Staying on our tiny island is a great option at any time, especially when travel further afield (for example to the land of my birth) has become less and less edifying. Flying ‘economy’ class has come to mean many unpleasant, teeth-grinding things:
It means a seat not designed for anyone larger than half my size.
It means a TV screen that is at exactly the right distance from my eyes to make focusing upon it impossible.
It means the previous occupant of my seat having locked the in-flight entertainment system in Icelandic.
It means being entirely unable to use the system (in any language) when the person(or: twat) in front of me reclines their seat until their hair is in my face.
It means having the back of my seat repeatedly jerked backwards by the weak-bladdered passenger (or: fucker)behind me.
It means having a fold down 'table' cunningly designed to be the perfect size to accommodate nothing of any use.
It means trying to force useful things (sandwich, chocolate bar, water bottle) into a seat pocket obviously designed to hold only a single moist towelette.
It means being offered 'food' which uses that word in an entirely new way.
‘Economy’ means sitting underneath an overhead locker which contains a bag belonging to the world's most restless man (or: dickhead) sitting six rows behind me.
It means having a close-up view of his trouser crotch area on each of the many occasions he visits the locker to look for that important doohickey. He’s always disappointed.
Flying ‘economy’ means having my shoulder knocked an average of 37 times each flight, either by robust flight attendants or more robust passengers who seemingly need to visit the bathroom every 13 minutes.
It means that I share a tiny bathroom with at least forty people (or: arseholes), one of whom manages to beat me to the toilet every time and leave unpleasant evidence of their visit on the seat, in the toilet bowl and – bewilderingly - paper towels spread around like confetti – oh; I nearly forgot the liquid soap on every surface above hip level.
It means that, with an impatient passenger (arsehole) hopping about outside the door, I am forced to clean up someone else's mess to avoid the accusing, blaming eyes of my fellow passenger (arsehole) after they’ve kindly dislocated my shoulder on the way back to their seat. The bastard.
Finally, flying economy means the unnerving knowledge that the flight attendants hate me. No matter how bright their smiles, how fluttery their eyelashes, I can see the contempt in their eyes as they welcome me and my protruding shoulders on board, offer me a complimentary drink or slide a tray of unrecognizable ‘nutrients’ onto my postage-stamp sized tray table. I never dare to think about pressing the call button…
Apart from these issues, I quite enjoy flying…