Sunday, August 14, 2011

Travelogue: Australia – In-Flight Entertainment

Along with the standard in-flight entertainment one might expect on an intercontinental/transoceanic flight; dinner, drinks, games, movies, and music; this flight was special for the OTHER in-flight entertainment. Namely, the dear ladies across the aisle.
Lord love 'em, they are not what one would call technological adepts. The announcement was made back in Sydney that they had a reading light above their seats. They discussed this (seemingly) novel concept and then, flummoxed, proceeded to read in the dark. When the seatbelt sign was off and it was safe to do so, I pointed-out the controls to them and showed them how to get light to read.

Later it was trying to suss-out how the folding tray could be deployed and later still, it was the movie system that they were confused by. As I said: "Poor dears…"

The flight staff showed them how to work the entertainment system as we were having dinner over the outback. One of the staff then repeated his instructions later as we were having coffee. It was as we were coming into Bangkok that they got the directions for the third (possibly fourth time) and then, new crew-new training, they asked again once we had left Bangkok and were on our way to London.

I've given-up trying to assist them and have decided instead to see the humor in the conjecture they are making even on things they have actually been trained on! I had thought about reviving an old Far Side cartoon – or at least the spirit of one by showing them where the "wings fall off" – "wings stay on" switch was located. I thought better of it, when I realized I still had a dozen hours I had to sit near them and there was really no point being an asshole.

Sleep has been eluding me all flight. It is nearly five-am down there in Russia and the sun is coming up to the east. It is a lovely quiet atmosphere on the plane. I am dead tired… why the heck am I not asleep?

Wherever you are this evening, I hope that you are sleeping the sleep of the just – even if by that you mean "the just asleep!" (…with apologies to Douglas Adams from whom I have lifted that line!

Don Bergquist – 14 August 2011 – In The World Traveller Plus Section of British Airways Flight 10 – Somewhere Over Russia

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