tremble clef

Friday, October 28, 2005

Fountains of Wayne, "Trains and Boats and Planes" (2005)

My friend Daniel is an aviation whore. Because he travels quite a bit on business, in both senses of that phrase, he is a fanatic about keeping up with all matters flying. He's on a bunch of mailing lists that keeps him abreast of the latest mileage offers. He knows the hell out of blackout dates. He has all manners of passwords that enable him to get onto sites that only travel agents access. Do the odd curves of a particular plane mean that certain seats give you the extra inch of legroom? Are there any secret buttons on the remote you can press to allow you to skip over the annoying ads on your personal monitor before your chosen film starts? Which airline includes the best moisturiser in their business-class toiletries pack? Hanging out with him is a hoot. I love baiting him to talk about such stuff, although I sometimes have to back away a few inches in case he has an accident while gushing about cabin pressure.

Not that I don't understand how he feels. Returning home from Nottingham via Amsterdam last week, I am in line for the boarding area. The man in front of me expressly turns around and gives me A Look. Oh, hello there, cute, probably Dutch guy. He smiles, and passes through the ticketing point. I make a mental note, and it's my turn to hand the gate agent my ticket. "Oh. I think they've moved your seat, sir," she tells me ominously. But then: "Yes, yes. You've been upgraded, sir."

I've been in business class before, but never for free. Internal elation (external cool). I thank her, pass through to the crowded seating area (but hey, I would soon have a good seat, suckers). And completely forget about seeking out the man. Free upgrades: better than sex.

Postscript: Once on the plane, I settle in (the immediate of champagne help) and adopt the done-it-all "air." Over to my left, two young gay men seem all a-titter about being in business. Philistines, I think. They were probably upgraded for free, unlike me. Out of the corner of my eye I watch them as they, already giddy, sip the sparkling wine. But then one of the men backs his ass into the flute, tipping it over onto his partner's seat. I think I gasped audibly. I mean, god, don't waste all that champagne, even if it's free.


  • Perhaps it was the man's responsibility to seek you out, no? I mean, what if the upgrading had been random -- this is something that happened to me once -- and you had gone over to him to thank him for something that he didn't do, producing only an awkward conversation?

    By Anonymous esque, at 8:56 PM  

  • "Hi. Thanks for causing them to upgrade me."

    "Oh. I had nothing to do with it. But I do have another seat you can upgrade to."


    "Yes. It's my lap."

    Oh dear.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 10:00 PM  

  • i was talking with my best friend yesterday and we never ever met anyone cute on the plane (business or eco). Seems like cute guys don't fly?

    By Anonymous Arnault, at 6:18 PM  

  • I believe the Cute Guys have their own angel wings on which to fly. Bastards.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 11:45 PM  

  • or they travel on a top secret special "cute airlines"???
    Oh, have you heard the Kelley Polar album. I just got it this week-end and I am VERY obsessed...

    By Anonymous Arnault, at 10:16 AM  

  • There was a cute guy next to me on one of the legs of my flight. But, then, of all the movies available -- classics like Vertigo, recent interesting ones like Crash (an excellently-titled film to offer on a flight, btw) or even Bewitched -- he went and chose Herbie: Fully Loaded. Our imaginary relationship was therefore over before it started.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 1:46 PM  

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