Planes, tardy and aquaphobic

Airplanes, tardy and hydrophobic.jpg
Rain does mean it gets a wee bit wet

For some reason, the romance and mystic of air travel has eluded me. It used to be nice and fanciful, but now I see it as just another flying bus, with very small windows. Perhaps it’s the wrong crowd I’m rubbing shoulders. Literally. In China there’s no such thing as a nice crowd. To be fair the same might go for that in South Korea, too. A mad dash for the door even though we haven’t docked at the terminal. Why the rush? This ain’t no game of Rugby. I’m not sure that channeling the All Blacks (past or present) would help.

But, the one thing that bakes your cake is that the planes are almost always late. Flying in China is problematic. The fact the military owns most of the usable airspace is a further problem. I have proof. The BBC wrote about this sort of thing not so long ago, so it must be true. I’ve seen a lot of angry and irate passengers having a yell at the Flight attendants who, can reply with great honesty that they don’t know when the plane is leaving, or is late, or has in fact arrived at the jet way. CSA or, China Southern Airlines acronyms had early on taken on a more apt meaning. China’s Slowest Airline. There’s another one that also deals with poo.
But, at times, in dealing with my travel woes, the company of my work colleagues, and entertainment, make the waiting all the more comfortable. Still, it’s a small miracle when the plane does finally take off, if not the restrictive amount of airspace to fly, it’s the weather. One of my colleagues and friend once quipped back to me after my question of his planes departure. “I don’t suppose it’ll take off in the rain in case the wings get wet”. He’s not predisposed to making comments like that. He is in fact, Welsh. The circumstances made him say it but, I could hardly laugh, as my flight was leaving soon after his.

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4 Responses

  1. re BBC article. Not much sympathy from me for the Australian banker. Why would he bring the CEO of one of the big 4 Aus banks to China on such a tight schedule? Having said that, even less sympathy for the Central Bankers in Beijing who are obviously unaware of airline delays in their own economy!
    Tricky problem. 1000-3000 metres opening up won’t do it if the PLAF insist on keeping their 70% of Chinese air space. Helicopters and light planes won’t work with the numbers of Chinese air travellers. Seems to be stuck between Aus (small population, big air routes but plenty of light planes) UK/Korea (big populations, small air routes, light planes…RAF gets out of the way, don’t think SK air force does but still manages to get civil aviation planes off the runway on time!) and what the Americans do which isn’t much liked either with the TSA, delays.

    • No, problems with the RNZAF, they don’t have much of a combat force but yes, they do yield to civilian air traffic. I do tend to think that the bankers in question are still operating by Westernized standards and are expecting to be there on time. In the rainy season I/ we are made to travel to our respective destinations by train. A big ask after a long day at work!

  2. I think your travel organisers have the right idea. Trains usually get through on time (except maybe at Chinese New Year!). Found this ad for British Airways already riffing (in 1989) on the unpleasantness of airline travel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vSFye_RgN0

    • The BA ad is correct with one exception. Frequently we arrive late to our hotels because of ‘delays’, and turn up at the test centers sometimes tired and haggard looking.

      However, the BA ad is a blast from the past! 🙂

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