Thursday, June 3, 2010


Just read a thing about someone who hates air travel, that is enough of an inspiration for me to talk about how much I secretly enjoy it!

See, the flight from Australia to London/ Iceland/ Europe in general is a killer. I've done it many times, and although different stuff happens, it's always the same. It takes at least twenty hours, usually a stopover or two - it's an ordeal.

I kind of love it, though. It might be mostly because I've learned to associate the trip with getting to see loved ones that I haven't seen in a while - I don't mind the plane because I know all about the rewards that await me.

True, there's all the hassle of getting to the airport, organising tickets-passports-packing-presents-check-in and all of that. But seeing as how I always leave super early for everything, I usually end up at the airport hours before I actually need to be there. And I love the feeling that you get when you've done all the security checks and dumped your bags, and all that's left to do is get on the plane.

Then once you're on the plane, there's nothing that you have to do! You get to turn off your phone, get all settled in your seat, put your books* in the pocket in front of you, and just do whatever you want for the next eight to twelve hours! This is assuming that what you want to do involves sitting - watching movies and bad TV, reading, playing computer games - I am pretty big on sitting-based activities, so it's a dream come true.

(* my optimum combo is one novel, one blank book to write/draw in, and one book of puzzles. I love cryptic crosswords.)

Pretty people bring you blankets and pillows and free food and drinks (I still haven't braved AirAsia for the long haul flights - I'm not sure if the discount is worth the hassle). Sometimes you end up with a whole row to yourself and you feel like the luckiest most special princess that ever lived (I've obviously never been in business class either.) You get your food in a little box and unwrap all the bits separately - sometimes parts of it are even edible, once you're done coating them with salt!

The lady in the article talks about how she hates not being in control of the situation - I think I love that part the most. Yes, planes crash sometimes, and it's never out of the question that it could be the one that you're on. But even though I get that moment of panic when there's turbulence, I find it calming to know that I have no influence over what happens. Maybe it's because I'm such a worrier usually; it's one of those situations where I know that my worrying is completely useless, so I can switch it off.

I know there's a million bad things about flying, like motion sickness and screaming babies and airplane food and delays and accidentally booking a flight with a twelve hour overnight stopover in KL, where all the shops are closed and you spend the night sleeping in twenty minute naps on a whole range of different chairs throughout the airport.

Still, planes are pretty cool.

P.S. Not exactly plane-related, but have you seen the movie Up? I don't know if I mentioned it here, but it is amazing and awesome and everyone should watch it and cry three times like I did.
I was never that impressed by the trailers, but a friend of Ross' from work lent it to us, and now it has done the rounds of the whole house. So. Good.


Vicki said...

This is great...I love reading your blog everyday...keep up the good work! xx

s said...

Yeah good post Olga! I agree, its fun despite all the little annoying and inedible things that go with it. I suppose people who have to travel a lot for work might get sick of it or not have that reward at the end of a flight but.. sucks to be them! I still get so amazed by flying, it feels like I'm living in the future.
Also UP! Yes A++++

s said...

p.s. woah some of that comment didn't work out quite right.. you know what i meant though. And i don't know if you have seen this but it is worth seeing again..

s said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
northern musings said...

You almost inspired me to take a long haul flight - repeat almost. Once upon a time I loved flying more than anything, like you was happy that everything was taken out of my control. Also, like you knowing that at the other end were loved ones waiting for me and knowing that I would be about to have a great time - whether it was coming "home" or going to the other "home" Even when I was commuting between Melbourne and Sydney I still loved the excitement of it all.... Ah you never know - maybe I should just keep re-reading the post and maybe one day I will be inspired enough to take that long trip again! Thanks Olga - you are amazing!

olga said...

Thanks Vicki!

Yeah, soda, I guess I forgot about people who travel for work ALL the time... It might get a little less exciting.
And OH MY GOD I had never seen that kid before but he is so great!

Keep in mind, Sigga, all this talk is from someone whose last long flight was a year and a half ago - rose coloured glasses?

Gill Omega said...

you should watch Up In The Air, with George Clooney. He loves to fly (but you also get to cry, what with all the firing he does). Such a great film.

Maja said...

I love airplane food. I've rarely had a meal that I didn't completely hoover up every last morsel.

I used all my frequent flier points last year for me and Jason to fly business class to Melbourne, both ways, and it was sooooooooo goooooooood. Seriously awesome. Awesome food, awesome wines, awesome service, and the seats... so big!! so comfy, so amazing. And they call you by your name. Mrs Topping and Mr Jonsson for us because we sat in each others seats...

But not worth paying full price for. Business class is triple or quadruple (maybe more) more than economy, but when you use frequent fliers you only use double the points, so it was totally worth it. I made sure we were flying at nice times of day as well so we could appreciate the comfort. Next break we will be flying economy, but I'm sure it won't be that bad. It just won't be nearly as good as business.

I have always loved flying despite my propensity to motion sickness, but I've gotten over that with mindpower (and satisfying my requirements for a full stomach, not needing to go to the loo, not being dehydrated). However, when your work involves a two hour flight to or from work every week it kind of gets a little old, but it's different flying with skippers to work as opposed to qantas on a holiday.

I've got a million tv shows converted to ipod movies, I always make sure I have a book or comics to read, and my diary for ideas. And now I can also play games on my iphone! Flight control is always a fave on the plane.

The way I see if, the pilots are professionals. The fly for a living. We get on buses, trains, in taxis and various other mobile machines where other people are in control, flying isn't much different. And it's generally safer.

Last year or the year before one of the skippers planes ran out of fuel when it was nearly at Jundee. One of the engines stopped! They decided to fly back to Wiluna to land because it was a sealed runway rather than gravel. Everyone was fine, some people didn't even wake up! The fact that this even happened doesn't bother me in the slightest. And all the people who were on the plane still fly every week, no problems.

Oh, this comment is becoming a post.. but I'm still posting it as a comment!

Anyway, I agree, flying is great! And way more convenient than travelling by ship.

olga said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Gillian!

Mrs. Topping: Mega comment, woo! Frequent fliers sounds like the only way to go, I don't understand how they justify quadruple the price? Outrageous!