What pisses me off when travelling by air.

It’s people.

Bloody people.

Why do they have to, just have to, recline their seat so I can no longer fit my legs in behind them, can’t see the screen properly, even when the meal is being served. Selfish, selfish bastards.

Why do so many people bring on board hand luggage that is purposely just oversize? Barely fit in to the overhead lockers, wastes so much time trying to squeeze it in……

So, you’re in the departure lounge, waiting to board. No announcement, but people start to queue. Why? What is so exciting that people start to queue even when nothing’s happening? Morons!

I was going to say portly, but that’s too polite – fat people sat next to you. I’m not fat, and I can only just squeeze into most steerage class seats. I don’t need bits of your flab encroaching into my tiny bit of space thank you! And who said that armrest was yours, anyway?
Sniffers and sneezers, bloody sniffers and sneezers – where’s your tissue or handkerchief? Why do you insist on sharing your germs with me? Bugger off.

Children. Noisy screaming children. Now you kids, I appreciate flying is a pretty miserable experience, but why are you and your parents sitting so close to me? Should have a separate, soundproofed part of the plane for young kids. Preferably the hold. (I jest about that bit..)

On landing, you’re clearly told not to move until the seatbelt sign is off. But these people have to jump Roger Baraup, get their case out of the locker, and then what? Bloody queue again! What’s the point, they won’t be going anywhere in a hurry.

My next flight is in 6 weeks. Six flights in seven days. I start my therapy tomorrow.


We fly the skies of the world

Air travel has always been a pure thrill to me.

My first flight: July, 1986, I am 12, flying from the Domodedovo airport in Moscow to Kamchatka. A dream come true. As a kid, I’ve always envied my cousins flying from there to Moscow and back.

Air travel was like flying a magic carpet to me then, something you thought couldn’t really happen. Going beyond.

On the way back from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, a 9-hour flight, I saw the Midnight Sun as our Ilyushin-62 jet was flying above Russia’s Arctic shoreline. Red lantern in the white sky to the right of you: a very long one-shot road movie.


Next stop: a flight to America, August 1993. A Delta flight, American food on board, me a green Russian exchange student travelling to New York then to Vermont and, eventually, to Waco, Texas. Out of the troubled Mother Russia to the Neverland. ‘Life’s too short not to live it as a Texan’.

Then there were many other flights. At some point, I got aerophobia and even thinking about flying was terrible for me.

I remember my flight from Tokyo, the coolest city in the world where past meets the future, back to Moscow in August 2002. I was shaking all the way, a fever all nine hours on board the JAL 747, sweat on my arms. That turbulence became a nightmare to me.

Approaching Moscow, the Jumbo made several circles around the airport because of traffic. The giant plane was going up and down with the autopilot off. Landed safely after all. Upon landing, a Japanese guy, a JAL engineer, who happened to travel on the same plane, clearly said the pilot’s way of approaching and landing was ‘kyoso’ (‘sh*t’ in Japanese)….

April 2016, Tribhuvan airport at Kathmandu, Nepal: a Eurocopter going up the Himalayas bound for Pakding, a place 2,600 meters above sea level. (Otherwise you would spend a week getting there on your feet). Going up in the sky, with the hazy green hills so close you might touch the trees. And it was a ‘copter, not a jet or even a twin turbo. Om mani padme hum! This was scary, man!

Just a week ago: returning from Juneau, Alaska, to Anchorage. I kind of get used to flying now, but some turbulence did happen again and the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 was really shaking. I almost didn’t care, though I wasn’t relaxed.

So what is my point?

Air travel to me is always an adventure in itself, no matter what the destination is, Colombo, Kodiak or Dubai. I am fine with it, having no complaints about food or service. I am a good passenger. The only Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergeything I want is the number of take-offs equaling the number of safe landings.

Should I say ‘Amen’?



This is not fair!

Limit some poor fellow to just a single complaint about air travel? You kidding me? OK, maybe we can compromise on two?

There are very few industries with a greater disconnect between product cost and sales price than the airlines. What you pay for a ticket has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of the flight. Do you really think fuel cost more on a Thursday than a Saturday? These multi-nationals charge as much as they can get away with and try to hide other cost until after they have that card number. If they can gouge you, they certainly will. Grandma has had a heart attack and you need to rush to the hospital tomorrow: we have you now!

I used to live in the Great Smoky Mountains and the nearest commercial airport was in a city named Knoxville. The flight from NYC to London cost less than the ninety minute hop to Knoxville.

Boeing 777 - Pushkin
Boeing 777 – Pushkin

My second gripe is more of a lament and I suppose it’s bigger than the airlines. I remember not that long ago people would dress-up for a long trip. Yes, a coat & tie is over kill and you should be comfortable; however, on my last flight to Russia I took Aeroflot from Dulles (Washington) to Moscow, and was appalled. Locked away on the Pushkin for hours while some woman picked her toenails and Photograph of Dean Lewismen walked around in ratty T-shirts is more than a little disappointing.

What is wrong with you people?

One thought on “Air Travel”
  1. From the above you may think I don’t love to fly. I always ask for a window seat so I can see the small towns below. I find myself wondering what they do there… how do they live? What do you think; post your thoughts below.

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