This week I had the misfortune to fly with Easyjet. I’m poor as fuck, and should be accustomed to their hospitality by now- but I’m not. I swear to God, the bastards in the Easyjet Quality Standards department must sit around all day asking themselves, ‘How can we set the bar even lower?’ whilst wetting themselves laughing. I’m surprised they aren’t called Limbo, as this would be much more apt given their quality control maintenance and ability to greet any queries you have at their airport desk by just staring at you blankly until you fuck off.
Anyway, the misery starts before you’ve even booked the trip via navigating around their website- a feat based on popular 90’s boardgame ‘Hungry Hippos’, in which you are the ball, wandering helplessly around whilst trying not to get eaten. From Easyjet’s perspective, all users want skiing insurance regardless of destination. If you’re off to Magaluf, you want skiing insurance, you just don’t know you want skiing insurance. The kind people at Easyjet know this and attach it for you anyway, then distract you with other needless expenses in the hope that you don’t notice. Thank you.
I am very much in tune with Easyjet’s tricks and took my skiing insurance off my booking prior to purchase. Now, as punishment for not taking skiing insurance, Easyjet issued me with their ‘secret barcode’ on my boarding pass. For those of you who have never heard of this, the ‘secret barcode’ alerts all airport personnel of your cheapskatery, to ensure that you avail of the worst possible treatment they can dish up during your time in the airport terminal- random arse-crack drug searches, the wrong type of teabag in your overpriced Starbucks order, the accidental planting of a gun on your person- just the usual. Basically, you’re fucked.
If you manage to make it through the inspection area without being thrown in a Peruvian jail, Easyjet have plenty more obstacles to overcome before you recieve the honour of flying in a tupperware dish that stinks of vomit. The airline likes to save money on fuel by slimming their passengers down prior to take-off by sending the hapless cunts on a wild goose chase round the airport because they keep changing the departure gate.
Easyjet are a meritocracy and dole out customer service in direct proportion to how much money you have. For the rich, this means they get to board first, having purchased the privilege in advance- Easyjet employees are also much more curteous and pleasant to ‘Speedy Boarder’ bastards, because of the whole £6 they paid. I bet they bought skiing insurance, too. The poor are relegated to ‘Boarding Group Two’. Just to make you aware, Boarding Group One does not exist, but Easyjet just wants to re-iterate that those who only paid for their travel sans extras are lower than second class citizens, basically ensuring that the poor know their place on board- much like the Titanic, in which all the rich cunts had a lifeboat each just incase they wanted to stretch out, and the poor fuckers could just go and drown.
The worst bit is that Boarding Group Two should be like a band of brothers- united we stand, divided we fall. We’re all poor, but at least we have our dignity. Let’s show some humanity by forming an orderly queue, letting the old go to the front and generally be civil to other Boarding Group Two victims. But in reality, its a fucking free-for-all and everyone musters every ounce of cunt they can, in order to make it wholly unpleasant for everyone involved. The concept of personal space is void- I’ve had some of my life’s most intimate moments in Boarding Group Two’s line of casual rapery. You’d think people would realise that they are pushing and shoving to board a metal tin with limited oxygen and an abundance of lingering farts. Yeah, not so pushy now.
If you did have the audacity to pack any more than a molecule of personal belongings, be warned- Easyjet is going to make a cunt out of you by measuring your case while Boarding Group Two makes a mental note to throw you out of the plane first to test the parachutes if you run out of fuel, which you probably will. For those who did not take skiing insurance, this is where Easyjet makes their money back by scanning the ‘secret barcode’ on your boarding pass, and employing a tactic known in the industry as ‘Acting the Contrary Cunt’. You must check your bag on regardless of size due to ‘procedure’. Should you protest, you’ll be filmed and featured on Airline cursing and generally looking like an stingy bastard. You pay.
Now, as far as disasterous flying experiences go, Thinkinggal has had her fair share. Once, I boarded a flight in Taiwan to find that my allocated seat was next to a man with one eye, positioned right in the middle of his face. Yes, he was a cyclops. Another time, I forgot to book a meal pre-flight and spent the 14 hour journey gnawing around a banana to make a fork, which I subsequently used to eat a jar of Nutella. I haven’t eaten one since. So if you’re wondering if my life is usually plain flying (this joke goes out to the people who find puns funny- if any of you exist), it fucking well hasn’t been- I’m an unlucky, long-suffering bastard. I bet I was one of the people who thought Jesus was a con-artist in biblical times, and this is my punishment.
So, with my ever-present expectation that things will always be a fucking nightmare, I never board an Easyjet flight with high hopes. I always sit near a screaming child whose mother never gives him a sly wallop no matter how much the little darling screams his head off, like I probably would. There will always be fart or B.O. in the vicinty. My bag will get looted. I’ve made my peace with all of that.
Easyjet are somewhat more disillusioned than their humble beginnings as the company who takes pleasure in the misfortune of their passengers. Much like a mentally damaged X Factor auditionee whose presence on the show serves as comical relief as they can’t sing and live in a care home where they are most certainly sexually abused (ah, the British humour), Easyjet offer ‘Bistro and Boutique’ services in their shoddy little box on wheels, which largely consists of sellotape sandwiches and bottles of Eau de Easyjet- a subtle blend of tears of frustration, dehydrated piss and soiled dreams. Why not purchase one today for the drunk football hooligan or hen weekend whore in your life?
But all of this is still ok. You still have the Queue of Shame to wait in while they ‘bring round an airbus’ to transport you the five steps to the terminal cunting building. At this stage, you have two choices- stand in the Queue of Shame and have your arse felt by the person behind’s groin, or sit for one moment longer than necessary. You queue.
Kill two birds with one stone by queuing behind 14 old women in the bogs while waiting for your luggage. Old people still dress up for air travel, so you have to wait patiently while they fiddle with the buttons on ivory slacks and get their elephant brooch tangled in their knicks. Delightfully, many patrons lose their snotty-hanky-up-sleeve during this process, which airport workers scoop up, smooth out and reuse. Hashtag recession. But try to hurry up in the toilet, because it’s so much fun watching a middle-aged man try to guess where the conveyor belt starts, to reserve the optimum space at the Baggage Claim. Once this has been established, other middle-aged men congregate round him- he has been given the role of ‘Baggage Claim Alpha-Male’, and these are his subjects. Much hilarity ensues when he gets it wrong and they are all standing at the end of the conveyor belt. But they don’t move- that would be admitting their mistake.
Anyone who has ever travelled before can agree than waiting on your luggage on an already moving conveyor belt is the most nerve-racking experience ever invented. I like to call this ‘The Hoop of Horror’, because everyone on the flight waits around the belt in absolute terror, certain that their case is lost and that they are going to have to wear their current underwear inside out tomorrow while waiting for it to be returned, if it ever is.
Thankfully, you can see you case rumbling round the tired conveyor- is it yours? Yeah, it definately is, there’s the stretchy rainbow belt you put on it to alleviate the panic of this very moment- thank you, past me. You dare not take your eyes off it. Adele wrote ‘Chasing Pavements’ for this very moment. You can hear a collective ‘tut’ from fellow Baggage Claimees when you heave your case of the conveyor belt. You are the luckiest goddamn son of a bitch in the hoop.
On the way out of the terminal, I am always tempted to queue for at the Declarations desk and declare that Easyjet are a shower of shit. Unfortunately, that would almost certainly result in my arrest. But it always makes me chuckle at how original that joke is.
Now on to the City Centre-bound Airport bus. But that’s a whole other blog, so maybe some other day.
I’m off to remove the packages of cocaine I have strapped to my body.