Sunday, September 23, 2007

The worst way to travel?

I broke my 15 months no-flying run this week (longest period since I was knee high to a greenfly). Love miles, I'm afraid - we only had a short window to see my brother in Belfast so flying it had to be.

I had forgotten what a bloody awful experience a modern airport is. You have to be there several days before take off to join a queue that wouldn't have been out of place in Soviet era Moscow, except with the added delight of luggage trains squeezing past with their annoying beeps. Then at security you have to take most of your clothes off and get your laptop out to go through the machine (and the bloody metal detector still bleeps - must be the alien implant). Once you've got dressed again, you go and sit in the noisiest shopping mall in the world before being summoned to a distant gate and you can actually get on board.

I had a bit of turbulence too on the way over resulting in some good squealing - I don't think any of it was mine. At Belfast airport, the baggage handlers were obviously on their lunch break as it took 30minutes to move the bags the 30 yards from the plane to the carousel.

On the way back we made a complete horlicks of the liquids/plastic bag thing (what is it actually meant to achieve?) and got sent to the back of the queue in disgrace.

I couldn't help wondering at the fact that people choose this method of torture over trains for domestic journeys - at least I had some sea to cross.


To get to London by train, I walk to the station, grab a coffee, walk onto the train, stow my luggage, sit down, open laptop, log on to wi-fi and pretend to do very important work when I'm actually on Facebook. At King's Cross I get up and walk off in the centre of the city. The choice is an easy one...

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At 11:21 AM, Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

even Edinburgh to Shetland is a no-brainer for me - comfortable train to Aberdeen, overnight ferry with meal, film and a couple of drinks before settling down in a comfprtable cabin. I can never understand the obsession with domestic flights in a small country. I've gone two years without flying, last time was to a conference in italy.

I like your blog by the way. Found it via your comments on the Guardian blog.


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