Trapped In The Steel Tubes – A Few Thoughts on Airline Travel

One of the things I had a look for around the net before I left was advice on long haul flights and how to survive them. In an attempt to return the favour, here’s some points that I seem to be using regularly on my transatlantic flights.

Go to the little newsagent next to the bus stop, not the shops at the airport.
Should be obvious this one, but for the price of a thimbleful of water in the Departures Lounge, you can get a dozen rolls, some cheese spread, cold meat, two litres of water, a massive bag of maltesers and a carrier bag that actually works.

Don’t Queue To Get on the Aircraft
You’ve probably been told where to sit (unless you remembered www.seatguru.com and made sure of your legroom by changing this assigned seat) so ignore the calls to board the aircraft by groups. Get on last. You can head straight to your seat and sit down, no standing waiting in the corridor or gangway.

Change Seats
You might have the perfect seat booked through SeatGuru, but if your neighbours look like they’re going to cause problems (I’ll leave this bit to your imagination) then by virtue of being last, you can see all the blank seats and where you can grab one with sensible partners, or more importantly, a spare seat beside where you’ll spend the next ten hours.

Everyone Has A Story
You’re not trapped alone, there’s someone close to you that has a story. I spent this flight chatting to Rabbi Joe, who’s on his way to America to take his Citizenship Test and become an American. Having a big discussion on religion and destiny, promptly followed by Joe returning to his studies, and myself to AC/DC’s Hells Bells made for some interesting mental gymnastics.

Don’t Be Picky
US Customs forms for the Visa Waiver are asking me which country I’m a citizen of. Err, nowhere. I’d love to be a citizen of Scotland, but unfortunately I’m a subject of Queen Elizabeth 1st of Scotland (and 2nd of England). That’s a big “bah…” on so many fronts

Wonder Why The In-Flight Radio’s aren’t PodcastsActually I suspect that last one is just me.