Many things are right about flying high above the earth, but then, there are so many things that are not - right from booking tickets to landing and walking out of a plane! You're never really safe until you're at least a few kilometres away from the nearest airport. I have so many woes I will have to break this up into several small parts.
First, starting with airplane woe # 1 - Why in the world do I never get seated next to a hot guy in a plane?! It's a modest enough wish - to want to sit next to a hot guy, or even if not physically hot, someone who is capable of mind-blowing conversation to help kill the time. I don't expect it to happen every time I step inside a plane, but I think it's fair to hope for some good luck just once in a while. I mean, how simple is that? Especially when you're on a 24+ long flight, when your butt aches, and your muscles cramp, and you're bored stiff, a nice guy would definitely help.
But no. Never happens, not once in a while, not ever! I sit next to sleepers, snorers, annoying children, very old people, or just rude-looking people, the type that looks at you like you're prey, or people I share no common language with - EVERY damn time! There will be cute guys in the plane, fate will just see to it they are seated as far away from you as possible.
I was on such a morbidly long flight once, hoping that I'd get someone fun. And guess who I landed? This man from Punjab, 60 something, spoke no English, French, or Mizo :P Hungry all the time, complained a lot about the Indian meals they served, and when he wanted extra bread (or anything else), he would just raise his hand, and shout at the top 0f his voice 'P-R-R-E-A-D'! And me sitting on the aisle seat meant almost all the heads that turned to look would only see me.
I think this is a joke that fate likes to play on me. I mean, just think, what are the chances of landing a Punjabi seatmate in San Francisco!? Not a lot right? But yep, it happened to me! And that is just one of many instances.
Airplane woe # 2 - Woe, because all my life's saving is with big airplane companies, and not in my bank savings as they should be. What the frig is with the airfares in India?! I just went and booked tickets for my Christmas trip home. I had a friend with me who was booking tickets for her Christmas trip to Zurich. And I will understand if you think I am lying, but I paid only Rs 100 less for my Aizawl ticket than she did for her Zurich ticket!
Zurich, Switzerland from Hyderabad, India, and Mizoram, India from Hyderabad, India - a 9+ hour long flight, and a 3.45 hour long flight, both round-trip flights, and just a hundred rupees difference. Yeah I know, WHAT THE HELL!
Incidentally, this same airfare to Mizoram is more than what I paid for my Thailand tickets. But why am I even wasting my breath? I should be used to this great land where we are forced to pay first class prices for third class services all the time! But I'm still so unsatisfied with Indian Airlines and their crappy planes, sulky attendants, and terrible food (esp. Kol-Azl flight ).
(And yes, if you have been dreaming of a trip to Switzerland, but have always thought it'd be too expensive, it's not if you can afford to travel within India. You can afford it, so go in peace and book your tickets now. It really is that cheap!)
Airplane woe #3 - Air Deccan and their stupid no-refund policy! You know how they have that thing about canceling, but not getting your money back, but having to redeem that amount minus cancellation charges to book other flights with them within 6 months. Well, I think that's got to be the most ridiculous, absurd, money-grabbing scheme ever! What if it's someone that don't even travel a lot?
I once booked a flight for almost Rs 7000 that I had to cancel later. Naturally, since I had all those funds stuck with them, I had to fly Air Deccan even though I think they suck big time, so I used the money to book a Rs 2000 flight a few weeks later. I traveled several times during the course of the remaining 6 months, but had to travel by different airlines as Deccan didn't have tickets available for my desired times/dates. And before I knew it, my 6 months was up, leaving my Rs 4000 something balance stranded with Deccan. Air Deccan, is this kinda like a punishment for canceling my flight in the first place? Well anyway, f*** you and I will never book any of my flights with you again, even if it means traveling by donkeys! And much safer not to anyway, all their planes look and sound like they can fall apart any minute.
Also, Thai Airways took almost a month (or was it even more than a month) to process my refund. Anyway, what is it with these airlines in India? I'm afraid all my frustration with them will kill my love for traveling. And I know they are never quite this difficult in other countries. When it comes to horrid customer service, I think a lot of these airlines are second only to....Citibank. Citibank's customer service is the stuff of nightmares, so I won't even go there.
Whew! End of part 1. And if I come across as a major whiner, and I know I may be one at this point, but I'm really only angry that I have all this Christmas shopping to do, and my iPod died, which means I need a new one, and all my friends seem to be having their birthdays this time of the year, so that's a lot of expenses, AND then booking all these flight tickets is no way to be Mother Teresa-like for sure!