Wednesday, December 10, 2008

coffee, tea or a tranquilizer?

15 hours at 37,000 feet, divided by 115lbs of shaking, quivering nerves, equals how many valium? flying time for the annual christmas pilgrimage to the middle east is in excess of 7 hours overtime for the average 8 hour work day (pilots get tired too, even after several hours of watching computers do all the work). while i realize the wonderful learning opportunity available to overcome my fear of crashing, i tend to see it as more time to perfect a seamless finish, stripping the skin from my cuticles up to the armpit.

i have never flown the abu dhabi based airline, etihad, so i referred to: my-brother-the-pilot for safety record information, seat configuration, and the inevitable 'never matured from how to most agitate my sibling'. he was able to confirm through narrative and the above image of airbus engineers running the engines, and breaking the plane from it's chocks; "but this was before airbus sold the A340 to etihad, don't worry".

due to the large number of christmas presents i will be hauling with me, i did check etihad's luggage allowance, and was a little disappointed that traveling economy- or "coral" class, means that my parents will not get their matching his 'n hers gift set this year.
• 1 falcon per guest (per seat) is permitted. Charge for one falcon (which is considered 3 kilos) is 3 times the normal excess baggage rate of the journey.
• 1 additional falcon can be carried when an extra seat is purchased within same class. No excess baggage charges for the additional falcon will apply.

as a final act of younger brotherly reassurance, he also sent me an image of the carcass of an air france A340, noting; "all crew and passengers survived".

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