The second time, my friend was working for an airline company, which was very fortuitous at the time of my mother being taken critically ill in Cape Town, he managed to secure a business class ticket for me one way and first class on the return trip. All I had to do was pay the airport taxes which amounted to £300, we worked out that the entire trip had I paid full whack would have set me back £5.400.
But finances being what they are, with my impending trip to Cape Town later this year, I will have to settle for steerage class again. Being a big person, I fit rather snugly into an aeroplane seat; I normally opt for an aisle seat, so at least I can stretch my legs out into the passage at intervals during the long flight. I pity the passengers that are long limbed, on one flight the man sitting next to me was 6’2 and he could not fit into a seat properly. Another time, a woman who was just on 5’9 found that her knees fitted tightly onto the back of the seat in front of her, she complained bitterly about this saying by todays’ standards she is not overly tall.
On one journey, I sat on an aisle seat, to the side of the aircraft; the seatbelt did not adjust, and would not fit round my concertina stomach. The skinny man sitting next to me found this extremely funny and offer to give me a piece of his. The air hostess came along and gave me a luminous extension belt, which shone in the dark when they dimmed the lights for take-off, much to the mirth of my fellow passenger.
There is much to be said for first class travel, you are able to sleep for most of the journey, with the adjustable seat that turns down into a bed, with comfortable duvets and attentive attendants, and all the other additional extras like champagne, pyjamas, and luxury toiletries – you arrive feeling refreshed. Economy is another story, you sit hard by your neighbour, in a cramp space. The flight seems endless, on landing, you feel as if you have been in a cocktail shaker for 12 hours, and spend the next day trying to recover.
I am dreading the flight to South Africa and am looking at the option of at least flying one way in style and luxury.
About the author:
Immigrated to the UK 20 years ago, has an interest in art, culture, community and upliftment projects, is a keen cook, and has a cordon bleu qualification. Currently involved in academia and research. Loves a bargain, and is known as the Voucher Queen amongst her friends. Enjoys writing on topics that interests her. You can follower her on twitter @rowanmoira