Well, home again after a fortnight’s trip to Canada to see various members of the family ~ and to perform my brother’s wedding ceremony! There’s an honour for you! So, what should i write about other than travel and its frustrations?
The trip itself, i hasten to add, was lovely. The journeys, though, were anything but. I suppose that’s the penalty we pay for living in a world in which we can travel so far so fast for so short a period. After all, i did travel about 4600 miles (or 7400 kilometres) from here to there, and the same back, in a matter of some hours, no matter how many years it seemed.
So, i was going to complain...well, i will. The trip there, actually, wasn’t too bad, other than the chap sitting next to me for over nine hours in the aeroplane ~ sitting i say, but it would be more accurate to say he was sleeping next to me for almost all of that nine hours (how did he do that?); the problem was not the arm he left on the armrest between us, but the shoulder attached to it that continually drifted over to the upper part of my (already small) seat back, giving me less room to twist myself into. And, of course, the fact that for two or three of the hours one of his feet stayed under the seat in front of me, giving me little choice with mine other than sticking them out in the aisle to trouble passers-by.
What i really wanted to complain about, though, was not my neighbour: I could have done something about him ~ or, rather, it would have been possible for someone more assertive than i to do something about him ~ what really frustrates me is the things about which nothing can be done, regarding which there is no appeal: The variant policies of travel companies, airlines and such.
My itinerary/e-ticket (incidentally, it's printed on a piece of paper; how can it be an electronic ticket?) indicated that i had twenty kilos weight allowance. Carefully, then, i travelled with about nineteen and a half, and commented on that to the woman at the check-in. Oh no, she said; you have twentythree, that twenty regulation is wrong. Great, i thought, and wasn't too worried about returning, even though i had a little more weight than going, what with gifts and so on. But, as you doubtless guessed, at the return check-in the lower limit was strictly enforced, and i had to pay a two kilo overweight charge. No use arguing that i had based my action on the airline's own employee; no use arguing at all in truth, not if i wanted them to bring me home.
The second frustration from the airline, also at the check-in counter, was the people who came up with two carry-on bags, despite clear instructions that only one was permitted, and a laptop case or a woman's handbag each counted as the allowable one. Came up, i say, to the counter, and then strolled on the aeroplane carrying two bags. If that were the case, i needn't have paid the excess baggage charge, but just used a handbag!
I suppose the question is, how can i tell which of their policies are the airlines going to be selectively enforcing the next time i fly?