Blonde's Eye View: Long haul hell

By Rob Virtue on December 12, 2012 10:16 AM |


Angela Clarke doesn't like flying economy

Recently I enjoyed a 14-hour flight. I use the word "enjoyed" loosely. I don't fly for work so I didn't have oodles of air miles at my disposal, and my bank account was bereft from my holiday: my only chance of reaching Business Class was through an upgrade.

I never get upgraded. I dress nicely, I smile sweetly, I compliment the check-in girl's manicure - what more do I have to do?

Two friends were upgraded during their year out travelling. They'd been wearing the same clothes for weeks. They smelt. But, you know, he's 6ft 7in, and I'm only a nicely scented, compact 5ft 4in. Yet again I found myself styling-out cattle class.

There is something very odd about long-haul economy. When else would you sleep so closely next to a stranger, unless it's a one-night stand? I knew a guy once who was repulsed by flying with his boss, because she removed her shoes.

He was firmly of the view you should never see your boss's feet. Too much information. I feel the same about anyone who ends up dribbling onto my shoulder while they snooze. Is it medically impossible to sleep on a plane with your mouth closed? The free headphones are not for the movie, they're to block out other passengers' snoring.

The two guys sat behind me compounded my long haul hell. Despite not speaking a word of each other's language they managed to communicate through beer. They ended up smoking in the toilets, threatening other passengers and, most infuriatingly, bumping against the back of my seat.

The air stewards discussed getting handcuffs and I strongly concurred. If they jostled the back of my chair once more, they'd need to restrain me.

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