Flying around the world certainly changes your outlook on many things and your thoughts tend to broaden... and well, some close. Those who travel know what I mean.
Sri Lankan Airlines was my mode of transportation this past weekend; I was off to do hair and makeup for a wedding party in Galle, Sri Lanka. Schwank.
At the airport check-in I asked for an aisle exit row or bulkhead seat (seats that are immediately behind business class with extra legroom. ) Also known as 'bassinet' seating when traveling with infants they are very helpful; cots are fastened to the wall so you can place your babe in there for naps. Tip: Want these seats? Get to the airport early to request them!! They are very helpful for the long haul flights if you are at the back of the bus.
Anywho... The check-in counter girl pleasantly promises me that I had a great seat. Now since I don't have the seating plan memorized for any aircraft I just had to go by her guarantee. I board the plane, find that I have crappy seat and notice that 1/2 the bulkhead is still available and same with the exit rows... Um...? I despise this type of ‘friendly but do nothing’ customer service. She obviously knows where she put me.
Once the plane takes off I plan to ask the flight attendant if I can move. I know many people who don't ask and just reseat themselves but I try to be courteous of the staff... Well, when the time is right I ask if I can move. The flight attendant walking down the aisle cuts me off mid-question and as she is still walking, waves her hand at me saying 'yes, yes, yes' over her shoulder. There is no way she heard my question, very dismissive. I am so adamant on great customer service that maybe at times I'm a little tough but then once you fly with some of the other Asia-based airlines you know that seamless in-flight service is not difficult to maintain.
Sigh. I move.
Food comes. As appetizing as the 'fresh' fruit looks I turn my nose up on hairy fruit. Ok so there was ONE hair... still a hair that never shed from my head. Frankly, hair or not, airplane food is never amazing.
Overall, Sri Lankan Airlines is quite comfortable and I'd fly them again, but not in economy. I was on an airbus A320, which means absolutely nothing to me. No matter how much I nit-pick SLA they will never be as bad as the crabby ladies on Amercian who need a makeover and a retirement home in Florida.
[I do want to point out that flight attendants do go beyond the duty many times. For example: This flight, as I was in line for the toilet, a male flight attendant checked the conditions prior to another passenger using and with a horrified look came out and asked who had just used the toilet. A glamorous looking elderly woman was ushered back to the toilet and asked to clean up her 'mess'. The flight attendant then spent another 5 minutes cleaning after she had cleaned it. Fast forward another hour, it had happened again after a male patron used the toilet! It always amazes me the condition of public toilets. There is a fairly simple rule that the masses of the world seem to have a hard time following: Don't be a pig!]
Kudos to the attendant that further cleaned the toilets, I would have quit my job on that spot. Customer service is important but I don't think one should take shit from anyone, nor do I think you should have to clean it up either.
Travel math. Know what I am talking about? Time zones and currency exchanges. I cannot grasp them. I have called my husband when he has been in other countries and the first thing I say is "what time is it there?" or I will google "current time in [insert the country]" before calling him. Usually I just call and he grumbles that it's some ungodly hour and can I please workout the time zone change. Whatever Dude, you married an artist. Deal.
If you see my itinerary showing travel to and from Columbo from Singapore, one can guess that there is a time difference. The flight out was to touch down in Kuala Lumpur for an hour but they changed it to a direct to Columbo; take off was 7:10 arriving at 8:40. An hour and 30 mins! Easy flight!! Return schedule 11:00 pm landing in Singapore 6:05 am... 7 hour flight. Wait... What?? Maybe we fly a figure 8 around mountains a few times or.... maybe I'm a dumbass.
When shopping I constantly ask my HB: “How much is this in U.S again?" I don't know why I ask for it in the U.S currency either since I am Canadian and we live in Singapore.
Clearly I'm an idiot.
While in Sri Lanka my HB has asked me not to venture much on my own. I thought it was out of jealousy that I'm hitting a country that he hasn't been to yet. Maybe concerned of his wife's safety from naivety? As I think about his request, I'm thinking it's more due to the combo of my math skills, money and markets. Oh well, there's always duty-free!!
Sidebar: After I decided for 2012 to not buy makeup for a while and use up the thousands worth that I have in my kit...
My duty-free trove this trip: Bobbi Brown. $400 Singapore dollars. [I'm a Shimmer Brick diehard]
The wedding went off with only one hitch... I'll give you a minute... [come on... that's a good one!]
While after the wedding, sipping champagne a guest flourished me with compliments on how "fabulous" the bridal party looked, me beaming proudly: ‘Thank you!’ He then added how great I was and 'cheap'… um… what?!
Dear Brit Event Planner: Sweetie, never call a woman ‘cheap’ in any conversation and since you never booked me you clearly have no sense of my rates.
I was elated by how lovely the ladies looked, how kind the family was and how amazing The Sun House in Galle was as a venue. The 2.5 hour car ride to the airport [pleasant driver but still a long car ride] mixed with memories of the flight into Sri Lanka led me to the decision that this cheap girl was bookin’ up into business class. [An upgrade to business class was not that much and since the bride had covered all my other costs on top of my fees, this was really nothing]
Well... Long story later, I’m sipping' bubbly in the lounge and told the flight was delayed... I kept asking and when I saw the 'now boarding' sign, the attendant on the desk assured me: "M'am it's just economy boarding we will come get you" I went over and asked 3x. Same answer each time. Well, I have travelled a lot and I was getting increasingly suspicious... Finally I saw 'gate closing' ahhhh... What?!?! I go over and the same woman ushers me out the door, says she had been looking for me (no, she hadn't) and that the gate was closing... Oh... And I was to run!! I race to the gate to meet up with a rep who is rushing me through the line saying that they were calling my name in the airport...well, if they were, they weren't calling in the lounge where I was the whole time. As she is rushing me through I tell her that I had asked numerous times and that the attendant was obviously lacking in her job. No apologies. She just smiles and says 'Never mind'.
Never mind cuz Singapore Airlines flies to Sri Lanka.