A day in the life of frequent fliers typically starts quite abruptly. The alarm sounds...4 am...time to get up! The smell of coffee quickly dissipates as the roller bag, the coat and the laptop bag make their crucial entrance to my car.
The airport, oh yeah, with its lovely sense of solitude, buried in between walls of people, shy smiles, crazy looks, evasive movements, quick touches, bird view head to head moves, unrealistic window shopping, rushed misery, advanced thinking emotions on how to get a coffee, clever sense of accomplishment when we pass security…
Hmm…so many choices, so little time! Got to love travel!
Sitting on seat 15E, mid row, not far, not close, yet stranded, the travel experience reaches a peak sense of solitude, yet emotional excitement. The flight attendants, their courteous bluntness, they are doing their job, really, not much mystery behind it, really! The passengers, our neighbors, those with whom we share common feelings and a rollercoaster of emotions: sympathy, hate, glory, remorse, gratitude, rejection, fantasy, excitement, pain, jealousy, greatness, reassurance, camaraderie, and so much more.
The flight experience can be very unique and most likely will never repeat itself again. We might have some flashbacks from time to time, but we will always remember that one flight over another, one passenger over another, treasure that one business card over another, forget that flight attendant faster than the other, remember that movie we first watched during a flight, smile when we were first upgraded, close our eyes with that air bump experience, be thankful for that one stormy experience, remember that one quote from a pilot, laugh at that one joke the flight attendant said, tell and retell that one story that will become our favorite travel story with friends and colleagues.
Air time can be the best part of the trip, that one time when we get to really disconnect, or connect until the next interruption comes by. Secretly, we wish it would never end, that one time we can really read all those emails and reply to all those we never have time for, listen to those songs we like, watch the sky as we were a child, dream with SkyMall magazine and all the things we will never have, browse at all the apps we have collected in our device and wonder when or why do we have them, survey all other passengers’ devices and attempt to find one that we don't know, look at families with kids and fight that sense of guilt for either not ever wanting to travel with kids, or not ever wanting to have kids, or wish our kids were with us...as applicable.
Yes, those are fractions of time, interrupted by multiple announcements we already know by heart, or at least, think we know by heart. Do we compare one announcement from one airline with another? Do we judge that video of a CEO giving advice, over the other CEO? Do we ignore all it is said? Do we look at others to see what they are doing and imitate their actions? Do we try to guess what is coming next? What is the flight attendant going to do? The plane’s features, its neatness, its flaws. Do we want to avoid seeing what fleet this is? Do we really care if it is Boeing or Airbus or some other? Those fractions of thoughts are constantly merged with emotions of fear, toughness, courage, certainty, self-reliance, awareness, tension, relaxation.
So much goes on, or perhaps, so little. We get off and can't help but go back to our walk the life attitude, leaving the past air time behind, looking at the airport with pleasure, a pleasure that will melt away really fast. The travel has not ended…there is much more to say, to tell. But not in this chapter.
P.S. Frequent fliers secret diaries will compile a series of chronicles common to the frequent traveler and will help bring to light all those secret experiences, tips, domestic and international stories experienced in the daily life of a frequent traveler.