I want to kill myself and we’ve only been in the air 40 minutes.
Welcome to Flight BA16, Sydney to Singapore and on to London (oh god) and the hell that is seat 43D (Neil has just said ‘you should try 43E’ ha ha ha).
We’re welcomed onto the plane by a St Trinian’s headmistressy type, complete with half-moon specs and a figure that really does not accommodate wearing her blouse tucked into her trousers.
We pass through a pleasant Club Class with dimmed lights, although it looks very sardine-can like, crushed together. Then into another world. OMG it’s a shock. Two things: this is an old plane and it looks it; plus we’re nearly last on so the back of the plane looks a bit feral, like something out of Mad Max. Emirates it is not.
My seat feels wobbly and the seatback video screen is tiny, but doesn’t work anyway – Neil says the pixels are burned out. I have my feet resting on the folded blanket and the pillow to take the pressure off the back of my thighs.
The flight is full and the aircon is variable – it’s boiling at the moment. I know that this is fixable – I read my flying blogs. At least 4 people have asked the same Flight Attendant to do something about it. He says he has, so why is it still so hot?
From my seat, I have a delightful view of the large South African bloke I noticed at check in, now 2 rows in front, picking his nose. BA is so pared to the bone that there are no hot towels given out, so we all get to share his germs. I have a daftie behind me who doesn’t understand the words ‘touch screen’ and is pounding the back of the seat every time she gets bored with her video selection. My head moves against the headrest every time she does this. She’s doing it now in fact.
We’ve just asked the FA with the drinks trolley if we could have another bottle of wine (187mls, French Merlot). She heard but keeps going, that airline smile fixed on her face. She appears to really hate passengers. I watched her put together bassinets for babies and she can’t crack a smile; it’s killing her. Dinner is ‘pasta or chicken’ in a voice which doesn’t encourage further enquiry.
The entertainment system is a joke; Neil saw a Gen X try to enlarge the screen like you would with your phone – ha ha good luck with that. There is a very small selection of things to watch/listen to, for example:
(i) under ‘Country Music’ (I was desperate), there are 7 albums, 2 by someone called Sean Brosnan. Super.
(ii) Under ‘Essential Albums’ there are 8 – including Mike Oldfield’s Tubular sodding Bells. I can’t believe it; which old git has control of the music selection? Has he never heard of Oasis or Status Quo (ok maybe not the Quo). Another joy is ‘’The Very Best of Blancmange’. Pardon? They were crap in the 80s and nothing’s changed.
It’s a bit of a shock to realise how far ahead of poor old BA Emirates is. Seat 47D would be on a new or newish plane, with 600 channels of entertainment, a reasonably cheery crew, great food and clean loos. Don’t get me started on the toilets. One of them stinks and there is brown sludge in one corner.
If BA is still peddling ‘the world’s favourite airline’ thing, somebody’s kidding themselves – at least that’s how it appears from the back of this particular jumbo.
I’ve had amazing experiences with BA, though it was a long time ago, where they have been nothing short of wonderful. I’m not sure what’s happened but it doesn’t feel like the same organisation, and maybe it’s not.
Oh joy, Neil’s found Barry Manilow singing ‘hits from the 60s’ under ‘Easy Listening’.
Only 23 hours and 20 minutes to go.
Just shoot me now.