Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Up up and away...

Eastern Airlines Tags, originally uploaded by RetroRed.

...and down again. Last weekend I journeyed through the air briefly to visit the Fella, and this got me thinking about air travel. Flying in a 747 is still exciting, although the modern world has made it less so. And definitely less glamorous...or is that just when I do it?

After catching various forms of public transport to the airport, I trudged down and around the corner to the Tiger terminal. I know Tiger is the low budget choice, and well, their low fares made my weekend visit possible, but ugh, why is everything so nasty (as in cheap'n') at the terminal? I joined the check in queue with many impatient travellers, including the requisite bogans en route to the Gold Coast. As I was shuffle-queueing yet again to get through security and into their terminal I had the joy of overhearing quarreling folk behind me. Apparently said femme-bogue could not read and was somewhat irked at having to pay $70 for excess baggage. Bogan male told her she'd have to "grin and bear it", as she "always takes too much shit everywhere." Femme-bogue* countered that "if there weren't people waiting for us and accommodation booked, I would have told them to shove it up their arse" ...and the conversation continued about how it's all a rort on Tiger's part and she couldn't see the difference if her luggage was carry-on or checked as it's all going on the same plane anyway and male bogan told her that "she was the one who wanted to book these cheap tickets so it's your fault" and there was much "never again-ing" and general disgruntlement. By this stage I was a bit hot and weary and just wanted to tell them to STFU but didn't really fancy a smack in the head.

The Tiger waiting area/departure gates are particularly ordinary - uninspired food purveyors, dirty toilets and oodles of plastic seats. Oh and display screens that misinform customers as to which gate their fight is going from. And almost inaudible announcements that misinform the customers as to which gate their flight is going from and whether or not it's time to board. After watching the Gold Coast flight travellers walk en masse from gate 3 to 2 and finally back to gate 2 (or was it 1? I lost track) after each announcement (in the space of 5 minutes), I don't really blame them for getting a bit ansty. I just stayed put and hoped that getting on my Adelaide flight would be relatively straightforward. And it was, l-o-n-g walk along the tarmac notwithstanding.

However, the flights themselves, the aircraft and the flight crew were excellent. Am I the only person who never wanted to be an air hostess**? The thought of having to pile on two tonnes of makeup and walk up and down the aisle with that trolley leaves me stone cold. Never mind the thought of having to look after everyone if the plane is in trouble. Someone out there give me some reason why it's generally considered "exciting and glamorous"... and the modern uniforms are almost always ugly (Yes I'm looking at you QANTAS). So anyway Tiger, you're not too bad, if you check in VERY early, just take carry on, and hopefully aren't located anywhere near (unhappy) nouveau bogan punters.

Not Tiger:

After my travelling experience I thought to myself how much we take for granted and if I was a kid I would have been super excited by everything. But now, apart from taking off, I find it dull, and I must confess I am not a stylish traveller, what with my thongs, and my large arse taking up seat room and probably annoying my neighbours. "Perhaps some spunky luggage would help?" thought I this morning, as I was pondering my weekend (and the fact that the handles are starting to come away from my overnight bag). Op-shop retro suitcase (on a practical level) has thus far eluded me, so perhaps the interwebs will help? Let me see...

My preferred QANTAS uniform. [image source]

*yes she was very Fake Nails.
**sure they have a modern PC name, but that's what I always refer to them as. Even the boy ones.


  1. Thank you. You have just reminded me in glowing detail why I am not going to book those tickets for a family getaway. Sod it, I'd rather drive somewhere else for a couple of hours and bribe my kids dangling jelly snakes out the window.

  2. I fly Tiger a fair bit between Melbourne and Sydney. I find if you know how to read AND understand instructions, you have no problems! Yes, you have to check in early and you're only allowed 7kg carry-on but golly, the tickets are around $30. All the bogans love to complain so they get on that 'Airways' show.

  3. I never wanted to be an airline hostess but I do very much dig retro and vintage airline staff especially their cool fashions. Have you ever seen "come fly with me"? It's a 1962 airline movie very cool. Yeah it's sucky you had to listen to that fellow passenger moaning, folks like her ruin other folks holidays.

  4. Oh Steph...so funny and so true.
    We went to the Gold Coast and we can safely say we will never go again. They should tow that part of Australia out into the ocean and let it drift away.
    Ben and I arrived looking quite decent and after a quick walk around to get out map skills sorted Ben looked at me and said "We have to get back to the hotel and change. I feel like a mormon."
    We discovered that nobody likes pants past thigh length in the GC.
    Tiger is excellent in the air. The barbed wire at Melbourne arrivals is ultra stylish. I always like to feel like a refugee when arriving home.


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