“I was wondering what it would be like to fly.”
“Why would you spend your time thinking about such an impossible thing?”
~Alice in Wonderland, 2010 film
Perhaps flying was once impossible, but now it is a frequently done feat, and I feel like a seasoned traveller for it. I have flown six times to get to and around China, and since we flew by three different companies, and I’ve formed opinions. Southern China Airways has the best meals. (Air Asia is stingy as.) They also have the best air hostess uniforms. And they have a movie to do the exit-pointing-thing before you take off instead of an air hostess.
Flying is a great (though at times boring) pastime, and here are some tips:
1. Cheap companies will charge you for juice and tea, whereas the more costly flights supply free drinks. Therefore if you want to have a non-thirsty flight that will give you free water, don’t choose cheapies.
2. Have your camera ready during take offs and landings. You can get the most amazing shots.
3. Take books that are good and interesting if you want to pass the time quickly. Or if you’ve been meaning to read that classic on your shelf that weighs a ton, take that. You know that you won’t be interrupted.
4. Don’t stand up until the plane has stopped, or you will be formally squished in a Chinese pack-rush, and the air hostess will tell you please sit down in that school-teacher voice that makes you sit down immediately — if you know what I mean.
5. If you order vegetarian, don’t eat the mushroom/fungus/I-don’t-know-and-don’t-want-to salad. It smells like fish, looks like tongues, chews tough, and is supposed to be vegetarian. Go figure, and beware.
Thank you for your undivided attention, have a nice trip.