Posted by Andy Bell
Is there any travel experience worse than the check-in ?
First, you have all the gnawing anxiety of your soon to be fellow travellers.
Passports, tickets and other paperwork are fumbled with and perused to within an inch of their lives.
Associated kiddies are comforted and/or slapped. And that’s just you. Their parents are arguing or posting a status update.
Meanwhile, and within unavoidable earshot, the more senior passengers on your flight wonder out loud endlessly about on-board catering and toilet facilities.
Then there’s the hopelessly overloaded types with exploding suitcases and a set of take-on luggage which would keep a small insurgent group stocked up for a week-long coup in any developing country.
Am I the only sane one who’ll be on this plane ?
You then spend 4 minutes trying to find your passport.
When you finally break free of all of the above there’s the challenge of dealing with the airline staff.
Am I unlucky or does everybody get the customer service interface officers to whom a PC is as alien as a 17th century viola ?
They stare bleakly into the screen, shake their heads and thump away at the keys.
After several tut-tuts and a muttered “this system’s rubbish” they make eye contact again and smile.
“Have a great flight.”
You saunter away, convinced that your cases are hurtling to Mombassa or Albury.
With that particular horror dealt with, all that’s left is the humiliation of a hole in the sock at security, the outrage of a $7 cup of coffee and the chance to write some ranty stuff at an internet cafe.
Then it’s off to 29J, a quick scan on the inflight mag and the sudden, fevered thought that you might not have turned the hot water system off.