Once you strip the glamour away from international air travel, what you’re left with is just another form of public transport.
And the thing about public transport is that it tends to be patronised by those irritating people called the general public.
But unlike your quick morning bus trip into work, on international long-haul you’re stuck with ’em for the duration, so their annoying habits get magnified, lengthened and generally amped up past eleven.
These irritants come in all varieties, although the more common types are easily spotted.
There’s the non-stop chatterbox, the flaky parent who seems oblivious to his or her ear-splitting offspring, and the thoughtless clod who reclines his or her seat two minutes after take-off and leaves it that way for the entire flight.
And let’s not forget the non-vegetarian who orders the vegetarian meal just so they can get their food before anybody else. They really get on my tits.
But the ones who annoy me most of all are the passengers who are forever getting up to rummage through their bags in the overhead compartments.
I don’t exactly know why these people annoy me so much; it’s irrational. But it’s like they think that by constantly rummaging through their stuff they’re breaking up the journey in some way, and I want to disabuse them of that futile notion in the most dramatic and violent way possible.
But of course, I don’t do this. I just sit there, teeth gritted.
That’s the other thing about air travel: it requires almost complete passivity. Sure, you get to choose between one of two vile meal options and, if you’re on a good carrier, you get to select from a handful of interesting films (although if you’re anything like me, you’ll settle for the latest Matthew McConaughey abomination in the lame hope you’ll see a quick flash of his naked arse. Tragic, I know.)
And the other thing about international air travel -“ for us poor folk, at any rate -“ is that these days, you can pretty much kiss goodbye any hopes you might have had of getting a gay trolley dolly who’ll flirt with you and ply you with little bottles of booze.
As far as I can ascertain, they’ve all pissed off to business class, so’s they can flirt with the rich people and ply them with little bottles of booze instead.
They’re not fools, you know: they know that flying economy is a mug’s game.