help that flying isn’t the most exciting thing that I get to do in life. Yes, it’s a means to an end and ultimately makes me happy as I touch down to my family or to a fantastic beach holiday, but that doesn’t make me like it any more.
Firstly, there is security. Even at 5am you have to trail through the barriers set up for a manic holiday weekend, and at that time of the morning it’s out of my skill set. Then you run the gauntlet of having to either take your shoes/belt/pants off so they can scan you, or looking like a fool when you take the aforementioned items off and don’t actually need to.
Then there are the dawdlers at the airport. You know the ones I mean, people who are walking with the flow and then suddenly stop, or feel the need to turn and charge back towards you. You constantly get bruises on the knees where a child in control of their own suitcase has rammed it into your knees, or the person with the suitcase with the extraordinarily long pull bit has wandered off and you trip over the case because it is so far behind them.
Then there is the issue with your cases in the loo. This one particularly grates me as I regularly travel by myself. Until you travel alone you don’t get it, but trying to navigate the toilet cubicle with a suitcase, a hand luggage case and a handbag is like a new Olympic sport. You have to go in at a certain angle so that everything fits and you can shut the door without ending up face down in the loo. The key is te approach, and having lots of hand sanitiser on hand in case you accidentally touch something.
This is all before you get on the plane. Once you are on you have that worry of whether you have the window seat (always need to go to the loo 10x more because you will have to shift people), the aisle (run the likelihood of losing an appendage if you have it sticking out and the duty-free trolley comes past) or the middle (where you will inevitably get stuck between too hoggers and fall asleep and dribble on someone’s shoulder. Or worse, they’ll do it to you!)
And then they bring the food. Unidentified meats in weird sauces that taste of plastic. I am known to buy bulk packs of hula hoops in the airport to last me the entire trip, but this sometimes doesn’t work. For example, when my flight to Chicago was cancelled a few weeks ago and I was rerouted through LA I had to run to the terminal for the next flight, missing all food stations and therefore had to eat on the plane. Doom. I find in these situations the best option is veggie, and was presented with veggie lasagna which was manageable. Just.
JK Rowling has it right. Harry Potter has some magic flea powder that he wiggles round the place and appears where he wants to be. I need to get thinking about this, it could be the next revolutionary invention. Until then, I will grin and bear it as the person in front of me reclines their chair at a rate of knots and I risk having my dinner propelled into my lap and my front teeth knocked out. If I survive this, the child that is (always) behind me will feel the need to play the drums on my back for the entire flight. Happy times!