I am not a fan of traveling by air. Wait, let me qualify that statement. I am not a fan of traveling in the economy class. And, since I will never pay for a business class ticket and since the chances of me getting bumped up are as likely as George Bush actually getting hit by a shoe, I'm destined to painful flights where I have to sleep sitting up and make way for neighbours with out-of-control bladders.
I do, however, like the short, domestic flights. You get in, find a seat, shut your eyes and then an hour later you're waiting for the seat belt sign to come off. It's the international flights that really make me feel like smacking someone (not that I ever will, but still).
I believe that there are 4 factors that decide how bearable the flight will turn out to be:
1. The person sitting in front of you
I have always had the misfortune of sitting behind people who like to go to town with their seat recline button. As soon as the air hostess gives the OK sign, the seat in front of me starts its descent and soon enough it's almost touching my nose. A solution that has been offered to me is to also do the same thing. But see, I don't want to cause trouble to the person behind me. I'm nice like that. Oh and I would also like to take this opportunity to quash the theory that I do not know how to operate the recline button.
2. The leg room
This is crucial. I despise Lufthansa flights merely for the reason that the leg room in economy is woeful. I believe that to sit 10 hours with no space to move your feet amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
3. The TV
I find it impossible to sleep sitting up and so I rely on the entertainment that the plane offers to while away the time. I've noticed that a lot of flights now offer TV shows and movies on-demand and those flights are the best. I can see TV shows I've seen before, over and over again. I've seen every episode of The Office and Scrubs more than 5 times each. It's a gift, I know.
4. The person sitting next to you
I usually like talking to people sitting next to me on the plane. But sometimes, conversations can get weird. Especially if the neighbour starts confiding his personal problems with you because you remind him of his son. Or if she starts asking you about how to fix her laptop once she finds out that you are a Computer Science major. And to top it all, if he spills tomato juice on your jeans, calls the air hostess and asks for one more glass of tomato juice.
The flight to Heathrow got delayed by an hour and so I got the time to write out this rant of sorts for your reading pleasure. Yes, I know, one more reason to hate the system.