Monday, 5 May 2008

Planes I have missed

I don't mean that I longed for them; I mean that I didn't catch them. In my entire life I have missed only three planes (and not longed for any).

The first was a 19-seater Beechcraft from a small military airfield in Wiltshire to an even smaller civilian airfield in Cumbria. I missed it because I got lost in Bath (not actually on the way to the airfield), but my excuse was that floods the night before had blocked the minor roads I had planned to drive down. No harm was done: I just caught the next flight, a couple of hours later, and arrived all too soon in the lovely town of Barrow.

The second was an Air France flight from Lyons back to London. I missed it because I stayed too long at a meeting and was afraid to drive like a Frenchman in order to get back to Lyons in time.

The third was an EasyJet flight from Glasgow to Bristol. I was at the boarding gate early; but I fell asleep sitting there and woke just after the boarding for my flight had closed. Frequent red-eye flights have taught me to catnap, and I now do it too well.

I'm not a nervous flyer, and actually enjoy turbulence, but I am a nervous traveler. So many things could go wrong: setting the alarm for 4.00pm instead of 4.00 am; having the wrong id (I once brought my boyfriend's passport instead of my own); packing something illegal (I have no idea how that carpet tack got into my carry-on bag, but it didn't get through security); boarding the wrong plane (I've done that twice)... I may seem to have done every dumb thing I could have done at airports, but I fear there are more awaiting discovery.

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