It’s 3.35am. The phone tells me temperatures are below freezing outside, but I exit the house to find no ice. The drive to the airport takes 35 minutes. Somebody smart at the local council has installed traffic lights that change to green automatically if you approach and there’s no traffic on the road crossing yours. Call me Mr Greenlight!
I’ve prepaid for long stay airport parking and the barrier opens automatically for me. It’s a long walk to the bus that will transfer me to the terminal. As I get there I discover the disabled spaces where I could have parked – right next to the bus stop.
The bus drops me at arrivals. No sign of departures until I get inside! Why do airports always have ongoing building work in the terminal? And I mean always!
The security line is short and efficient. My small scissors are allowed through. I giggle to myself at the sign saying “Connecting Yorkshire to the world” while displaying a map of Europe. Small world if you’re a Yorkshireman!
I spot a Burger King. My stomach isn’t ready to eat yet. The risk of a Ryanair breakfast increases. My desire to use my iPad is demolished by pathetic free wifi from the airport.
As I wander through the terminal I wonder where else people buy overpriced watches and handbags. I don’t get the desire to shop anywhere. Least of all an airport.
I begin to regret my decision not to wear a belt. I’m stuck with these trousers for three days so I’d better get used to holding them up! I’m ready for breakfast now, but £6.50 for a bacon sandwich rapidly suppresses my hunger.
My Ryanair experience begins, The gate is called. The queue. The ID checks. The queue. The stairs. The checks repeated. There’s no doubt that a printed boarding pass is faster than the one on the app! More stairs. The walk to the far corners of the terminal. The wait. The boarding. It’s freezing on board. I’m sat between two friends so my offer to move is gratefully accepted. Then the curse of oversized hand luggage – some idiot has managed to get a huge case in the overhead locker. There’s no way the locker can shut. The rest of us get delayed.
Since the emergency evacuation of passengers from a burning BA flight out of Vegas a year or so ago, I always keep my passport in my pocket once on board the plane. The hassle of getting a new one overseas if the old one burns on board doesn’t appeal. I realise I should apply the same courtesy to my afatinib pills. Which currently reside in the overhead locker.
Once we’re in the air the crew commence their role of flogging overpriced food. I dig out a bag of M&S smokey bacon crisps. To be reminded that crisp packets inflate at altitude! And the cabin temperature increases from freezing to furnace!
I entertain myself with a series of iPad games. My lower back hurts. The sacrum is one of the areas affected by my illness and it isn’t happy at the idea of three hours in this position. The crew continue their sales pitch. I admire and ignore it. They work hard but I’m glad it’s not me. I’m ready to land.
Ryanair, as usual, did what they say they’ll do. Next time I’ll remember to seek out an empty row after taking off. There were loads of spare seats, including those with extra leg room, that I wasn’t aware of at the start of the flight.