Author: Adisha
•Wednesday, April 09, 2008
It's paradoxical somehow. The beauty of flight in comparison to the discomfort one has to endure in order to travel from one place to another. Specially, here in the US. I would have thought that air services would be much more pleasing in this land of endless possibilities ( so to speak ). But I find myself once again being disillusioned. The tax dollars and ticket price might be working over time somewhere, but it's certainly not in passengers' comfort and convenience in aviation !!

I sat at the airport hours earlier in order to avoid any last minute mishaps. Staring at my ticket that said flight timings are 50 - 60 % on time ?! True to it's word, the flight boarding time was postponed twice as was the number of the gate to be boarded. At least they try to keep us on our toes, providing much needed exercise. Once on board, claustrophobia engulfed me as I tried in vain to make myself relatively comfortable. It didn't take long for me to drift off , thanks to running around I mentioned earlier. I jerked awake 15 minutes later, only to find us still on the run way maybe hoping for the sky to clear or the previous planes that were late to take off ?? Here I can only speculate, as no solid information was provided to us at any given time. I found myself hoping that our connecting flight would also be delayed so as to avoid any further problems for ourselves and our cherished luggage. My husband assured me that there was no way we were going to be receiving our luggage at our destination giving me various permutations. During our flight, we were treated with the least courtesy the air staff could muster up. Finally reaching at the connecting destination we ran along the airport looking at gate numbers 11,10,9,8,6, searching for Gate 7 which was to our bewilderment hidden between a coffee shop and Gate 5. At one point we even wondered if maybe we could pick a leaf from Harry Potter and board the plane by running between gates 8 and 6. With minutes to spare once on the connecting flight, we were relieved to say the least. And found great amusement in the lazy voices of the steward and hostesses convincing us to use our seats as floating devices should the " flight turn into a cruise ", a tactic I'm yet to ascertain to be a scare tactic. We found ourselves giggling as such tidbits of humour were been inserted into the usual mundane announcements that are made on the plane. The air hostess had clearly tried very hard to come up with such amusing twists in order to keep the passengers entertained, and I for one was grateful.

In complete contrast to the discomfort and frustration was the beauty of the flight taking off over the clouds. Going higher over the cotton balls and looking at the sun set far below was a sight for sore eyes, pun intended. Once again I found myself, marvelling at the magic of aviation that allows us not only to reduce the time spent in travelling but in being able to see the beauty of the sky so high in all it's glory. Seeing the houses below and how man has constructed houses, roads, pools, cities is just incredible. To fathom the vastness of the earth below and then to imagine the unexplored universe, seems practically impossible till you are high above looking down at everything that nature and man has created. Good or bad, it's all right here. As the night set in, the cities lit up in all colors like the sky does with it's millions of starts. At one point, it was hard to conceive where the earth ended and the stars began. On the other hand, letting my imagination go wild for one moment, I even imagined earth to be similar to Star Ship Enterprise floating around, hoping to find someone else out there one day. The magic of electricity, my friends ! I know science is the actual root of all that allows us to ponder over such things, but Magic is just a better word.

Well, finally I'm down here, in a new city now. Our luggage miraculously made it and with my tales to friends I learnt that such horrors are common place in the lives of passengers flying in any US airlines. Either the flight is delayed, the seats are cramped, the luggage arrives late or is misplaced or you just might get onto the wrong flight with all the confusion. Travel by air in the US hardly seems worth it. But now that I'm sitting on the 12th floor, overlooking the Mighty Mississippi it I'm just glad to be here now and hope I make it back home in one piece.
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1 Spin Offs:

On April 10, 2008 at 12:54 PM , Anonymous said...

Absolutely delighful reading it :)