Resigned to my fate of 8 hours on a plane for a trip to the USo’A I packed my bags and casually made my way to the aerodrome, with what I assumed was plenty of time, for I do so hate to be late. On arrival I was greeted with a scene more akin to, what I imagine, a Morrisons supermarket might look like on cheap gin Wednesday. People everywhere, most of them looking confused and irate whilst trying desperately to work out which queue to join. One hapless drunk/traveller even had the temerity to screech at an overly made up employee who happened to be passing:
“Why is this queue moving so much slower than the others?” “I’m not sure” came the blindingly obvious answer.
Anyway I managed to check in without causing a stir or being tased by customs and made my way to the lounge to await the arrival of my fellow traveller, who it should be noted was running late at this point. So late in fact that check in is almost missed. The boarding for the plane is called and still no sign, oh well I think I’ll just wander to the plane and hope for the best.
Finally just as I am about to board said plane he turns up, at which point it became apparent that Virgin Atlantic has a fantastic punishment for being late to check in, a bloody upgraded to premium economy class (not sure what this means, other than free champers on seating). AN UPGRATE! I’m outraged, why not give those who get there on time the benefits. Yes I realise they are trying to make more money by waiting as long as possible to try and dupe people into paying the £150 they were asking for this benefit, but that’s not the point…
Still at least I’m happy in the knowledge that i have a nice aisle seat and a good book to read, seat 40E, wait E? How can that be an aisle seat? Unless they have a unique seating arrangement something is horribly wrong. I make my way to my home for the next 8 hours to discover it’s not a nice aisle seat at all but one in the middle of a row. Curses!
Not only is did I not get an upgrade, not only did I not get the seat I booked but the seat I did get is next to an enormous galoot from Georgia on one side, and an Azerbaijani on the other (and to complete the communist trio, a Bulgarian on the far end). Azerbaijani was fine, nice and small and quiet. Hurray! The Georgian on the other hand was not, through no fault of his own admittedly, he was cursed with limbs about 1.8 times longer than they needed to be, this resulted in 8 hours of knees and elbows being jabbed and poked into my legs, arms and ribs.
The moment he went for the chicken over the stew was particularly bad, all that knife action to cut the stuff up could have easily resulted in a cracked rib had I not been agile enough to dodge the pointy blows.
He did not even seem to care, not a single apology was forthcoming for the bruise educing invasions of my personal space, not even a flicker of guilt at using half my foot well to store his left knee for the whole flight. Bloody communists!