That wasn’t so bad, though it tried to be. The plane was stuffed full, and I was in the middle seat of the middle aisle smack in the middle of the airplane. That’s usually the signal for me to begin punching the seat in front of me and making that high-pitched, keening wail so beloved of flight attendants and ridiculously aggressive air marshals. Instead, I dissolved half a milligram of Xanax under my tongue (the bitter taste means “the cavalry is coming!”) and slept half the way home.
Dammit. If I could make that stuff in the bathtub, I would live out my days a happy weasel.
My passport expires in a few months, which means I’ve been making this trip regularly for ten years. I think my first round trip ticket was a little over $600. Then for a while, in a low traffic month like February, you could fly to Britain for $99 each way, and airport fees and taxes only added, like, $40 to that. You could hop over for a warm beer and a candied eel, if you had the hankering. Post 9/11, it’s back up to $600ish (depending on how close you cut it to Christmas or Summer vacation). Stupid terrorists.
Still, you know what it costs to make the trip in first class? In the tony neighborhood of $5,000. I suppose most of the people up there have a corporate gig or are burning up some frequent flyer miles or something. Still, I stare into their sullen faces as me and the other proles file past, and I know what they’re thinking.
They’re thinking, “it sucks that I don’t own a private jet!”