And another slam on flying, this time from former Queen guitarist Brian May:
“Travelling on planes has for years been something I have had to do, as part of my job,” explains May. “As I fly today with British Airways, I wonder if I am the only person left in the world who likes to relax in a comfortable seat and dreamily turn my head to the window and get lost in the ever-changing wonders of the planet as they drift by? I wonder this because I’m not aware of anyone except me complaining about the new way the seats are configured in BA First Class.”
May wails about the seating changes: “I hate it. It costs an arm and a leg to travel this way and I feel that we no longer get our money’s worth. In the old days you sat right next to the window and the view was wide and spectacular. Now they sit you about three feet from the window and so low down all you can see from your seat is a small patch of sky. It’s boring — frustrating.”
Believe it or not, he has a point. It does cost an arm and a leg to fly First Class (on any airline), and because a First Class ticket is also the most profitable sale an airline can make, it behooves them to look after their best customers — and clearly they aren’t, in this case anyway. And FFS: he’s Brian May of Queen; nobody ever played like he did, nobody ever sounded as good as he does, and nobody ever will unless it’s to copy him. If anyone has earned the right to complain about shitty service, he has.
Let’s not indulge in the Brit Wealth Envy thing and call him a pampered rich pussy, because the plain fact is that May works unbelievably hard. Because he’s one of the most sought-after lead guitarists in rock music, despite his age, recording sessions, concerts and appearances take place all over the world for him — London one day, New York the next, Melbourne three days later, back to London after that, then on to Tokyo, ad infinitum — which means that he logs well over two hundred thousand miles a year flying from gig to gig. There is no way he could possibly do this in Economy (a.k.a. steerage), and anyone who’s ever flown just a quarter of what he has will not begrudge him his seat in First Class, because without that, and with his sheer volume of work, his job is frankly not doable.
And let’s be honest about this: he’s sixty-nine years old, and 6’2″ tall. He needs a comfortable seat, because after 10,000 miles in the torture device known as an Economy-class seat, he’d have to be carried off the plane straight into a hospital for traction to straighten out his back. Then, after doing his job, he’d have to do Economy all over again two days later? Please.
Of course the DM journalists have a go at him because they’re a bunch of Bolshie peasants whose total experience in commercial flying is Ryanair to Magaluf once a year at a cost of £45 (compared to May’s ticket price of about £15,000).
The hell with them. I’m on May’s side as much for that as for the fact that I bloody hate the airline companies. All of them. Bastards. [10,000-word rant deleted]
Feel free to add your own airline horror stories in Comments.