Sunday, 4 July 2010

Holiday snaps: A touch of privilege


Step forward for access
The wait at Madrid was long enough, just under 3 hours of killing time during which I sat in the dire lounge watching planes touch-down and take-off.
I had arrived too early for a gate number for my transit flight and was informed I would be called when the gate is known.
A few minutes before boarding time I saw the gate on the screen and made for the boarding gate, within 10 minutes the announcer asked us to come forward giving priority to those who might need assistance, elite passengers and those with children.
Grabbed from privilege
So, I stepped forward being an elite passenger by reason of loyalty but just as I was about to present my boarding pass, I was tapped on the shoulder by a man, a father with his wife and child in a stroller and he gesticulated to his child, I then gesticulated with my cane.
The question then becomes who needs more assistance, two able-bodied adults with a bubbly child of 2 or a man who needs a cane to walk about?
The matter of priority is another thing, I would have had to show off my elite card and mouth a near obscenity – in both cases, the fair-minded would defer to my being served first in those circumstances.
I was in no mood to get rattled by some stupid sightless aggravation, I let them go before me, I would have been slower anyway because we had to ride a bus to the plane getting there by steps; there was no gangway connection.
Late but sped
When we finally got on the plane, I thought we would be on time, it took another 45 minutes before we took off just because some people had taken their Spanish siesta early rather than make their way to the airport and onto the plane.
One thing about flying is you cannot be done for speeding, we made up for lost time and gained back 30 of those 45 minutes, an Airbus 330-200 it was and what a bumpy ride we had in the air at some points.
Baggage declaim
At Las Palmas, one of my airport peeves was played before me, people who gather at the conveyor belt blocking the way for others who already have their stuff on the belt. There just doesn’t seem to be any decorum at those places, dare I say a sense of breeding at the risk of snobbery.
When I said excuse me to get my suitcase, with a cane in one hand, surely, someone could have offered to help, but no, I struggled with it and as I got it off, well, it literally landed on a big buffoon’s feet who should have moved out of the way seeing I was pulling off the equivalent of a trunk. It should not be Baggage Reclaim but Baggage Declaim.
At the exit, I saw my name with the N in my surname, I forgave the infringement, handed my suitcase to the chauffeur and got to the hotel to be welcomed by known faces again.

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