Friday, February 02, 2007

Fly High

Am not a frequent flier with any particular airlines. Infact am not a frequent flier at all. Once in two months, sometimes three, is my frequency. But whenever I do, its fun. With these no-freebie-low cost airlines coming in, prices have dropped and people don’t think twice before booking a ticket. But then there are some who tend to have an air around them and even on flight, when all are in air, they want to maintain that air! Hence, they fly only certain airlines and proudly flaunt their frequent-flying, privilege passenger cards on airports, many even before entering the airport and some long after they have checked out of the airport.

My last visit to the airport was pretty interesting. I had a flight of events flying all around. I took a cab whose driver was a regular driver, dropping people to the airport. The moment he took the second gear, his monologue on people going to the airport began. His recitation ranged from the way people talk on mobile while on his cab, as if they are going to catch the flight to Greece and not Gandhinagar, the way they keep checking their baggage zips as if they are walking through a crowd and not sitting alone inside a cab to the way his passengers keep looking at the watch knowing well that the distance will not shorten any which way they look at it. His final statement was a winner. He said, “I too have a passport, so what’s the big deal in flying”? I almost laughed on his face, through the rear mirror ofcourse, but controlled.

At the entrance, courtesy the online booking and ‘print your ticket’ option, a passenger was quarrelling with the security guard who was not letting him enter as the guard could not read the print out! I was allowed in, even though I too was on a ‘print this page’ ticket, but my page was more legible than the other guy. I could not find that poor soul inside the airport even after sitting for 20 minutes, so I really don’t know if his print out kept him out!

The best part is always the flight. Since, its winter time, fog is an inevitability in my part of the country. I was surprised that none of the passengers actually raised his/her voice over the 20 minutes delay in the take off. I guessed, most of them were pretty tired. Oh, I am sorry, I did not tell you I was taking the last flight of the day. So, most of the people on board were half asleep. I assume most of the air-hosts and hostesses too. There were no freebies to be distributed, but then there was no hospitality shown towards passengers finding it difficult to find their seats. They stood with a stale smile, so (un)welcoming at almost mid night. Now, here comes the clincher again. The moment the prettiest among the ugliest group of air hostesses I ever flew with, finished the ritual safety instructions, I heard clapping from the rear side of the plane. Most of us turned back to see who it is. A gentleman with loosened tie and a light blazer on was standing in the aisle and clapping. He paused momentarily, and finally said with a wavering voice, “very good performance, very good. Amazing”. (Pretty much Boman Irani style in Khosla ka Ghosla). I think there was no one on the plane who did not roll in laughter. Except the gentleman, ofcourse. He stood for a minute or so, confused why people are laughing?

Only later we came to know, we were only flying high. The gentleman was ‘high’ on the flight.

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