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Strategies for surviving boring flights

Slept for much of the flight back from the weekend in Lisboa. Certainly for most of Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Not a reflection on Frankie Goes To Hollywood of whom I am enough of a fan to carry their music around on my dog and bone.

Lisbon to London is only 3 hours or so – not a bad length of flight. I do know many in the networking game who regularly do long haul, in their pursuit of tier points and status. For such trips – SFO/LHR etc – a survival strategy is required.

Mine was always to get a skinfull in before boarding and I would then sleep the whole flight. On one occasion whilst travelling with someone who had been upgraded to First Class coming back from Seattle he and I settled in to the First Class Lounge before the flight. I polished off a bottle of posh champagne but he drank only mineral water, saving himself for the on-board treats to come.

One of the perks of first class travel is that they let you leave it until the last minute before boarding. This we did, allowing me to maximise my champagne intake, thus optimising the successful implementation of my flight survival strategy.

We got on board just before the doors shut. He turned left and I went right. My aisle seat was waiting for me. It was in fact the only empty seat in the back of the plane. A somewhat large woman was sat next to it and her face dropped when she saw me coming. She had clearly thought her luck was in and she could ease herself across two seats for the flight.

After I’d settled in to my seat she mentioned the subject of going to the toilet during the flight and hoped that she wouldn’t inconvenience me too much in doing so. She also mentioned her bad knee. Still angling for the aisle seat. It doesn’t work love. It’s dog eat dog in the world of international Y class travel.

My response was that it was unlikely that I would be troubled as once I’d inserted my ear plugs and pulled my eyeshades down I normally fell into a deep and untroubled sleep, waking shortly before breakfast to avail myself of the “washroom” facilities before the rest of the plane realised they also wanted to go and huge queues began to form.

I inserted aforementioned ear plugs, settled my blanket around myself making sure the belt was visible on the outside, pulled on the comfortable eyeshades procured during a previous business class upgrade (as opposed to the plastic rubbish they serve at the back that make you sweat) and proceeded to sleep for ten hours. I woke up shortly before the plastic breakfast service began.

The woman had of course had to climb over the four other passengers in the middle row of seats to get to the loo during the night, and remember she was a big girl, with a bad knee. Call me a swine but that’s what you need to do to survive when your company travel policy is economy class.

Back to the present I’m on the train nowf from Kings Cross. Feeling relaxed after my nap on the plane. Having a cup of char and a bit of cake. It took less than an hour from walking off the plane to being in central London. Fair play.

Just to finish off, as we came off the plane a family party travelling in Business Class was met by a Jag and a people carrier. My sister told me when we got on the bus that it was Michael Buble. Good job she menioned it or I wouldn’t have recognised him. Still wouldn’t actually as they were sat behind me. He is a singer in case you didn’t know.

Read all about Portugese Tarts here.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

3 replies on “Strategies for surviving boring flights”

I’ve never heard of most of them. I have heard of Michael Buble but couldn’t name one of his songs:) There again I’m not a particularly representative sample of “the people”.

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