Some thoughts on flying

Heathrow Travel Blog

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I didn’t have to get up too early on the morning of the flight.  My lovely colleague had invited me to stay with her family overnight, in Reading, so I could just get the express bus to Heathrow in the morning.  This made a huge, huge difference to the day and saved me the costs of the hotel room, so I was very grateful.


Heathrow is always a puzzle to me.  Take online check in, which is meant to save time.  How?  I still have to queue at a baggage line behind someone perhaps most kindly described as “extremely confused,” and event without baggage I would  have to do a document review.  Now online check in does let you choose your chair, but it doesn’t save you a single second in the line.


And then there was the security check in.  For some reason, North security had absolutely no line, but you could not join if your plain was departing in less than two hours.  You had to join the south line, which was backed up the whole width of the terminal.  This line took one hour and ten minutes to clear, by which time the board was advising me to go straight to the gate.  So I never did get to see the much hyped branches of Tiffany or Harrods, because they don’t understand basic queue management.  Not that I was going to spend any money, you understand.  Just look at the sparkly things.  But it would have been nice to be given the choice.  I rebelled for long enough to buy a soft drink for the plane and boarded.


It was a perfectly nice plane.  BA are good at perfectly nice planes.  Unfortunately, planes are fundamentally large airborne buses, and I am always, always miserable.


Please don’t anyone tell me they’re safe; it isn’t an irrational fear of crashes that makes me so unhappy.  It is the entirely justified fear of travel sickness.  Obviously, fear of feeling like hell makes you feel like hell, which is a tad circular.  I do try to think positive thoughts.  It goes like this:


“Oh, good!  They have Control.  I missed Control at the cinemas and now I can see it.”


Then they switch the TV off to tell you about the shop.  I do not care about the shop, and I get cross, and I remember that I am on a plane and they won’t stop telling me about Jim, who is meant to be looking after us, and I am sure that he is lovely but I want to see the silly film and then the plane makes some minuscule bump and my tummy does a big old backflip.


And I think, “It’s OK, look, the TV is back on.  I am enjoying the film, look, Sarahelaine, the film is back on.  Isn’t flying amazing.  Look, that’s the alps, and soon we will be over Iran!  Positive thoughts, positive thoughts,”


And dinner is served and there is a strange item of food that goes, quite literally, SQUORK! When you stick your plastic fork in it and inevitably the plan makes a tiny, teensy bump and my stomach turns upside down.  Even teh very interesting revelation that Iran is actually very snowy this time of year, followed by sinset, followed by the oil flares of the gulf, didn't help.  With hindsight, probably it is a bad idea to try to watch films in French with subtitles (La Vie en Rose by this point - Control was brilliant, by the way) during an acute attack of airsickness. 


This means that my first impression of Bahrain was profound relief.  Luckily, my second was of cool skyscrapers, warmth and dust, and I felt very - if queesily - excited about exploring more. 


globalodyssey says:
you sure know how to amuse yourself...what a gift
Posted on: May 12, 2009
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