Weird little flight. Short enough to be inoffensive but not long enough to really sleep through. The blue lighting meant my shoes lit up pretty colours. I was seated next to a charming old Scottish dude. Brought up in Toronto, a few streets away from where I live. He’d spent his youth playing soccer, touring the country and in his twilight years he still coaches. Said Newfoundland was by far his favourite place in Canada and encouraged me to visit. He didn’t understand how airlines had reached their current configuration. He and his wife had booked together. Why were they not seated together? Why did it now cost for an in-flight meal? Jr was more bemused than anything. He spent the rest of the flight alternating between reading his Jack Reacher book and sleeping in a slouched position, head not even touching the headrest.
He wasn’t wrong on differences in flying. Taking a flight always used to feel so hospitable. These days with low cost airlines every little convenience has its cost. A meal, of course, costs. So do snacks. Soft drinks and juices are still complimentary, but they’re hardly gonna leave you the can. There’s no seat mounted screen, they instead have an app you can download to your phone or tablet. Don’t have a tablet? Rent one! The in-flight entertainment was mercifully free (but as they mentioned, only for a limited time). The guy across from me asked the flight attendant for a blanket. Sure, she said, but there was a cost. This makes me feel old, but I remember complimentary alcohol, blankets galore, trays of lollies brought around to help with altitude adjustment. Maybe that’s more of a long haul thing. Who knows? I had my sandwich, that’s all I needed.
My central objective was to try and catch some shut eye. On a 7 hour flight I was optimistically hoping for 5 hours. There were no babies in at least a ten row radius. Things were looking hopeful. That was, until the good looking French/British strangers in the row in front of me decided to have their own Before Sunrise and talk for 7 hours straight. Despite my concert-proven earplugs I couldn’t block them out. I’m happy for them, really I am, but I also would’ve been happy to hit the ground running. I may have had 3-4 patchy hours of sleep. That’ll have to do.
I did have one dream I remembered. While the flight was pretty smooth, in my dreams things were turbulent. After a few rollercoaster lurches, our left turbine was blown off and things went southward both literally and figuratively. As we were plummeting, I had no fear, but felt irksome. I had so many electronic devices, could I really be bothered replacing them? We were in the middle of the ocean, how was I supposed to get reception to let my cousin know I’d be slightly late à la plane crash? Would my girlfriend, friends and family read about the crash online and be worried, when clearly it would just take a long time to paddle the rest of the way? Ugh, why did complications like this have to get in the way of my holiday? I resignedly reached under my seat and grabbed my lifejacket, inflating just before we hit the water with a violent impact and submerged. I gazed at my phone and it was still working. Four bars! I guess things weren’t so bad after all.
Except that couple-to-be were still taking. Hell, we’re 5 minutes away from landing and they haven’t stopped. I guess all that’s left is to check in with them ten years down the line. I’m sure I’ll be able to pay to stream it in-flight by then.