Secrets to happy flying. Slip the crying baby strong drink, and have your flu shots.

November 20, 2012

I am writing this from the very front of the plane. 1A.

My own special pillow. Chilled champagne. Well-dressed ladies in sensible shoes are feeding me strawberries dipped in warm chocolate. The captain is playing The Best of The Eagles. The screen in front of me is showing the latest TAB odds.

Then I woke up.

I am, in fact, a fair way from the front. Closer to the rear toilets. I had gambled on my seat allocation, in the hope that the middle seat next to me would remain vacant. Every economy traveller’s dream.

Things were looking good, until the very last passenger made his way up the aisle. He was, of course, my man.

The bloke behind me has a severe dose of Spanish Flu. His cough is something they include in medical training videos. Sneezing every sixty seconds, at the back of my head.

The small child next to me is finally asleep. After crying for nearly an hour. I had been doing my best to slip one of those small Scotch bottles into her sippy cup, but to no avail. Probably just as well. I will need strong drink soon to fight off these germs.

Don’t get the wrong idea here. I enjoy flying. It’s just that I prefer to have empty seats all around. And medical clearances for those on board.

Mum hated air travel. It made no sense to her, how these giant machines could stay up there. She preferred the train, or the bus, when she would come to visit.

I only remember flying once with Dad. We flew to England together, when I was fourteen. How that came about is a story for another day. But it’s fair to say that he was a nervous flyer.

We took our seats. I was excited. He was sweating. Things picked up when they told him he was eligible for free beer. Dad took them up on their kind offer. Those nerves were washed away in no-time.

Hold the sick bag. Another cough/sneeze of enormous proportions from 21C. It would seem fairly certain that he is not going to make our destination. I hope we’re allowed off before they collect the body.

There was a time when there was little else to do but eat, drink and sleep on flights. Now, it’s an entertainment arcade at 30,000 feet.

Most are on laptops. Some working, others punching out dribble. There are i-pads and i-pods in action at almost every row. Others are watching Mr Bean on the mini-screens.

I should go now, before the seat belt sign is turned on. I would hate to be responsible for mucking up the pilot’s electronics. Especially after he was so good to me earlier.

One final splutter and spray from the patient behind me. RIP 21C. Thank you for making my flight so enjoyable. I think I’m getting a cough now. And a sore throat. Where’s that little bottle of Scotch?