Back when I used to work in the travel industry, I was subscribed to a blog that reviewed airline seats and service. Following a recent flight on a QANTAS jet to Sydney, I feel it is prudent to put index finger to keyboard, and bash out what I experienced.
First of all, a disclosure: whenever possible, I fly with Virgin. They seem to have nice people working for them, its lounges are excellent, it has an achievable frequent flyer program, and sometimes the planes offer free Foxtel, so you can watch The Simpsons mid-flight.
My first inkling that this was going to be an interesting experience was at check-in, where the lady scanning my ticket said “Morning.” It wasn’t a “Good Morning”; it was simply a “Morning.” Fair enough, I suppose she was accurate that it was before midday, so partial credit to QANTAS.
Unfortunately because I wasn’t high on the preference list, I was sitting at the back of the plane. My colleagues who more regularly fly on the big red skippy, checked in at the same time as me were offered seats towards the pointy end of the craft. The joke however may have been on them, as it was once pointed out to me that “planes don’t reverse into mountains”. Partial credit to QANTAS for looking out for me (?).
Upon arriving at my designed seat, the process of sitting down turned into something that could have made the weekly top-three on Funny Home Videos.
Unbeknownst to me, the seat had collapsed on one side, and had also lost the use of all pitch control. To put it bluntly, the seat was utterly rooted.
But how is this possible? In my travels I have sat next to some incredibly big boned folk, and never had they busted a seat. I can only assume that previously an individual with destructive lead-brick butt cheek implants was running a one man mosh pit, causing the extensive damage to the seat frame.
With the plane running at capacity, there wasn’t an option of swapping seats. During pre-flight final inspections, I leant back into my seat, albeit at a funny angle, as it was near impossible to sit up straight with lack of support provided. The hostess noticed my predicament, but either:
a) Knew it was busted, and knew there weren’t other options available; or
b) Didn’t give a shit.
Either way, she carried on and not a word was spoken.
The mid-morning snack was quite edible, but I wasn’t too pleased with the way it was dropped on my tray from some height. The classy thing would have been to place it down, but that would have been a bit of effort for passenger 43D.
One saving grace was the lengthy walk I had to reach the aerobridge on landing, as this gave time for my back spasms to die down before I had to walk through the terminal.