The Secret Comedy Of Flying: Life’s Own Inflight Entertainment

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I’m a solo travel expert, solopreneur and founder of Wanderful Company, a labour of love inspired by 19 glorious years of non-stop traveling alone. 

Equipped with nothing more than a suitcase, a one-way ticket and an incessant desire to be happy, I’ve gone from one solo travel adventure to the next for almost one third of my life to countries including Argentina, Brazil, Italy and France.
I'm Kirsteen!
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Comedy of flying, you may be thinking? Well, my little pickle, have you ever been on your way to a fabulous vacation and just couldn’t wait to get on the flight? Were you so keen, you paid for early boarding only to find out most of the flight had done the same? Have you ever been through security knowing you have nothing nothing nothing metal in your possession yet that damn machine ‘beep beeps’ despite you checking a million times?

Welcome to the secret comedy of flying and life’s own inflight entertainment! Whatever your reason for traveling, and how you do it, you’ve got to admit, it is funny! When you take time to slow down, banish the zoom calls, lift your head from scrolling, and ween yourself off new Netflix series, you can see comedy everywhere. And flying is no exception!

Pour some wine, my little cupcake, kick off those weary looking slippers you live in, and buckle up on the sofa…time for some onboard entertainment…

The Comedy of Flying…but first…

Congrats, you’ve navigated through airport security like a pro, and made it to the other side! You don’t have to flash the contents of your well-packed suitcase to all and sundry! An Olympic medal, sweetie. And you smiled courteously without one mutter of the F word. Oscar worthy performance I’d say. But heh, don’t get too cosy. The journey has only just began. LOL…the Q word…

Queue is a tricky little noun that has an identity all of its own. You see, some of us really do queuing well. It is a British institution! A line of ever so polite Punctual Polly’s, who stand proud at our queuing prowess. (The Secret Comedy of Airport Lounges). Analysing a queue can tell you a lot about fellow passengers without one word being said, none more so than daddy parent!

Have you ever told your children discreetly to keep their elbows out in boarding queues, and had to admit you are bonkers?!

Parent: the elbow game, asks parent excitedly?

Child: No!

To which the small child sits on the floor and sulks and he isn’t even on the flight yet.

Parent: (to himself) Give me strength! This is going to be a long flight!

Sulky child clearly not playing ball.

Child: I need the toilet?

Parent: (to himself) I need a f”king vacation on my own!!!

For The Love Of Boarding

Now, there is a whole comedy world to observe at the boarding zone! Passengers actively scan the vicinity for any movement of check-in lady! A how dare he is muttered quietly under the breath of onlookers at the audacity of a rebel who puts his suitcase down at the front and waits smugly. A few passengers begin twitching, and scanning even more intensely. Less than 30 seconds pass, and like sheep, a second rebel appears and number three in quick succession as those slow of the block watch the queue grow as fast as Donald Trump’s bank balance.

Ahhh, as the dulcet tones of ladies and gentleman, please have passports open for inspection. Please form an orderly queue. Clearly Mademoiselle Check-In hasn’t gotten the memo. Queue is not in the least bit orderly and a few cabin bags have as much chance of ‘fitting in’ as a lamb chop at a vegan’s fest!

An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.


Cabin Doors To Manual

Boarding beckons (hoorah!) and you are quickly welcomed by that practised stretch smile of the cabin crew. And even though boarding passes have been thoroughly checked, they feel the need to do it again in case you fall into the category of intellectually challenged. Oh, the comedy of flying!

You slowly advance down the aisle, gritting teeth by this point! One ‘in my own little world type’ takes his time to squash his jacket above and sit his ass down on the seat like a good little chap to let the bottleneck pass! And just as you sigh, at last, he forgot something in his luggage and pauses the queue AGAIN to get out his flying pillow. WTF you whisper as bottleneck tension is heating up again! And you think, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SAY I AM NOT SITTING NEXT TO HIM.

As you sail on by with a phew, ‘lucky me’, you scan the seats ahead hoping some sexy hottie is going to be sitting next to you! Finally, you are seated, buckled in and your hottie manifesting skills having to wait until the return flight, you let out an ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! And the comedy of flying just keeps going as one last dash of a last call passenger who finally arrives! Yes, there she is, you mutter as muppet has clearly been in the Duty Free not paying attention, judging by the perfume she is wafting along the aisle, eyebrows looking like windscreen wipers and a bold choice of freshly applied lipstick. F”K IT, I NEED MY OWN JET, you shout!

And daddy parent?

Impatient parent – check, child still not willing to play ball – check

Rebel child puts elbow out now. He was told it was a game after all! Parent on the edge – check check and more check ! Impatient steward gives an annoyed look at parent. Oh he must have picked that up at school, I’ve always said education needs changing. He turns to wife with a look! OK Fuck it, I need a vacation from the vacation. Nobody is coming with me next time and the only thing I will be elbowing is the bar and my large well deserved glass of wine. Wifey: now dear, calm down, we don’t want to be ejected for bad behaviour, now do we?!

And the Oscar goes to…

Now the Oscar for the best comedy of flying goes to…….FOOD!

Food is bonkers at the best of time. But in the sky, well, it takes on a whole new world. Why does rice and pasta make the cut every flippin flight??? Not again, you sigh. Oh, well, I am going to savor my dessert, you think. Oh, maybe a chocolate sponge? Yummy, you sigh, A little apple crumble? Delish, you smile. Or a creme brulee? How exciting, you think! (Mr Branson, if you reading???)

And as you slide that pasta and rice conconction to the side, you open pud…..Oh f’’k it, we have rice pudding too and you begin to wonder if that is the rice the last flight hadn’t eaten. And you can sigh, breakfast is coming, and you hallucinate fresh eggs, juice and toast. But heh, you open the foil like an eager beaver and what do you find??? F”’KING RICE!!!

Now that lady steward has done a balancing act with a hot coffee pot and tray, and you happy you chose the window seat. Woe betide anyone who asks her for something like an extra milk. And just as she fills up the flight with caffeine, the inflight shopping comes along. Have you ever noticed how that trolley works its way at lightning speed and stewardess ups the plastic smile! Give me your money, you f”kers, she is thinking while most of the flight is looking a little bloated on rice!!!

Seat belt no more.

And as happy flight comes in to land, and said child knows elbows are no longer needed now he has been briefed by parent. Smug parent pats his son on the head for being a good prop that he gets to leave first! And as flight lands, (and rebel passenger has already unclipped his seat belt), steward announces the flight will disembark from the back door instead. Karma is a beatch.

This Is Your Captains Speaking…

Ladies and gentleman, thank you flying UP UP AND AWAY Airlines. We hope you have enjoyed the flight. my little rice lovers. You are on vacation, and that means one thing, sunblock, poolside and inflatable flamingo. Happy vacay, been a pleasure, I will leave you with one last thing. Vacation is a gift, inflight entertainment is a gift, the food you ate on my flight is a gift, the fact this plane can fly is a gift! Spare a thought for all those who came before and made it all possible.

Happy travels, that’s a wrap!

Until next time, my little cupcake XO!

And if you want to feel just that little bit more chilled when flying, pop to the bookshop! What Would Carrie Do is my new Bridget Jones style comedy and a guaranteed dose of the happy vibes! Click here.

PS check out last month’s post:

Happy Trails: Songs That Make You Smile

If you’d love to learn how to plan your very first solo travel adventure, click here on Solo Travel Masterclass (launching in the Spring).

If You Like The Post, Also Check Out:

How To Be Your Own Emily In Paris

Traveling Alone: Top Tips From A Solo Travel Expert

Is Solo Travel Lonely? No. Here’s Why

The Secret Comedy Of The Airport Lounge

The Secret Life Of The Office Coffee Machine

And A ‘Wanderful’ Link…

How To Travel Alone And Love It – Vogue

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hi, i'm kirsteen

Your new BFF & Travel Coach.

I'm an ex-Corporate girl who gave up a very successful career in the UK for a dream life traveling alone. Why solo? To do what I wanted,  where I wanted, and when I wanted. That was 15 years ago when I left with nothing more than a suitcase and an incessant desire to be happy. I've never looked back...


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