Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS Flight Attendants





Everybody has a strong reaction to the idea of eating koala bears. I'm not sure why. It's like they would never even consider it. It would be like eating a teddy bear. Or maybe eating Snoopy.

You know what I think? I think koala is probably a delicacy.

delicacy
ˈdɛlɪkəsi
noun

    1. meat that tastes like chicken

It turned out that American Airlines had actually found a catering service for our 15 hour flight. Knowing airline food, our five ham and cheese croissants would still be valuable currency at 37,000 feet.

We got herded in to what was pretty much a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

I wish I could have gotten a glimpse of the majestic aircraft before boarding her, but instead we just got injected into the fuselage without seeing anything more than the doorway and a tiny bit of skin.

Sort of like what I used to experience on a first date.



Those two seats in front of the bulkhead were ours.
Our little Premium Economy cabin was only three rows, sandwiched between the cattle-call cheap seats and the $12,000 return Business class pods.
Mooooooo!
Oh my God how we wanted lie flat pods. I was hoping we'd get an upgrade offer we could stomach, and there was much discussion about 'how much would you pay'. The amount varied depending on whether it was before the flight, or during the flight, or on the next flight once you'd experienced 15 hours on your ass without moving. In reality, though, very well off people buy these tickets, and the rest are occupied by upgraders who fly hundreds of thousands of miles.

Where people who are in heaven go when they die again. The. Pods.
Our fares were a little less than $2K CAD return. Jimmy Poon mathematically determined that the most one should pay additionally for a pod, one way, was $1,518 - a little over $100 an hour. But $5,000? No way.

I monitored the price of those pods for months and at one point they were as high as $15,000 return.

When we got into our seats, we found them to be really comfortable. They were nice and wide, with lots of legroom, a little footy-foot rest each, and they reclined substantially.

We were provided with a bunch of goodies, too. A soft blankie, a pillow (which I promptly managed to put on my head as a hat), a set of headphones, and an amenities kit in a little zippered cloth pouch.

The amenities kit included a toothbrush and paste (to glue those loose molars), earplugs, an eyeshade, and, for some reason, a pair of socks.

Emergency socks, I suppose.



Maybe provided so you could walk around in sock feet without sullying your own socks? One thing I learned the hard way was never, ever to use the head wearing just socks. Unless you like a good case of pissfoot.


As we watched the losers filing in and taking their rightful positions in the 'hold' behind us for the Great Unwashed, I remarked to Mrs. Flusher how amazing it is that we can now create such technologically advanced and reliable engines that an aircraft such as the 787 can stay aloft for 15 hours or longer with it's single jet engine, mounted on the left wing.

"Doesn't it have... two engines?" she asked.

"See for yourself - look out the window and tell me how many engines there are. Just one. Besides, if the one engine fails - and it won't - we can simply glide to safety."

Our 'bird' had a really great entertainment system. There was all kinds of things to watch like TV shows and movies and even live broadcasts. There were interactive games, played using the remote. Yes, a remote!

The 787 can do 57 mph while still at the gate.
The system included an interactive 3D mapping system that was really, really well done. You could watch the earth around the airplane and use the touchscreen to turn, zoom, or change the viewing angle.

There was even a representation of what you would see out the cockpit windows, complete with a set of gauges showing heading, altitude, air and ground speed, and even an attitude indicator.

Every time the fight attendant came by, it read 'bitch'.

Think I'm kidding? I asked for a vodka at one point and she said, 'there's none on this cart'. And that's all.



Before long, we were on our way! Next stop, Australia, or one of the Fiji Water Islands, should the engine fail, forcing us to glide to a safe deadstick landing.

So, yes there was food, but it wasn't very good. And I am sad to say that one of the flight attendants was downright bitchy. The two Canadian girls in front of us mentioned it independently of our assessment, so it wasn't just me.

"CHICKENORPASTA?"

She walked down the aisle, barking at each person and pushing a meal at them.

CHICKENORPASTA? CHICKENORPASTA?"

We both had the Chickenorpasta and it tasted pretty good. Except that there were only about five pieces of chicken the size of a short french fry, and that was about it. You'd get more meat off of an under-nourished Koala pup.

After a few hours, I crashed and slept. When I awoke, I eagerly checked the flight display system to see how many hours I'd knocked off our travel time.

Forty minutes.

I slept about two or three more times and the next time I checked... we'd been flying for four and a half hours. Not even close to half way.

At about the midpoint of the flight, they brought around these things that hefted like a turd in a box. The box said it contained a Stromboli, whatever the fuck that is. Maybe it's Italian for 'turd in a box'. I had a few nibbles of this disgusting thing and bailed on it. It was a just-past-gooey chewy bready sticky long slightly warm turd containing a bit of italian sauce and some runny vegetables, and just enough cheese to say there was cheese, but not enough to actually do you any good. My zucchini alarm went on full red alert. This was nothing more than a zucchini hot pocket.

Goodbye Stromboli-turd, hello another round of ham and cheese croissant and emergency nuts.

Mrs. Flusher didn't even open hers, and three minutes later, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS Flight Attendants marched through the cabin demanding any and all Stromboli garbage.

I have to say, the seat was the single most comfortable airplane seat I've ever one-cheek sneaked into. I was just fine in it, and caught some more Zs.

The hours passed - it was really a long, long, tiring ordeal - and with a couple of hours to go the sun caught up with is and rose, and they threw some sort of breakfast tray at us.



A one-egg omelette, a one inch high serving of gross yoghurt, and a dead muffin. I ate the omelette and a chicken and pesto on a baguette from our sandwich collection.

Finally, finally, Captain Bruce throttled 'er back, and we began our descent. We let down to the west, aiming at Sydney.

I could see we were turning north before reaching the airport and I figured we'd lose altitude, and then do a couple of 90 degree turns and land to the south. I let the Quad Queen know that she'd probably get a great view of the city out her window, and that's what happened, except that things were pretty socked in.

And so, we got our first glimpses of a land down under!

Sydney harbour and the bridge.
A few minutes later, Captain Bruce mushed her in and we were there - ready to Blunder Down Under.

Land Ho!




2 comments:

  1. Tip to fellow Royal-readers - Avoid sipping your hot morning coffee when reading lines like this:
    ". . . without seeing anything more than the doorway and a tiny bit of skin. Sort of like what I used to experience on a first date."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Got to love Flusher-out-of-Water stories.

    ReplyDelete

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