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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In Flight

Heathrow’s the 3rd busiest airport in the world but it's not even in the top ten in terms of bigliness. Coulda fooled me.

When I got on the plane in Boston I mentioned to the stewardess deaf here. May need help getting to my gate for the connecting flight to Berlin. I figured they’d give me a map or some helpful little elf would walk me from arrival to upcoming departure hall.

Nope. They wheelchaired me! Now, given how heavy my bags were (laptops – not heavy all by themselves but add it to my two books, hod and a half of meds, sack of clothes and other assorted detritus, all of a sudden I'm toting a coupla clydesdales) I figured Wheelchair, AWESOME! Reality? It was surreal (no one told me what was going on and I was stowed for a worrisome hour, like so much luggage, in a Stardust Memories-esque holding pen) but also wonderfully cool. Not only did I not have to hoof it though the insane maze of Heathrow but I got to whiz through security. Still had to take my shoes off and get frisked but, hey, I got to bypass the line!

Here’s what I wanna know, when did it become a standard thing that, on carriers other than JetBlue anyway, you can’t pick your seat when you buy the ticky? Sure, you're asked for your preference but you can pretty well bank on that being ignored.

On the Boston/London leg I didn't have my usual and much desired window seat BUT I was on the aisle in a bulkhead middle section row and NO one else was sitting there! Not so bad, though I couldn't lay down across that huge expanse of empty seat-age Still, I had acres of leg room and could stretch out practically into the fourth dimension.

Not so much luck on the London/Berlin segment. I was stuck in the middle seat of the VERY last row in a staggeringly packed plane. All business types too (this was a flight that’d get into Berlin during early biz hours after all). The joint was wall to wall suit and tie types with more shades of grey and black than a film noir pic.. Despite the obvs snooze factor, I did manage some reasonable people watching. Dude over there looks like a stock character out of a British spy flick – you know, the ginger-ish, sweat flopped, low level functionary who’s offed in the first reel. Chicky there just stepped out of central casting for an Ingmar Bergman movie.

In any case, I think I’m gonna try for window seats on the way back. Mebbe I can bribe the desk clerks?

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