Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Continental hour

Air travel, for me, is usually pretty painless. For someone of my height and my ability, if need be, to watch hours upon hours of television - even if it's bad, even if it's good but an episode I've seen before - being cramped into a tight space for eight hours with "The New Adventures of the Old Christine" isn't the torture it sounds like.

This trip, however, was a failure on both counts. First, the latter: TV. Whereas on the flight to NY, when the entertainment system crashed, it was eventually fixed, on the one back to Paris, the flight attendant assigned to this task was just plain pissed that anyone was asking him to deal with it, told us it wasn't in his power to fix it (not true!), and that it was our own faults the system broke, because this is what happens if you try to change what you're watching too quickly (!). A few people seemed to have working screens, but most not. Some decided to read a tragic article in the New Yorker about a terminally ill baby, got teary, and eventually fell asleep for several intervals of a few minutes each, in whichever positions the bag-under-seat-in-front situation allowed.

Now, height's a stranger problem. Normally being short on a flight is a plus. Not so on this one. On the line to check luggage, there were two couples ahead of me, on what seemed to be a just-retired vacation to Paree. One of the men was returning to his party, and, adorably, asked if I minded if he joined "that short lady over there," that is, his wife. He then looked at me and said, "You're a short lady, too!"

4 comments:

PG said...

Which airline? My family and I are traveling a lot lately and some of us have strict policies against airlines that don't take entertainment system upkeep seriously. (This has led those some to swearing off American Airlines for international flights, but having something approaching loyalty -- if anyone can be loyal in the face of a $50-cheaper fare -- to Emirates Airlines.)

Phoebe said...

See post title.

PG said...

Ah, nicely done.

Phoebe said...

This is reminding me that my next flight - and last int'l one for a while I hope! - is on American. A deal's a deal, but no individual screens is blech.

I really do think, though, that the TV option, if it works, revolutionizes flying. I keep it on even when reading, trying to sleep, etc., because it's just enough distraction to forget you're on a plane. Unlike alcohol, which in even small quantities on a flight makes one (me, at least) sick, and which at any rate costs more money, "Big Bang Theory" reruns are pretty harmless. Expecting this option and not having it, however, is endlessly frustration, esp. given that the part of the set-up that lets you see what the shows/movies are is for some reason unbreakable, so you know exactly what you're missing.

After 13 hrs sleep, though, I'm a bit less annoyed about this than I was before...