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Cattle class

February 13, 2006

Mrs Still and I recently enjoyed a package holiday in a warmer part of the world.

(Sorry to break the bad news to all my groupies, but yes, I am spoken for.)

One of the things I hate most about package holidays is being treated like a package on the flight. Anyone over 5 feet tall will understand the discomfort of being wedged into your average charter flight seat. If someone reclines their seat six rows in front of you, the resulting shock wave will knock your seat tray into your solar plexus and leave you gasping for breath.

To avoid this problem, I took the precaution of booking seats with extra leg-room. I phoned the travel agent and received a grilling on my medical history that rivalled an examination by a certain police surgeon who shall remain anonymous (I think she got a thrill out of asking male officers to drop their trousers. I was examined after we arrested a bloke who complained that we used too much force to restrain him. I grazed my hand, which was the only injury, yet down came the trousers!)

I was asked if I was fit, impaired, disabled, drugged and all sorts, as the extra leg-room seats are next to the emergency exits. That made a lot of sense – who wants to rely on some ninety year old with arthritis and a dodgy ticker when the plane is about to explode?

So how do the travel company justify the fact that on our outward flight, the emergency exits, apart from mine, were covered by a load of coffin-dodgers? One bloke was so stressed by his responsibility that he polished off over half of a litre bottle of Bells whisky during the flight!

Next time, I think I’ll book a cruise.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sharon J permalink
    March 2, 2006 16:04

    I have a history of blood clots and suffer from peripheral vasular disease (bunged up arteries in my legs!) but even though I need the extra leg room because sitting still all the time can play havoc with my health, I can’t have one of the extra leg room seats because of the bloody emergency doors. So people like you, who have nothing wrong with them other than the ability to grouch over the lack of legroom, get to ride in comfort while I worry about what kind of thrombosis might be forming and where it’s likely to head for. It’s about time they put their bloody extra leg room seats somewhere else! ~Sharon

  2. Stan Still permalink
    March 2, 2006 18:07


    This might sound trite, but if I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t even get on a plane.

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