No-frills travel liable to offend senses

A guest posting from Caroline Murray, blogging for ICIS on her way to a symposium on PET in Florence

This time last week I donned my trendiest shades to protect my eyes from the garish orange hue that is Easyjet, on a non-business flight to London.

Once jostled into position I was forced to fold my body, origami style, into the seat I fought tooth and nail for. I was understandably horrified when a midriff belonging to the gentleman next to me in 26B happily moulded itself around what should have been MY armrest.

I closed my eyes to the horrors around me.

Shortly after takeoff, my ears were subjected to the hounding of a string of sales pitches screeching out over the tannoy. What happened to a single trolley, softly rustling down the aisle?

I eventually became oblivious to the incessant racket and was growing rather fond of my new friend the midriff, so I dosed off.

As I dreamt of all the exciting things one could do with polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Susie, the surly stewardess, poured a cup of nuclear hot chocolate over my head, jacket and trousers. Her first reaction (which was slow by the way) was to offer me a single cocktail napkin; her second was to start patting my head with it; her third was to take cover as I started flapping my arms around while I jumped up and down trying to blow out the flames.

Only after all this did it occur to Surly Susie that the word “sorry” may go down well.

I am writing this from the comfort of a Meridian/BA flight that will take me to the GSI PET Day in Artimino, Florence.

I have just been guided to my rather grand, leatherette, ASSIGNED seat by a sophisticated and courteous Italian stewardess. She has just given me a sweet to aid any ear-popping I may experience on take-off. No doubt shortly she will be coming round with the champagne and offering to cook me real scramble eggs over a flame in the galley – a la BOAC circa 1965.

Heavens, dare I say she may even glide towards me in an emergency and carry me down the blow-up shoot should we land on water!

Ah, the joys of flying the old fashioned way.


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2 Responses to No-frills travel liable to offend senses

  1. Peter Gerrard 6 October, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    At least, Caroline’s EasyJet flight delivered both her and her luggage to her destination (I presume). When aforesaid airline deposited me in Sicily a few weeks ago, the clerk at Gatwick dispatched my suitcase to Istanbul. So, four frustrating and anxious days, spent in an excessively hot and sweaty Palermo spent in buying clothes and toiletries in an endeavour not to be transformed from gentleman traveller (fond self-image) to malodorous Mediterranean vagrant.

  2. David 6 October, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Rest assured it is not just Easyjet that offers the traveler such pleasures in the air. Admittedly my seat was assigned but I also had the joy of sharing my arm-rest, nay not just my arm-rest, but rather about one quarter of my chair with the rather corpulent fellow to my left. The pleasure was compounded by listening to him and his equally obese spouse scarf down an endless array of snacks,treats and drinks. Plus they proceeded to cough, sputter, hack and sneeze their way across the Atlantic for ten endless hours.

    I’m not exactly svelte myself but I do honestly believe that anyone that requires a seat-belt extension because they are too fat for the regular seatbelt should be required to pay for an extra seat. The couple next to me could have shared three seats between them quite easily.

    Obviously the flight was full or I would have moved.

    Other than that it was wonderful to be back at EPCA!

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