Came in on Easyjet last night, 45 minutes late – I don’t mind that, it happens – but I was rather annoyed to hear the Flight Attendant (or whatever they’re called this week) say, ‘Would you please leave the aircraft as quickly as possible as we have only eight minutes to turn it around’.
Wait a minute, isn’t the reason that you’ve only got eight minutes the fact that you were late taking off? And have you ever tried getting off a Boeing 737 quickly? I imagine an emergency disembarkation - flames are licking at the starboard engine and you’re in row 29 waiting for the woman in row 28 to find her make-up case…
…and I got to thinking about all the fatuous statements made by airline crews. As we were taxiing to take off, that same Hostess/Stewardess/Flight Attendant said, ‘As we have a very full flight tonight we will not be providing our usual drinks service’. What’s that? You only do drinks if you have a handful of customers? At what level of occupancy do you decide that the aircraft is so full of pesky passengers that you will deny them the privilege of purchasing a few millilitres of throat-burn for 6 pounds? I noticed they managed to get the ‘Duty Free’ trolley around easily enough - could this be because there’s more profit on a bottle of Chanel No. 5 than there is on a cup of coffee? (And do you think we don’t know that there’s no such thing as Duty Free between two European Union countries?)
Another one that gets me is ‘We apologise for our late departure - this was due to the late arrival of the incoming aircraft’. Well yes, but since you are the same people that crewed the incoming aircraft, it sounds like you’re saying, ‘We’re late because we’re late’. Why can they never tell you the real reason? We’re grown up.
(When I got to England and switched on the news, there was Stelios – owner of Easyjet – showing off his apartment in Monaco.)
So I made a decision: we’re flying British Airways next time. It may cost twice as much, but you get a free cardboard sandwich, the drinks trolley does come around, and it’s free - even if the wine does arrive 20 minutes after you’ve finished your meal.