Ever wondered what it would be like if the vehicle (car/ SUV) you were travelling in suddenly took flight? OK so maybe I’m the only one with over-active imagination and a dangerous ADD while on the road. Different topic. But I recently had that experience; well, almost. In a recent short-hop flight, I had the distinct pleasure (?!) of getting into an aeroplane and going “You’ve got to be kidding me!!”. I guess I should have clued in when, going from the boarding lounge to the plane, the walkway was sloping down. I thought maybe the support underneath hadn’t been configured to the right height, and busy in my “Oh I miss my bed” thoughts, I kept on going with my usual innocent optimism.
The door that I (at my average female height) had to duck to enter was another sign that something is oddly Lilliputian about this scenario. But before I could analyze it further, the air hostess looked at my average sized carry on and said, “Would you please leave that outside, right there by the plane’s entrance?” I’m like ‘not on your life lady!’ but outwardly “but why? this is not checked baggage!”
“Yes I understand, but the overhead compartment is not big enough for this, so you’ll have to leave it outside, and trust me that it’ll be there waiting for you when you arrive at your destination and alight from the plane”. Trust my entire trip-survival package, cosmetics, toothbrush, change of clothes, and unmentionables to … no one in particular? I guess the look of disbelief and panic on my face must have been unusually eloquent. The hostess, very politely, explained it to me again and reconfirmed that I can choose between her way or foregoing the flight (OK I paraphrase).
Bidding my bag a tearful “see you soon!”, I (ducked and) stepped into the grand Embraer RJ135. I’ve never been claustrophobic but this plan was literally 3 seats wide and 13 rows long. I could stretch and knock the neighbouring passenger’s head out of the window on the other side of the plane! And yes the overhead could barely carry a (small) pack of chips.
The saving grace was that the hostess was exceedingly funny, the 17″ seats were leather-covered and comfortable, there were emergency exits pointed out to us, and the drinks trolley didn’t fatally injure anyone while going through the 8 inch aisle. And my carry-on bag was waiting for me at the other end. I hugged it tight.
Note to self: Careful of what you wish for while you’re imagining weird stuff on the road. It just might happen!