So its school holidays. Are your social media feeds clogged with curated images of ‘friends’ frolicking in exotic locales? Are these ostentatious displays provoking feelings of envy or inadequacy?
The Mumabs is here to tell you not to feel bad if your people are swanning around the Mediterranean or hot tubbing with the glitterati in Aspen. You might be relegated to a humble caravan park somewhere on the coast but chances are you are having as much fun as your more sophisticated mates. You see – reaching these far flung destinations involves air travel and frankly air travel sux.
Air travel should not suck. Its miraculous to think that a metal cylinder weighing some 300,000 kgs can hurtle through the air at speeds of over 900 km per hour guided by a sexy pilot in a tight shirt and aviator glasses.
Less than a century ago international travel involved weeks, nigh months at sea. Now any place imaginable is a mere 24 hour arse sit away. And yet that 24 hour arse sit is hell on earth.
Air travel once promised so much but has delivered so little. Back in the 1950s and 60s we imagined a golden future where everyone could be part of the glamorous jet set. Flying was meant to to be an elegant affair
It is a bitter disappointment that the experience turned out to be more like this.
I blame neo liberal economics. Airlines are forced to drain every last ounce of fun from your flight experience to keep costs at rock bottom. Profits not people and all that.
Of course some people do manage to have a good time on a plane – those who pay for it.
Recently some airlines introduced luxurious private cabins
Not to be outdone other airlines offer a comfy armchair filled with Orlando Bloom.
Nowadays the 1% can even get double beds. They come complete with rose petals and other romantic accoutrements
However this wont stop first class passengers from trying to cop a cheap one in the toilets. People are messed up like that.
All this luxury comes at a cost my friends. A first class Sydney to Dubai return on Qantas will set you back over $13K – Orlando Bloom not included. That’s more than my car is worth! As a consequence 99% of us are forced into the pit of despair that is economy . ( At approx $1,200 Sydney to Dubai return its about what my car is worth)
My husband and I have reached a stage where we can afford to indulge in some travel adventures. But we dont. Because air travel sux and long haul flights and kids don’t mix.
We recently holidayed in NZ because short hall flight. Whilst the stay was brilliant the air travel part sucked big ones.
The journey over was kind of tolerable. We patiently endured the usual long queues and overpriced, stale airport food.
Getting through security was not without incident. I was called back over a nail file in my carry on luggage. I guess the security people could see I posed a threat. In my leopard print jumper and skinny jeans I looked desperate enough to hack the door of the cockpit open so as to cop and eyeful of hunky pilot. Disturbingly said nail file was promptly returned. Its a very bad sign.
Once aboard we were crammed into tiny bum crunching seats and provided with no in flight entertainment. Its times like these one thanks the Gods for i-Pads even if you have to share one between two kids.
Nor were we provided with food and forced to purchase stale sandwiches at inflated cost or face starvation. We weren’t surprised to find that like Laura Palmer the sandwiches came wrapped in plastic.*
I marvel that airlines pay big dollars for big name chefs like Neil Perry and Heston Blumenthal yet all they can come up with for plebs in economy class is mummified sandwiches.
Fortunately we reached Queenstown with only a few trips to the toilet and no need for complimentary airsick bag. The trip back to Sydney was more traumatic.
What should have been a simple three hour flight but it turned into a seven hour ordeal. We waited for a geological eon only to be told that our flight had to be diverted to Christchurch to ‘refuel’. Aren’t there computer systems in place to monitor this sort of thing?
Dadabs had a bitch to one of the ground hosties who was very attractive but not dressed like this.
The young, slender but conservatively attired lady told us that we weren’t refuelling but rather ‘a mechanical fault’ had to be checked out. Mysteriously Queenstown airport did not have the expertise to deal with mechanical faults. WTF?
Nevertheless I was not not overly concerned until I saw the pilots. I am alarmed to report that dressed in their spiffy uniforms teamed with peaked caps and Rayban aviator glasses they were still NAWT HAWT!!!! Isn’t there a strict code to prevent this sort of thing from happening. I wouldn’t be needing that nail file after all.
Finally after waiting a second geological eon where mountains eroded to dust and continents shifted on tectonic plates, we boarded the fucking plane. But not before my redundant nail file was called out again by security.
This time there was in-flight entertainment. Huzzah! There were screens the size of pocket handkerchiefs on the back of the seats. Yay! The choice of entertainment whilst not being quite at Netflix level was still acceptable. Booyah! Unfortunately the screens were used to deliver a very, very lame safety video ( which featured Rhys Darby but still managed to be lame.)
Mysteriously our seats were even narrower on the return trip. (Couldn’t have anything to do with all the wine and chocolate consumed in Queenstown). After watching several installments of the BBC’s War and Peace, a slice of televisual heaven that deserves to be viewed on a big mofo screen, hunger pangs set in.
The cabin crew rolled into action delivering hot meals to the passengers who had paid. Sadly precluding us. We were tormented by the smell of cooked chicken and beef. Our collective stomachs growled until we got the chance to purchase food. The choice was astounding – chicken sandwich, ham sandwich or emaciation. If it weren’t for stale ham sandwiches I may not be here to write this blog.
Of course my nine year old became nauseous. Which meant she spent the duration clutching the sick bag whilst our family, the people in the rows in front and behind us and the cabin crew willed her not to chuck. Admittedly everyone was nice about it.
When we finally got into Sydney under cover of darkness my husband was whining more than the kids. Actually the kids were quite happy to have spent six hours watching cartoons. My husband had spent the duration watching something featuring alien monkeys fighting with light sabers and yet he moaned..
I will think twice before I put my husband on a plane again.
Air travel – is that overseas trip really worth the pain?
- Hows that for a 90s cultural reference?
- Errrrmaaaagaaaaawd! The six hours of unrelenting visual ecstasy that is this BBC literary adaptation deserves its own blog post. Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!!!!! Its got britches, knee high leather boots, side burns to die for, brocade uniforms – everything a cougar could possibly want.
PS: I have to apologize to my bestie who loved Ralph Fiennes (as I love Aiden Turner) until the Qantas incident.