‘We would now like to invite all passengers to board the aircraft’. This is the call which tells me it’s time to enter the place I despise most of all. The Canadian airlines plane may not be the sort of thing most people would find themselves complaining about but I’ve had to board what has seemed like exactly the same plane for the past 5 years. People who haven’t flown on a plane before have not yet experienced the horrors of modern airline travel. The screaming baby in front. The little 5 year old kid behind who won’t stop kicking my seat.
The 9 hours of pure boredom that seem too drag on forever, the old man who’s snoring so loud that I swear even the pilot should be able to hear him. It’s not that I have a problem with every aeroplane there’s just something about Canadian airlines I don’t like. Maybe it’s the smell. The air seems to be as stale as the bread in my gran’s kitchen. Or maybe it’s the way the seats are about as comfortable as sitting on a thorn bush covered in vinegar. Honestly they might as well have just let us lie on the floor, it would have been more comfortable.
In every other long haul flight the passengers are usually provided with in flight entertainment but it seems Canadian airlines forgot that people don’t like to sit with nothing to do for 9 hours. So when I sit down I am staring at the stains of god knows what on the back of the seat in front with the ripped travel magazines and the ruined safety card thinking ‘Oh God, here we go again…. ‘ And another thing, why do they think people want to look at travel magazines with articles about places that they’re not going to? I mean we’re already on the plane it’s a bit late to be reading about other holiday destinations!
As the plane prepares to take off the cabin crew begin the safety demonstration, I’ve seen it so many times I could do it myself yet still I get told to watch and listen. I want to sleep but cannot, the rumble of the engines is always there, continuous like the flow of waterfall. Every time I get used to it the pitch or volume changes or the captain makes an announcement. When the plane does take off I simply sit there, I no longer feel the excitement I did when I was young the speed and force is normal to me and I watch as first time travellers look around excited.
Some of the younger children are scared others seem to enjoy it more than anyone but I just sit and wait for the tell-tale ‘bong! ‘ which tells me the fasten seat belt sign has been turned off. Telling me I can finally escape into a world of my own. As I hear it I almost don’t react, I have been staring into space lost in my own world. As I snap out of it I am suddenly rummaging through my bag as quickly as possible searching until I find it; my I-pod. It seems to most people a simple thing nothing more than a collection of heavy metal, rock and roll and other various genres usually involving guitars. But to me it is a way to escape.
A way to forget all my problems and just appreciate the legends of hard rock. Music is my life and when listening to the greats such as Metallica and Megadeth I just forget the rest of the world even exists. They are way for me to get way not to avoid facing things that should not be. The hours go by and once again I find myself moving around in my seat. No matter how good the music is I can not get comfortable. When I first got on the plane I was fine but over the past few hours I am sure the seat in front of me has moved closer. I check the overhead screens and can tell straight away we still have at least an hour and a half before landing.
The in flight movie is still playing Once again it is a reasonably new movie that no one would ever really want to watch. There are plenty of children on the flight but obviously the crew hadn’t taken into account that 5 year olds aren’t interested in the problems of Elizabethan women or whatever the movie is about. But the worst thing? My I-pod is out of battery. I am back in the real world, this dull depressing place this ‘sanitarium’. I close my eyes and eventually I actually manage to drift off. I am awoken by a flight attendant telling me to fasten my seat belt for landing.
I am relieved to know this hell is almost over. Thump! The sound of the plane hitting the tarmac in a landing as smooth as Gordon Browns attempt at running the country. As I exit the plane several minutes later I find the fresh air heavenly. After a few hours on the plane I had stopped noticing the staleness of the air but now as I felt the difference I suddenly felt much better. I guess the air had caused me to get less oxygen than normal making me tired and grumpy. But now I was out. Back in the fresh air. I had nothing to worry about….. Except the flight back in two weeks time.