Friday, December 03, 2010


All aboard!

These long-haul flights can be a bear and I've been fretting about this return since I arrived in Africa. On the way down, I had an entire row to myself from Brussels to Kigali. Then, in Kigali, the plane filled up for the hop to Entebbe and then the return to Brussels. Would my return be as packed as the arrival? I hoped not.

While waiting in the lounge at Entebbe, I jumped on the computer to see what was what. Would my flight be jam-packed and miserable? Or would get lucky?

The in-flight meal.

As the seating chart loaded, I nearly cried for joy. Our flight was going to be as light as the arrival. I had lucked out. Locating an empty row, I assigned myself 25G and just waited until the plane arrived.

Our flight arrived about 25 minutes late because of the snowstorm that had been blanketing Western Europe for last day or two. As we boarded, I noticed that some interlopers had squatted my seats 25G and 25F - damn them. I thought about telling them to move but I remembered that there were more seats open and that I was privvy to privileged information.

I sat in 29F and started securing my row by commandeering the pillows and spreading my bag in 29E and making it clear to anyone eyeing 29D that they would only have claim to that seat and not the E seat. I noticed other antsy passengers lurking about looking for any open rows they could hoist for themselves. This would be a blood feud to the death.

Beef with roasted potatoes, green beans and carrots.

This is another reason why I like to board last. I know there's almost no one coming up behind me and the seating is now my oyster. I can pick and choose as I desire.

After a few terse moments that looked like they could escalate into a standoff, everyone settled down, the doors were closed, the cabin was sprayed with sanitizer spray and we were off for the seven hour marathon to Brussels.

Mid-flight darkness. The way I like it.

The flight itself was smooth. I slept for about four hours and felt semi-rested for the day's activities when we landed in Brussels.

Now, if the snow doesn't mess up the schedule, we'll be just fine...

My Lie Flat Seating: 29D-G

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