The Joys Of Travel
23 July 2018
When did it all go so wrong?When did travelling get so grim? How, with almost unlimited resources, both financial and technological, can airports and airlines have taken a mode of transport that was once a joyful experience, or so I've heard, where city gents in pin striped suits with lapels half the size of the main wing and ladies who wore long white gloves, smiled up at the seriously coiffed stewardesses from their armchair sized BOAC jetliner seats and turn it into a tedious, stressful and painfully slow means of transporting hordes of humanity across the globe?
In the old days when I was working class, courtesy of my lovely employers, I got quite used to turning left at the top of the stairs, leaving the rabble to fill up the cheap seats at the back. Even better, if we were in contingency mode or the CEO was on the warpath issuing edicts to cut costs, all from the back of his Gulfstream, we'd occasionally get an economy ticket, and hear the magic words at check-in, "we've got you an upgrade Mr Letton". Them were the days.
Back then, one's secretary phoned the agency, told them where you wanted to go and when and they'd do all the grunt work. A couple of days later they'd kindly send you a little folder containing a white and red carbon booklet of multi part tickets or indeed, several little booklets if you had connecting flights. It was all rather exciting.
These days, you can now waste away these same few days hunting around search engines looking for the ultimate deal to fly your little self from here to there and all you get is an email confirmation and the promise of two years of spam marketing to your already cluttered Inbox.
And so, it was one of these super online deals that got us here. Thirty five thousand feet up, somewhere over the Tasman Sea en route Australia sat in cattle class in these fab airline seats which can only have been designed by Quasimodo. Seats that have been getting smaller at the same rate people have been getting larger. A situation not at all helped by there not being a vegetable in sight in any of the three hundred or so eateries one has to pass on the seven mile walk to the gate.
This is our fifth of six flights in the last five days, one of which magically disappeared into the ether somewhere between Tahiti and New Zealand. A day that is, not the flight.
It's not all bad news though. There is one thing you get in this brave new world of travel that you never got in the good old days. Deep vein thrombosis.