Rants on a Plane
I adore travel and almost every aspect of it. I love booking, planning, packing and everything to do with going overseas except for a tiny, little, minuscule detail: planes.
I have come to the conclusion after my last jet-setting journey that I officially hate planes. I love that they can get you to point A to point B faster than a boat or a car or a piggyback, but I feel like teleporting would be a lot more practical. The fact that those too-intelligent-for-their-own-good-and-for-social-skills tech heads out there can invent a microscopic camera in a pen but can’t create effective means of teleportation for the general public honestly just pisses me off.
I don’t mind airports, minus those 10-hour delays waiting around contemplating buying a fugly neck pillow from an overpriced newsagent because you’re bored senseless. I like imagining where people are off to and why. Airports have a certain mystery to them, like playing real-life guess who.
Really short flights I can deal with, and sometimes even secretly enjoy. You can get there half an hour before, sit down in your seat, browse articles and inspiring pictures in the travel mag and look out the window at the sprawling veins of a city or stunning views of sharp mountain peaks and windy rivers below.
But let’s be honest with ourselves – sitting upright with a numb arse and leg cramps watching shitty film after shitty film is not really an ideal way to spend 14 hours straight. Don’t even get me started on the awkward one-person armrest between you and the weird-smelling guy next to you. What are the rules of etiquette there? Who is allowed the comfortable rest for the dangly limb? Is it a first-in-first-serve basis and they get it the whole time, or is it a shift thing: they have the first few hours and you take the next?
There are a lot of reasons I hate planes, but these are my top five.
1. The cuisine served is strikingly close to hospital food with it’s sterile, aluminum packaging. It doesn’t help that it’s stored in weird little astronaut beds either. Airlines defiantly need to find a way to serve that shit on plates.
2. The simple fact that you can’t lie horizontally. You know the feeling you get when you twist and adjust for hours and can’t find a comfortable position? I’m sorry, but humans are not made to sleep sitting up. Your eyelids are heavy and you’re so groggy that all you want to do is drift off into a nice slumber, but that wave of frustration from not being able to get comfortable makes you to grind your teeth and let out a little whiny noise.
3. Babies. The last flight I took to Europe, I had the pleasure of being seated behind an infant and her naive parents. Eventually, the miniature Satan had had enough of Dora the Explorer and orange juice and began to squirm. She wanted to run free, obviously not a grand possibility on a plane, so she began a shrieking cry that really tugged my nerve strings, resulting in an instant migraine. I feel a practical solution to this problem would be having a designated soundproof section of the plane for young families.
4. Fatties. A person who can barely fit into one seat should be forced to book two or fly business – it’s as simple as that. I’m not paying a thousand dollars to fly 20 hours to Europe on half a fucking seat. They also pose the issue of not being able to put your seat back all the way, as their excess body mass provides a roadblock on that front.
5. I’m not sure why the manual of How to be a Flight Attendant gives the following dress code instructions: “Air hostesses must use an entire bottle of foundation that is five shades darker than their natural facial colourings. They must also try to ensure they use a tube of red lipstick applied on and around their mouths.”
Please get ready to thank me world. I have proposed my own airline and am in fact working on the business plan to present to the aviation industry when perfected.
On my planes, economy will be as comfortable as your mum’s couch on a hungover Sunday, and my staff will be dressed in stretchy pants, take yoga classes in the wide aisles and serve fresh food on banana leaves. Passengers will be assigned a bed and will all have a window. Baggage is stored under your bed and seatbelts are optional, as if a plane were to go down, a seat belt would do nothing to save you from smashing into the ground and dying a speedy yet horrifying death. A screen will be provided above the bed and a tray will fold out in front for meals and desk use.
And clothing is optional.