airline meals and passengers

Do other travellers amuse you or drive you crazy? Are you able to ignore them or is the person allocated the seat next to you always a talker of nonsense and wants to use your ear to pour all their rubbish into. Are you are able to stop them?

Travelling a few days ago I must have been in an intolerant mood. As soon as I arrived in the departure lounge a couple immediately, albeit unintentionally no doubt, tried my patience. Or rather, at 6 am, my lack of patience.

Loud voiced – like everyone wants to hear their scintillating conversation, yeah right – they waffled on about the various planes they have flown in. Dash eights were mentioned frequently as well as the amateurs version of the pros and cons of the propeller versus the jet engine, the umbrellas either available or unavailable at the various stops on their journey and finally the distance to walk to what they assumed was to be their aircraft. Metres away from them, the conversation was as clear as if I was sitting with them.

It was a small plane and the conversation continued for them, and their fellow passengers, until they settled down to read the newspaper after first complaining that they had been asked to put a parcel that was ‘as light as a feather’ under the seat.

The day improved as soon as we arrived in Wellington. It put on a perfect day- as it frequently does- my meeting was fruitful and at days end I board for my return flight. I think I have been travelling too much, or the day was too long, I was just grouchy, as on this journey it was the crew that I was inwardly complaining about.

For some reason the woman making all the announcements was saying ‘excuse me’ at the beginning of each announcement and although the signs clearly indicated toilet / lavatory in her words they had become the American ‘bathroom’.

I berate myself for such pettiness then am absolutely amazed at the young male flight attendant telling the men behind me that ‘the girls’ would be along with the drinks in a moment. The girls in question were both older than him but I’m sure they do not refer to him as the ‘boy’.

I went to bed early – I obviously needed it. These overheard conversations are usually ignored by me, but not on that day.

Recently a friend was complaining about passengers moaning about the meals -plastic, overcooked, and boring.

‘That’s not my experience’ he told me, “I’m travelling often but have never really had a meal to complain about. I think it is just a habit, an affectation, the cool thing to do, complain about the meals. By the looks of many of them it’s more than likely the best they have eaten for ages.”

I asked some other frequent flyers about the meals and they too unanimously endorsed the meals. None expected the variety or quality they received in their favourite restaurants, but all said airlines did a good job under difficult circumstances.

One person said. “I love them, they’re light,  perfect size, just right for travelling . . . and I don’t have to cook or clean up. Excellent.”

I too am mostly happy with the meals, and on international flights, I order the vegetarian option. This has three advantages, the special meals are served first, consequently the toilets queues are non existent, and I get to get to sleep while others are still lining up to use the lavatory.

So from many seasoned travellers – a well deserved thumbs up to the food section of the airline industry.