learn to fly.

2 Jul

During my trans-atlantic adventure last Tuesday from Madrid to DC and then DC to LAX, I had a lot of time to think about the pros and cons of air travel.While I’ve always liked traveling, the boredom and turbulence can be aggravating. That being said, here are my top 5 things about flying.

1. ginger ale. For some reason, I feel like ginger ale only tastes good on airplanes. I ask for it every time I fly, without fail, regardless of the time of day. I’ll never buy it though, and I don’t really like the taste of ginger. One of those unexplainable flying oddities.

source: popsugar.com

2. In-flight magazines. Maybe my standards are lower while I’m miles up in the air, or maybe the in-flight reading material really is that stimulating. I always skim through the offerings from the airlines, and almost always find something interesting – whether it’s EasyJet’s city guides or United Airlines’ recent article on seafood in the Barceloneta region of Barcelona. After reading that I really wondered what I was doing on a plane LEAVING Spain.

source: cometobarcelona.com

3. eavesdropping. No, I have never “met anyone” on an airplane. Not even a chatty grandmother or a nice Dad. Those nice, chatty, friendly people are always in the seats behind me, talking about all the great places they went in Europe or their big plans for their trip to Los Angeles. That’s fine with me, though, because then I get all of the benefits of being in the conversation without having to participate. Transatlantic flights are particularly great for this: Europe newbies, adults going on pre-packaged tours, and Spanish people taking their kids to the states for the first time.

4. bad tv. Not really sure why, but no movie I actually want to see is ever shown on airlines. Ever. In fact, on this recent trip I got 27 minutes into Matt Damon’s “The Adjustment Bureau” before deeming it unwatchable. I did, however, watch some 30 Rock, Modern Family, and The Office, as well as the weirdly funny Cedar Rapids. When else do you have 13 hours to do nothing other than sit around and waste time in any way possible? Oh, and don’t even get me started on the poor quality of the in-flight radio stations – for sure makes me appreciate 102.7 KIIS FM that much more!

i actually like him.

5. that cool map thing. Long flights are great in the sense that they provide an incessant countdown of the remaining time, as well as a map so you can pinpoint where you are at any one moment. Great at first, but then when I realized how long we were over Nova Scotia it got sort of disconcerting.

wrong direction, but you get the idea.

 What do you love (and love to hate) about flying? How do you pass the time on long hauls?

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6 Responses to “learn to fly.”

  1. Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport July 2, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Love the list! I have a strict “don’t eat the plane food” policy. I pack my own snacks! 🙂 But ginger ale I can get into.

    My real problem with flying is the water. I drink A LOT of water. And they are so stingy with those little cups. I once bribed a Virgin Airlines attendant to give me the HUGE bottle. I had to hide it. Quite the rebel! 🙂

    • gillian July 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      Haha thank you! I definitely eat the plane food but it’s definitely so-so. The smart thing to do is request the low-fat or vegan meal so that you’re served first.

      I’m TOTALLY with you about the water – those little half-cups are complete jokes!

  2. thisblonde July 3, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Oh Gillian – de acuerdo, chica. Your #3 is my absolute favorite. On my last trans-Atlantic flight I sat behind two chatterboxes with some interesting hobbies AND had the whole row to myself. Travel perfection? Perhaps .. except on Iceland Air they don’t serve that blessed ginger ale is NOT free!

    • gillian July 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

      Haha that is perfect! And I can’t believe they charge for ginger ale! That’s only ever okay with me on airlines like EasyJet and RyanAir, and even then I’m always sad it’s not free. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Suzy July 9, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Love this post! And I completely agree about ginger ale. I never drink it on land, but up in the air, it always tastes appealing. I also love the eavesdropping. There are so many interesting conversations going on, but I would prefer to just listen at my leisure rather than not sleep because of a talker in my face.

    • gillian July 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      Thanks, Suzy! I know – there is something about ginger ale that just tastes better on an airplane, even if it is all in my head! And I’m glad I’m not the only one who can feel completely entertained by eavesdropping – sometimes I have to fight the urge to chime in!

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