The new CrapAir improved business model
Hello fellow patrons of the air travel industry. Welcome to the cattle market where us sheep pay for the fantastic customer service that the new breed of airline operator is offering.
Book and travel before the cabin crew and airport baggage handler holiday strikes begin. The last gasp efforts of the triumphant trots to protect the union members’ jobs hang in the balance whilst the grievous plans by the management poison industrial relations to the point of no return. Well done chaps! The customer is King?
There are amazingly still some good companies surviving and have not gone bust yet to transport you to your destination before the CEO’s and Boards consolidate their multimillion pound retirement plans and destroy some more of Great Britain’s heritage as they pursue the ultimate perk. Reward for failure is the goal! Top up those perks get the new company cars ordered for Christmas. Pssst! Do not mention the free first class flights to anywhere in the World – for life. The New Year’s honour is in the post.
The great strategy and master plan to finish off loyal work forces with the most successful method at their disposal. Namely cut and slash jobs Goodwin style thus giving the shareholders the impression that the margins have been boosted due to the brilliant performance that their unremarkable stewardships contribute resulting in short term profits and bonuses. This is the bread and butter, smoke and mirrors stuff achieved on the back of non-efficiencies and zero business improvements for successful companies that are being driven into the ground.
I smell a tax payer funded bailout for another great British Institution run by buffoons. Get those quantitative easing printing machines going. I wish Santa would bring me one of those for Christmas I could save the banks or prop up Europe and save the third World from climate change catastrophe. Cor! It would be better than winning the lottery every week! Perhaps not, welfare benefits do take some beating.
So people, keep on working get those taxes rolling in to repay the national deficit. Your country needs you!
Right here we go! The comparison web sites have been trawled and after a detailed analysis of the special offers the lowest price for the standing room one way, no frills flight for my DIY booking is only £4.99p.
Then having calculated baggage excess charges for sporting equipment, musical instruments and online administrative check-in fees at £30.00p per person and clicking through various CrapAir add-ons including the return flight and aviation stealth taxes. APD (Air Passenger Duty) for example plus the £7.50p credit card charge for the transaction I arrive at a princely sum of £199.50p.
Then just a mere click of the enter key another bombshell carbon emission surcharges to fund developing countries just introduced by Mr greeny McBrown agreed by him at a European Lisbon Treaty and Copenhagen mafia junket for the UK but excluding Scotland and the rest of the universe.
This is charged at some unfathomable complicated calculation per mile travelled which equates to £399.00p per person so the total final bill for the two of us is an eye popping £798.00p and the bargain flight is booked.
Why does the frigging internet connection always fail just after entering the credit card details and pressing the enter key?
After some frustrating premium rate phone calls to India and the Far East I finally managed to get the reference number sorted out and confirmed. This is the exact moment the printer ink expired and a web page malicious code executed a format command of the hard drive and crashed the computer.
Cursing through many hours of system restore attempts and safe mode re-boots a begrudging realisation that I have actually made the computer worse as the dark screen of doom refuses to be resurrected.
Now the brain pain starts; formatting the hard drive then installing windows and new drivers for the hardware then the broadband connection settings. Nearly done! Next install and configure the internet protection software then some non peer to peer office programs.
After replacing the expensive ink cartridges another problem arises, the return flight boarding passes did not print off from the reference number given.
More annus horribilis when I discovered the flight had been re-scheduled already and the original times and details have all been changed.
This ends up in an angry conversation on the phone again. “For the last time Apu I don’t want a prawn dhansak and tandoori mixed grill with sheek kebab and chicken tikka with cheese starter. Just give me my return CrapAir flight boarding pass reference number.”
“What is your house number sir and we will deliver your chicken shaslick and lamb masala with onion bhaji including Bombay aloo, pilau rice for two, peshwari nan and a stuffed paratha. Would you like papadoms and pickles with your order?”
“Huh? …………………… Mmmmmmm! Okay then, number ten Skid Row Londonistani SW1.”
“Do you live in a five mile radius of central Kolkata?”
“D’oh! Bombay duck me!”
The bargain CrapAir flight is off peak so it is a must to arrive early at some godforsaken time at the airport to be dropped off by family or friends. Because having not paid the additional “kiss and drop fees” you always get threatened with an instant fine by the airport traffic flow wardens if you do not move on, which you do by about thirty yards before the stasi shoot you dead as you unload the luggage and rush to get across the road into departures. Prudently negating any need to pay £55.00p for a fifteen minute short stay in the airport car park.
Once inside departures the first instinct at this point is to look up our flight information on the monitors. CrapAir flight CIA 007 to Malaga is delayed due its late arrival back from an undisclosed rendition mission.
Any thoughts it may have been unelected PM Brown or perhaps his Excellency unelected Lord Mandy with an assortment of failed top bankers on board sent on holiday to Helmand on a live IED finding course are dashed when someone thumps into me with a baggage trolley and disturbs my happy daydreaming.
Horrified I discover the six coaches that have just arrived and unloaded an assortment of football supporters and club 13 -19 holiday makers and families with enough out of term kids in tow to start a riot in a sink estate have nicked all the baggage trolleys and are heading for the CrapAir check-in desk zone.
Pronto! It’s time for action the race has begun. The primeval urge to elbow and trample anyone who gets in the way and get to the booking-in zone first is under way. Do not panic! During this part of the journey you perform the opposite of jumping a sinking ship no women and children first in these circumstances they are fair game for the trolley derby.
Unfortunately being a slow coach as always I choose out of the remaining baggage trolleys the one I always pick it has one wobbly wheel and one that will not turn. Then having spent five minutes just going around in circles with one wheel squealing like a banshee and me shouting obscenities at the wobbly one whilst the pushing motion causes my arms go up and down as if I am flapping the sand out of a towel on the beach.
Eventually the trolley wins the contest. This results in giving it a good kicking along with the luggage that has fallen off. Revenge is sweeeet!
When arriving at the zone my heart sinks the queue is like the biggest death march I have been on. It is even longer than the massive snaking queue at the local job centre plus. Scurrying along picking the cases and hand baggage up then putting it down, pick it up, put it down again and again.
The great British trait of calmly and politely smiling to the person behind me who has just smashed my heel in again with a suitcase made of amour plate. Whilst inside my brain screams out “I kill you!”
It is just as well that we allowed ourselves four extra hours to get to the airport in case of mishaps. After some time the book-in desk is in sight. My patience is tested to the limit when a member of the airports unprofessional staff brings fourteen people and their baggage through the ropes to join the last two people in front of us.
They have just arrived hours later than the two reservists who have been telephoning the fourteen for the last few hours. The other queues diminish as the queue jumpers cannot find their passports. Their feral children disappear down the luggage chute on the conveyor.
The foul mouthed tirade and arguments about the overweight baggage, fold up prams, over size hand luggage and also the amount of surcharge for extra-legroom turns the air blue. They are requesting the assisted buggy for little Tarquin who is still sleepy because he was on the Play Station until two in the morning and protests that if he gets woken up he will stab someone.
Little Tarquin pulls his hoodie over his face a bit more as staff try to ascertain if the passport photograph is indeed the spotty git who is kicking out at anyone who touches him. Mummy explains hoodie has ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) as the unfettered guttersnipery is inflicted on the rest of us.
While the fracas continues we are ushered to another book-in desk “Good morning have you ever travelled with CrapAir before?” A surly dimwit chewing gum at the check-in asks.
“No, thanks be to Allah!” I growl.
“Would you like to upgrade your tickets from standing to seated?” Is the first part of the malarkey.
“Might as well before Gordon and Alistair mug me for the remainder of my wealth as they think I am a pensioned tax payer funded super rich bonus profligate who ran a bank how much?” I ask.
“How tall are you? And which bank?” The quizzical check-in girl asks.
“Eh! Why?” This is new I think to myself.
Her fixed rictus-grin melts into a grimace. “It is necessary for you to stand on the scales on the floor pad to your left so that your BMI can be calculated as you look a little overweight. Sorry sir but you are not permitted to remove all those layers of clothing that you did not pack.” Dick Turpin’s sister continues. “If you are indeed a banker especially the one who did not approve our company’s overdraft to keep CrapAir viable we will need your weight for the counter-balance on the gallows, you stinking aristo!”
“Grrrrrr! I kieell you!” I mutter under my breath.
“Tut! Tut! We have been eating tooo much fast food have’nt we? That will be ten pounds for each kilo over your BMI so that is an upgrade surcharge of one hundred and twenty pounds. If you join the long queue at the desk over there marked obese upgrade persons you can make your payment and return here for your ticket and boarding pass. I must also ask you if you have been vaccinated against rabies as you seem to be foaming at the mouth.” She is enjoying this officiousness it seems so easy for her to upset the punters with all this nit-picking at everything.
My righteousness Britishness sense of fair play has been tested, arms crossed, chin out, beer gut in. I timidly blurt out “Ha! Well my wife is underweight for her BMI how much reduction do we get for that? Diddle-o I suppose?”
“Correct! Just a moment sir I will contact my supervisor and also security as our company enforces a strict zero tolerance policy at this check-in desk and I find your verbal bullying most disturbing. Now please put this red warning label around your neck.” The condescending school mistress continues. “Please step back behind the white line.”
The label has printed on it ‘Warning overweight person.’ Time to stay shtoom.
Eventually the suitcases are weighed in and more excess penalty costs are heaped on as the luggage limit of fifteen kilos is smashed by a few grams. The security questions are asked the interrogation is over “Thank you here is your tickets and pass you are in Group A for boarding.”
Sobbing we make our way to passport control, as we pass-by a preliminary passport check a scrawny Group Four irk re-scrutinizes our documents. Does your passport photo look like a BNP leader or terrorist? No, mine doesn’t either.
Ye gods, another humungous queue for the departure lounge and duty free area security checks Mr and Mrs Armour plated cases and their five delinquents get behind us again and clobber our heels to a pulp.
The ritual begins, emptying all my pockets and removing anything that is metallic and placing it all into the tray and off goes the hand luggage down the conveyor and through the X-ray machine.
The next security check is through the body scanner and then a good frisk down. “Do you dress to the left or right?” Grizelda asks.
“Why are you fitting me for a suit?” What on earth is she on about?
“It is hard to tell if you are male or female or had a sex change? Please take your shoes off?” The inspection is cut short as she is interrupted by her colleagues at the X-ray station.
Drat! Nearly made it as I get accompanied off for a strip search because the hand baggage scan reveals I am an Ann Summers regional sales executive. When they check the passport photo again it is quite obvious to them that I am going to bring the planes down on the tarmac by mixing various lubricants and launching some of the bigger toys at the aeroplanes.
Most of the offending missiles are confiscated by the security staff who argue amongst themselves who is having the latest gadgets.
In the meantime a burly security guard assists Grizelda and they frog march me to a brightly lit room with one way mirrors for a strip search and internal inspection by Grizelda who seems to enjoy this perverse gratification.
“Get over there and strip off.” She snaps her latex gloves on. “Eee–by-gum not exactly haute couture is it? If you must wear a peephole bra and crotchless panties at least match them in the same colours! Have you got this on the video control room?” Grizelda waves and winks at the CCTV camera.
“Yes we have got you loud and clear boss. I have some trainee girls in from the canteen to watch.” The camera whirrs as the zoom focuses in.
The last time I felt this embarrassed was when I fessed up to voting for peacekeeping envoy Blair’s New Labour in ninety seven. I actually believed the manifesto pledge of a referendum on the European treaty. The shame of it even the priest punched me one through the gauzed confessional box dividing screen.
After the examination is finished I am allowed to continue my journey. There should be just enough time to queue again at the various outlets for a ghastly meal or sandwich with inflated prices that would make a top chef blush.
We choose CrapCafè to make use of our discount vouchers. Our breakfast when it arrives is swimming in oil and is inedible. The streaky bacon is frazzled and crunchy; fat is oozing out of blow holes in the sausages. How do you undercook fried eggs? The bullet-like baked beans refuse to come off the plate without scrapping them up with a knife and the tomatoes are a red watery mush. The bloody toast is soggy, it is not even toast it is a stale piece of bread warmed up smothered in some goo that is supposed to be butter but it comes in handy for mopping up the raw un-fried egg that dripped through the fork.
Because after discount it has cost us £25 per head including a syrupy stewed tea we gleefully scoff it as if it is the best breakfast we have ever eaten hungrily clearing up every last morsel even though it is barely digestible.
It is time to go and check for our boarding gate and flight time again. The display informs me that the early flight is delayed yet again. Every other flight takes off as our one hypnotically blinks and flashes delayed for the next five hours.
Rumours abound among the sheep. “What is wrong with the plane?” An upset biddy thumps the CrapAir information desk. “My son is a reporter for the Parish Times I am going to phone him up and tell him about you lot and all these delays. Where are my compensation forms and food vouchers?”
“Our contractors are clearing up a bit of mess left by the American agents. I am sure the bullet holes will not take long to get sealed up.” Her walkie talkie is on speaker. “It looks like Jack Bauer has been on here.” It squawks out.
The agitated state I find myself in gives me the appearance of a manic zombie. Having read every word in my newspaper three times and turning the pages continually my vacant eyes have given me a migraine trying to solve the last answer to complete the crossword, it evades me and drives me to distraction as I munch on my fingernails. Three letters, the clue is what happens to you if a plane explodes and crashes from a great height? First letter is D.
It is the fourth packet of soft mints that I am chewing to get the taste of rancid breakfast oil from my mouth as I wander up and down the boarding gates looking at the planes parked around the hub and those taking off and landing.
Despite busting due to wanting to go to the toilet for ages I eventually give up looking at the monitor and take a chance and go. When I emerge from the toilets I notice some other zombies and sheep have sussed out the CrapAir boarding gate number and are quietly sneaking off without me.
The boarding gate flashes up on the monitor and the next stampede to the gate starts as we rush to make up some time!
The unruly yobbishness begins again. Get me to the front I am dying. This is basically true as we have been engulfed by a biblical tsunami surge of impatient rude psychotic queue jumpers that are intent on causing our demise.
First up are the well dressed shmucks and old boys in panama hats complimented with brass buttoned blazers the ‘regulars.’ No need for ‘Early Boarding’ for them. They have a walking stick or laptop their twisted values are not sheep like, they are superior. The hoi polloi must wait their turn behind them.
Next up the fifteen carers for little Tarquin on four buggies they beep their way through to the front. The madhouse shenanigans displayed by the desperados pours more misery onto the polite onlookers.
Holy Moly! Beep! Beep! Ah ha! Some more carts have arrived with granddad accompanied by his extended family they are on three other carts grandma is on one with the rest of the tribe.
After an eternity the gate hostess calls out “Can we now have all the passengers with boarding card A?” The ten people behind us are faster than Usain Bolt leaping up out of the blocks to start the one hundred metres they thunder past and stomp over us and our bags.
Bewildered and confused we brush the dust off as we get up from the floor and look around we are in Group A, but somehow we are the last people waiting.
“I am sorry Sir this is boarding B.” The hostess tells the first couple as they stand blocking the boarding gate. “Sorry Madame this is boarding card C.” She tells the next two.
“Is their anyone with boarding card A?” We barge and elbow our way through the ten who give us filthy grimacing looks as though we have some horrible contagious disease.
The gate hostess looks at my picture in the passport and checks my ticket and thoroughly scrutinizes them with sadistic pleasure. “So you are the one on YouTube being strip searched. Have a nice day!”
Just a minute. Beep! Beep!…… Beeep! It is another buggy it is loaded with golfers this time one of the swingers has his arm is in a sling. “Could you please move away I must board this group first?” The CrapAir representative is defenceless against the rabble of late comers and fails miserably to deal with the anti-social behaviour, thuggery and disorder.
“Please refrain from bullying your way forward. Stop being soooo impatient we have some weak and frail passengers with injuries that we must board before you.” The Group A boarders are scolded.
So, anyway, we get through check point Charlie and start the walk to the plane then just as we get down the staircase the remaining mob trample over us again. Outside the doors in the howling rain are two bendy buses filled with our fellow passengers we just about squeeze on and get in the doors despite the hostility of people moving forward to keep us off.
When we arrive at the plane we are the first on. Holy guacamole! Panama hat is there also granddad and grandma including the escort party. Screaming kids fill up nearly every row back to the rear. The golfing party are spread about the remaining seats. The one whose arm was in a sling is pulling himself along Tarzan-like on the hand-straps hanging from the roof of the plane.
The only seats available are a couple of centre ones. One is in front of Tarquin the hood and his family who have already made the day a memorable one. The other is at the far end of the plane which my partner trudges off to and squeezes in-between two smelly blimps occupying the window and aisle seats.
Surprise! Surprise! Chuck! The overhead locker is full. No problem, just crush our bags into the locker until I hear someone’s duty free spirits crack and leak out.
The torture begins; for some reason the person behind me needs to push their knees as far into the back of my seat as possible at regular five minute intervals. The battle for armrest supremacy also begins with my two new companions. Britbrats stick their heads over the top of my seat sneezing into my hair or picking their noses and wiping it over my seat protector.
In the row opposite a kid with rotating eyeballs is licking the window and reading hustler. The rest of the chavvy tribe stand on the seats slapping each other with rolled up in-flight magazines.
Captain Tracy makes an announcement over the intercom “We are extremely sorry for the delays today but as you are all aware we are a green fuel efficient company and all the excess weight must be paid to the environment agency for each town that we fly over until we leave British airspace.”
The planes engines start whining into life. “Our co-pilot today is Douglas. Please take careful notice of the passenger safety briefing instructions which our head of cabin crew Nancy will take you through. Our flight to Malaga will take about two and a half hours. CrapAir wish you all an enjoyable journey. The weather in Malaga is awful it is raining heavier than here in the UK and the forecast for the week is the same.”
Nancy seems a nice boy he starts his introduction of the cabin crew who will be servicing our needs. “Before I begin would anybody like to give up their seats for the late arrivals that we have all been waiting the last hour for causing us to miss our slot? Could all the standing passengers please move right down to the back and make some room.”
Everyone grumbles expletives under their breath and bury their heads into a safety information sheet or newspaper.
The announcement continues. “Okay lovely people welcome to CrapAir if you are a frequent traveller with us I would ask that you put your books and newspapers down and pay attention to the very important safety information. Please listen and watch the demonstration that the cabin crew will show you. That includes you sweet-cheeks.” Nancy coyly scolds a golfing guy who is blushing and giggling at Nancy’s performance.
Nancy pauses and checks that his manicured finger nails are clean. “As you can see we are preparing for take off so would you please make sure that your overhead locker is closed and your seat is in the upright position and that your food tray in front of you is also folded away and you have your seatbelt fastened correctly, any hand baggage that is not in the overhead locker will be weighed and surcharged at ten quid a kilo.”
Weary cries of anguish erupt; the sheep are not amused as more stuff is squashed into the overhead lockers. I wonder to myself if the sides of the plane are bulging out.
“Could the passengers who are standing in the aisle without a seat crouch down so that those that are seated can see the demonstration by the cabin crew?” Nancy continues.
“When the scary noise starts that will be the big engines. So lovely people, could all the standing passengers make sure that they have a good firm grip on the overhead hand-straps when we take off that would be super.” The cabin crew point their arms straight towards the roof of the plane. “Due to no passengers hiring a lifebelt this demonstration will not be necessary.”
The plane starts to move and jolts causing Nancy to fall on top of woman passenger. “Filthy beast take your hands off of me!” He tells her.
Straightening his tie Nancy is unruffled by the smack around the chops from the passenger. “Please make sure that all electrical devices and mobile phones are switched off as this makes the altimeter and GPS (TomTom Sat Nav) in the cockpit go all funny, that includes you sweetie.” He smiles at golfing guy who is sitting next to me in the window seat fiddling with his gizmo.
“When we get to cruising altitude standing passengers can hire a fold up seaty-poo from the touts (cabin crew) in the meantime please make way for the refreshments trolley. Those of you who have started reading the newspapers can pay any member of the cabin crew five euros per paper.”
All the newspapers are quickly stuffed into the seat pockets.
“I will also remind you that CrapAir enforces a strict no smoking policy. The toilets which are positioned at the front and rear of the plane have smoke detectors fitted in them and we have a super James Bond gadget that ejects you through a trap door if you do choose to smoke. You can buy a five pound token for the toilets which will give you approximately three minutes before a warning buzzer sounds off and a ten second countdown commences before the ejection system starts. For safety reasons once the countdown has begun the door will automatically lock whilst the toilet is depressurised.”
Little Tarquin’s eyes light up and he asks his mum to get him a five euro token. I buy a couple of tokens and give one to him as he runs by during a screaming tantrum.
Another announcement crackles from the speakers. “Earphones can be hired from the flight attendants today’s listening for your pleasure is a superb Elvis vs U2 mash up by Jedward on CrapAir radio or you can watch today’s in-flight entertainment a favourite film of mine Brokeback Mountain for a competitive low cost of one euro per minute.”
In the row in front of me the window seat is occupied by a shady looking chap who is muttering to himself in a prayer like sleep he keeps mumbling away. “Jihad!…. Inshallah!…. Infidels! Sons of Jackals!” His head wobbles around as if it is on a spring whilst he rubs a wooden beaded necklace into dust.
CrapAir CIA 007’s engines spool up and launches the plane down the runway and skywards the jet seems to struggle and hang in the air momentarily as the roar increases my ears pop as I suck madly on a sherbet lemon. All the standing passengers lay screaming in a heap at the rear of the plane. As the plane takes a steep turn and levels out some of the heap rolls forwards. A few bleating sheep manage to stand upright again and cling onto the hand-straps for dear life.
Blimey! I’ve never had a bouncy take-off before, some blood trickles back into my hands and white knuckles, the colour returns to my face turning it red as I nearly choke on a mouthful of sherbet lemons.
The flight service starts as soon as the fasten seat belt indicator goes off. Oh! Boy! In-flight snacks two rolls the size of a digestive filled with god knows what filling £6.50p each. Two tiny tins of fizzy drink with two tea spoons of liquid inside £3.50p each or a beer £4.05p for 330ml a lavish indulgence but for some unknown reason I must have it.
Sheesh! The cabin crew are in a hurry Nancy is in charge of the tea and coffee trolley and is not far behind. The hot water is complimentary but you must purchase a tea bag or sachet of coffee at £2.50p each. Semi skimmed milk is £1.00p for a mini pot and sugar if you want it is an additional 50p a sachet.
Chummy in the window seat drops his coffee into my lap as Nancy’s shaking hand passes it to him. Nancy quickly starts cleaning me up with a napkin.
“I have spilt some in my lap as well big boy.” The golfer giggles as the pair of them purse their lips at each other.
“Never mind love I’ll give you a free one in a minute. Would you like a big one later?”
I protest. “What about a free one for me?”
“Shut your cakehole fatty this is for my mate Ginge! You homophobic moron.”
“I like your uniform you look just like Ronald McDonald.” Yikes! He’s a bit angry as he spits into my complimentary hot water. “Leave the water steward and just give me a ginger beer.”
Why does the person sitting in front of you always repeatedly recline their seat just after you drop the seat tray and put a scalding tea or coffee onto it?
Ginge pipes up again. “Can you give my twosome partner Dick a free one as well?”
With a wave of his hand Nancy winks and points to the back of the plane. “Down the rear end later!”
I chip in with the panto banter. “He’s behind yooo!” Things go very silent.
The passenger sitting next to me in the aisle seat eyes up Nancy’s shapely behind. Ginge, Dick and Nancy erupt into hysterical womanly python-esque laughter.
Ginge starts up a conversation with me. “Hi my name is Luca what is your handicap? I played a few big holes last week the best was the eighteenth a 295 yard slightly faded dog leg at the all comers tournament. I used a big steel shafted bertha drive to the front of that huge green, then a lofted eight iron. It landed softly ten feet behind the pin just in front of the cavernous bunker. Have you ever been in there? Should have been a nine iron but hey! The wind was face on at the time of the shot it left me a tricky putt over the infamous hogs back with the little left to right break on the down slope. The freshly cross cut grass did not help me either. I had to hold the putter gently with a limp wrist grip and make sure my shoulders were swinging freely in line with the flag with my knees slightly bent and feet placed twelve inches apart with my toes pointing inwards. I had to remove a creepy huge cockroach from the line then I struck the ball firmly it teetered and spun around the cup like a roulette ball and then dropped in. Nice! It was my fifth eagle that round!”
“Do you fancy playing a round? We are Torremolinians, where do you live? Have you been to Nobby’s bar by the fountain? Do you know my neighbour Spanky?” Oh! Gosh! This is not Brokeback Mountain, is that Nancy’s home video?
“We are putting a deposit down on the new Arco Iris complex. I can talk to my agent and get you a bargain apartment in the tranny block.” Ginge points to the YouTube app on his iPhone. “I think your outfit looks fabulous. Who is the butch bloke in the uniform?”
“That would be Grizelda!” I console myself with the thought that at least this is not a long-haul flight.
At one point I did almost fall asleep despite the turbulence from the storm that the plane was passing through. I was interrupted by my stomach seeming to rise up into my chest giving me palpitations as the plane suddenly plunged one hundred feet towards oblivion I was disturbed just in time for a Britbrat to puke over my head. His brothers and sisters find this hilarious and make out they are doing the same to other passengers.
The hurried rush I made for the sick bag was a bad move as I discovered when I stuck my face in it someone has been using it to dispose of used baby nappies.
Next the duty-free trolley full of unnecessary goods arrives Mr Chav in the opposite row buys a small bottle of Brute with his credit card a bargain at £74.00p of course the Tiffany locket and bracelet looks much nicer than the magazine picture so one for the missus £97.63p plus one each for the three girls.
“How much is the half bottle of vodka?” he asks pointing to the picture in the CrapAir magazine.
“Twelve pounds.” The stewardess informs him, and asks. “Would you like any cigarettes?”
“I’ll take two half bottles and a box of two hundred Bensons luverly jubbly. You want two hundred as well luv? Put it all on your card.”
The stewardess scratches off the hidden numbers on a scratch card and informs him he has won a free gift of a breakfast each if they all attend a friendly no pressure presentation for a wonderful new promotion called the Rainbow residence. “Cor! Great!” Chav waves his ticket in the air like an MP with a repaid expenses cheque. “Is it the works Danish bacon and pork sausages?”
“Of course it is and mushrooms!” She runs up and down the aisle showing other passengers the winning ticket and offering out some more. “That’s fantastic you are the twentieth winner today well done.”
The intercom suddenly booms into life. “Si! …. Si!.. Si!….. Si! Siiii!!!” The whole cabin falls into an eerie silence only the hissing roar from the jet engines fills the background. “Si!… Si!… Si! Ooooh!” emanates from the speakers.
A klaxon starts wailing the sound is similar to the call for battle stations on a warship. The speakers chirp out again. “Si! Si! Si! Aaaaaahhhh!” Suddenly the klaxon stops, more silence. Then the introduction soundtrack from Thunderbirds blares out. “Ten!…. Nine!…. Eight!… etc!”
“Three!…. Two!… One!…. One and a bit.” Then a flushing noise like an old fashion pull chain loo as I lean over to look out of the window a pair of entwined amorous young Spaniards naked from the waist down whizz past the cabin window. Wow! Truly members of the mile high club they should have bought two toilet tokens I think to myself as they disappear through the clouds. Still she looked happy and content as he passed her a cigarette on the way down.
“I bet the CrapAir travel insurance doesn’t cover them for that.” I inform my buddies.
Ginge tells me. “We did not get any it was fifty pounds per person extra on the booking.”
More excitement begins as the rear toilet klaxon goes off and the countdown times out. The screams and banging subsides as a Spanish smoker is ejected into the jet stream.
“We have three seats available at half price if any standing passengers would like to upgrade.” Nobody takes up the offer as Nancy then announces that we are about to land.
Captain Tracy’s calm voice accidentally overrides Nancy and interrupts him over the P.A. “Crumbs! I say, Dougey old chap did you tick the fuel tonnage correctly on the pre-flight check list for our flight plan and properly convert kilos into pounds and factor in the extra weight for the additional standing passengers we shoehorned in and recalculate our reserve fuel for the take-off pay load?”
“Uh oh! Litres, not gallons, are you sure Virgil? Never mind we can glide into Granada from this height.” A nervous quiver is obvious in his reply. “I see the problem the fuel gauge has been calibrated in gallons and it should have been pounds, I think?” Douglas taps the digital fuel gauge with his finger.
“For goodness sake Dougey what a prize twit you are. I thought the calculation was done for us on the CrapAir flight management system? Did you allow the five percent fuel reserve and include the ten percent additional fuel for the flight time? Do you know our position?”
“You are Captain Virgil in the left seat and I am the co-pilot in the other.”
“Brace! Brace! Brace!”
“Luca can you hear any engines?” Dick leans over me as the three of us peer out of the window. “The flaps are down.”
Dick’s voice is now a high pitched squeal. “Shouldn’t they be up? Or is that the air brakes?”
“Who wants a sherbet lemon? Oooops! Sorry guys I know now why they are called CrapAir. Did anyone hear the wheels crank down?”
“The cabin crew are putting parachutes on. Do you think everything is alright?” Ginge bites his bottom lip.
Chav is angry and shouts over to us. “Never mind all that, I want to land at Malaga I have my mate waiting to pick us up.”
One of the fake disabled who jumped the queue at the departures terminal and had special assistance leaps up in a panic to get off first and attempts to open the emergency door. Holy crap! We are still airborne and have not landed yet!
An air marshal grabs the stupid old timer and shoves him into the front toilet despite him thrashing him with his hand luggage trying to stop the marshal averting a disaster. He closes it by biting the old boy’s fingers releasing his death grip on the door then hitting the big emergency red button above the door. “Ten!…..Nine!”
The screams do not seem to deter the rush to disembark as the plane glides down and lands successfully in one piece and skids to a stop outside the terminal with the nose of the aircraft buried into the walkway. I decide to wait and clean some of the vomit out of my hair with the newspapers.
After a while I go and find my partner who is still asleep snoring with a snooze mask on and remove one of her earplugs waking her up. She is still woozy from the valium induced coma but laughs when I tell her all about the flight and the free day out that I have won on a scratch card.
“Eeeek! What on earth have you done to your hair? It looks like a vegetable pot noodle. What have you got all down your best trousers and shirt? I cannot leave you alone for five minutes.” Her nose twitches. “Eeuk! You stink of Brute, have you trodden in cat’s poo?”
“Look I bought you a lovely Tiffany bracelet and a giant four and a half kilo Toblerone.” I smile and do my best Bernie Winters impersonation. “Eeeyeegh! ……… Gissa a kiss? You look beautiful when you’re angry. Have you got any Imodium in your handbag?”
Slap! Some pot noodle spirals into the air. “Are you drunk?”
When the great escape subsides and I hobble out of the plane with my cheek smarting and painful back spasms I find Nancy and the rest of the cabin crew lying prone and lifeless at the bottom of the steps. “Ooh! I’ve come over all limp!” Nancy moans.
Another hike begins to get to the next hell hole which is the baggage hall. This is the final chapter of this CrapAir experience I was barely able to walk due to my swollen heels and aching back plus sleep deprivation for the last day. Our luggage can wait as the Spanish heat saps my remaining strength.
The monitor informs us that our luggage is on carousel number four which is shared by EasyCrap 002 a super-jumbo flight that arrived just before us.
At the carousel I crush myself into a tiny gap for a spot and watch as hundreds open suitcases and bags and belongings pass by with children surfing around on the belt. My heels are given the treatment again by the barging luggage trolleys. As I am jostled and have clouds of secret cigarette smoke blown in my face I spot through the fag fog a zombie who has just picked up my bags and rush over and take them from the trolley they are loaded on.
With much righteous indignation and posturing I show the moronic imbecile the contents of my bags and win the contest. She buys five discounted items for cash.
The day does not get any better thinking about the queue that awaits us at the CrapCar hire desk and the long drive to Malaga the very thought of this fills me with dread as I approach Spanish passport control searching my pockets for my passport my new companion for life arrives. It is a demon that will plague me for evermore in Spain its name is “bastad fly!”
Goddamit! Guess whose passport, return tickets, wallet and credit cards and driving licence have been stolen during the baggage hall fiasco? Infamy, infamy, they all had it in for me.
“Sniff! Sniff! Achooo! Merry Christmas.”
Book your one way ticket on CrapAir soon to avoid disappointment