Saturday, 10 November 2007

Flying away

San Francisco is obviously sad to see me go, it's been miserable all day and shows no sign of letting me take off without giving me the bumps. For someone who spends a large amount of his life in airports, I am not the most comfortable of flyers. It doesn't help that I'm 6'6" (my wife will delight in telling you that this is a lie, I am in fact 6' 5 3/4") and seats are built for traveling dwarves. Fortunately I have been 'upgraded' to seats with more 'legroom' on both the inbound and outbound flights, but I still feel like a battery hen. It doesn't help that I always find the moron on every plane who sits in front of me and puts their seat back, ignoring the fact that my knees are already up around their ears.

I asked about upgrading to business class on the way back this time, as even if the company wouldn't cover it, I would happily part with a few hundred dollars for some comfort. Apparently this isn't possible on a code W ticket from United Airlines, and that's that. No explanation, no offer to buy a completely new ticket even. When I asked, they said no, the plane was too full, but they'd put me on a list. Great. I have a feeling that in about 12 hours time I'm going to be walking off the plane in London and having a massive thrombosis related coronary. Still, maybe then I can sue United and get upgraded to 'monkey' rather than 'chicken'. At least I'm not in the 'pondslime' economy class still.

Really I don't understand why airlines can't just sort their act out, take out a few rows of seats, put the prices up another $50, we wouldn't even notice. I stopped short of throwing a hissy fit because the English have a bad enough reputation abroad as it is. My wife may not be able to hold back for as long. The seats we managed to get in the end are not together, and not on an aisle. All this we turned up 3 hours early for. What a waste of life. I hate airports and I hate flying, so to examine my life you might think me some sort of masochist. Sadly, to get to meet interesting people, you can't stay housebound, hell, you can't even stay in the UK for long before you run out.

This month I will have taken 13 flights from 1st to 30th:

Southampton to Manchester and back, 3 times = 6
Southampton to Paris twice and back once totals 10
San Francisco and back totals 12
Out to Barcelona (coming back in December) grand total 13.

These are all the ones I know about so far... of course there are still 2 unbooked days in my diary so far and I could easily end up in Patagonia for an afternoon. My carbon footprint is matched only by my actual footprint (size 13 UK - I think this is around size 26 US with the current exchange rate?)

So, despite taking a flight on average every 2-3 days this month I have remained relatively sane. How? Well, it sure as hell beats working.

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