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The Real Girl's Guide to Flying

Friday 17 August 2012
No cashmere here.

There's been a lot of radio silence here, and for that I apologise. I've had the most horrendous week that you really don't want to hear about, but it's all about to get better. Why? Because I'm OUTTA HERE. I'm currently set up at Knock Airport, waiting to board the Aer Lingus flight to Gatwick, before a hectic week of weddings and press trips in the UK. So soon I'll be busy as you like with posts for you.

As I was packing last night and panicking this morning, I was thinking a lot about flying advice. You see a lot of it at the start of the summer - magazines devote pages to articles telling you how, what and when to pack. Glossy women divulge their travelling secrets, as Gwyneth Paltrow did last week on her webshite, Goop.

My friend is always on Goop, and knows better than to reference it in front of me. Nothing gets my eyes rolling back into my head quicker. But as packing was on my mind, she accidentally blurted out news of the article in my presence. As if on cue, the eyes were back in my skull before you could say cashmere pashmina.

What pearls of wisdom did she offer, I hear you ask? Well, the usual.

Put your iPod on shuffle, and be totally amazed at what songs are played!
Pack a ridiculous amount of vitamins and hand sanitisers for the journey, just in case you're touched by a dirty, disgusting pleb!
Don't eat any airline food. Stick to pre-cut slices of cucumber or, better still, nothing!

You can read more about her tips, and see her iPod shuffle list here. I know. I know!

I thought I'd break through some of the filthy rumours flying around the world, and compile my list of flying RULES for you to abide by, as well as those you can feel safe to ignore.

Gwyneth and I both choose to fly with hand luggage only. I feel like our reasons for doing so may differ slightly... I doubt she's troubled by the €25 fee that breaks my budget. I wrote a while ago about flying with hand luggage, but there are a few things to add, and some things bear repeating. While Gwyneth chooses to wear cashmere leggings, sweaters, knickers and glasses on a flight, I opt to wear my heaviest clothes. None of this is cashmere.

And don't bring a pasmina on a plane. I just don't like them. Instead, get one of those super scratchy free blankets and see how you can make your hair stand on end.

Checking In
A lot of people will recommend wearing jazzy clothes to the airport, as this gives you more chance of an upgrade. Now, I can't vouch for this. I think the days of upgrades for the sake of it are falling away from us. So give it a try if you want, but I prefer my classic technique of BE NICE TO PEOPLE. Seriously. Look them in the eye. Ask them how they are. HAVE AN EFFING CONVERSATION. You would be amazed at how many people don't bother their arses with manners.

If I was in charge of upgrades, it would be the nicest passenger who turned left at the top of the plane. Incidentally, I was upgraded on a flight to Paphos this May. And I'm fairly sure this was the reason.

Airline Food
The general consensus is - avoid. While on your flight, don't touch any alcohol, drink plenty of water and eat your own organic, macrobiotic snacks.

My advice?

If you're on a flight that gives you a meal, hoover that sucker up. I love aeroplane food. Love it. Especially now I'm so used to short haul flying. And if that same flight gives you free booze? Then drink away.

Here's another tip for you - British Airways have little bottles of Prosecco available for all passengers. I spotted one on my flight out to San Francisco, and when I was coming home from Miami I asked my flight attendant if he had any when he came around with the trolley. Lo and behold, I had Prosecco. And because I'd been nice to him from the get go, he plied me with them for the rest of the flight. Long after I wanted to stop drinking, he'd pop up in the aisle and say "I know what you're after!"

I mean, don't get sick, and don't get yourself into trouble, but if it's offered and you fancy it? You're on holiday. Let it go.

Oh, and don't drink so much Prosecco that you develop a game called Groin Slap. No one else finds it as funny as you do.

1 comment

  1. 'GP'? Goop? Just...erg. I also love the fact that she describes herself as a "bedraggled working mother". Working mother. I know, technically, that is true of 'GP' but in a deeper sense it's a big fat lie.


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