Last week a plane had to land prematurely after two passengers got into a fight over a reclining seat. The guy sitting behind had purchased something called a Knee Defender, a little device that prevents the person in front from tipping their chair into a more relaxed position. I can’t imagine what else this selfish tosser spends his money on, but if underage prostitutes and divorce proceedings don’t contribute to his monthly outgoings, I’ll never recline my seat again.
In the aftermath, loads of journalists decided to weigh in on ‘plane etiquette.’ Some said never recline. Others argued the passenger behind should pay the person in front to relinquish their right to tip back. On a different question of airline protocol, one claimed you should only order the vegetarian option because you’ll be served first. If all of those don’t make you scream ‘fuck these people’, then maybe you’re next holiday should be in Cromer, because you don’t deserve to fly.
I’m going to add my two cents, not only because all these people are wrong, but also because I’ve developed an approach to air travel so smooth, following my advice will make your next flight feel like you’re riding a wave of hard liquor, benzodiazepine and good vibes. (hint: You will be!)
Hop on board.
I strongly recommend you bump this Dierks song while reading!
Get shit moving
This guy's flight got grounded because of a dog what shit on the plane. Don't let it b you!!!!!11!
The worst thing about flying is the disruption to your regular routine. I don’t mean your going to work, ignoring emails then zoning out on Reddit for three hours routine, I’m talking about the digestive privileges that come with keeping your feet firmly on the ground.
It might be the rush to the gate or the fear of unloading in a cramped plane toilet at 30,000 feet, but for some reason the thought of a long-haul flight clogs you up like you’ve just spent a week washing down chicken parmos with pints of imodium.
If you don’t want it to feel like a toddler is doing windmills inside your colon for the next 8-11 hours, I suggest you eat some bran flakes, drink a cup of coffee and wrestle that fucker out in the terminal. An empty gut will give you one less thing to worry about.
The “Is flying safe?” team talk
Pilots know what they're doing!
I’m hoping the next few steps will not only make your flight easier, but also help you get past whatever crippling fear you have of hurtling through the air. On the other hand, if you’re one of those people who repeats the “flying is safer than driving” mantra, then try driving a car in a straight line with nothing around for 8 hours.
On the off chance it breaks down or runs out of gas you can just get out. When that happens in a plane you can put your head between your knees and pray to a God you never previously believed in. The fear you’d feel as you plummet to your demise is so beyond comprehension, even typing this sentence gives me the yips.
The short answer to air travel being safe is “probably.”
Getting hammered at Stansted Spoons + reading the Daily Mail + rocking rare Sunday Express merch
Lettuce be cereal brahs. Very few people feel absolutely no sense of anxiety before boarding. This year hasn’t been a particularly good one for air travel, and if your own mortality doesn’t cross your mind after the flight attendant smiles and says, “welcome aboard”, you’re probably stupid, ignorant, hammered or a combination of all three.
You’re all smart, well-read people, so I’m assuming the only way you’re going to totally rid your head of MH17, MH370 and - for all you older travellers - Richard Reid’s mashed up face, is by putting away a few cold ones before the plane takes off.
Wetherspoons - or a similar establishment - is housed in most airports. If you need a friend to hold your hand while you’re flying solo, or a place where you and your pals can settle your collective nerves, then nothing does the trick like six woo-woos, countless jager bombs and a nice clean toilet to complete stage #1.
The same combination of drinks can probably also get you on the no-fly list if you’re the combative type, so refrain from shouting at members of staff or urinating in plastic foliage. But then you are about to sit in a metal tube travelling at 500 mph - you may as well take the risk anyway.
Get there a few hours before take-off and you’ll have time to binge-drink and still look like you’re pacing yourself. Arrive late and you risk downing drinks after a tannoy calls your name 10 minutes before take-off. The only other time a stranger will sternly recite your full name while you sink cheap pints and neck neat liquor is when you get an AA sponsor, so give yourself a buffer you savage.
WARNING: thanks to cheap airfares and airport prices, your bar tab can easily equal the cost of your ticket. This unfortunate financial shit-storm will make you feel like you’ve just been dumped by a girl you really fancy and fired from your dream job. If you’re still reading by this point I imagine you’re the kind of person who knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Plastic litre of Teachers = str8 cruisin
You’re going to walk into Duty Free and want to stock up on loads of tat. There’ll be brand name liquor at reasonable prices and attractive Lithuanian ladies will mist cologne/perfume in your face. This is a trap. Ignore the giant tubes of M&Ms and hurry past the staff. There’s only one product to buy and it isn’t Grey Goose or Davidoff Coolwater. Who the fuck are you? David Gandy?
Some people always take compression socks and a eye-mask on a flight, but the only comfort I bring on board is Teachers Whiskey. It comes in a plastic bottle and costs about a tenner for a litre in Duty Free. Buy a few bottles of coke and pour most of them down the sink. Re-fill them with whiskey before you take your seat and try to pound one during take-off. It’s the adult version of hyperventilating and fainting in the playground.
Keep ur shit together when drinking on planes!
If you drill through the mixed drinks you’re going to need to make a few more. Sure, you can just get some from the flight attendant, but this takes time and makes you feel like one of those plane-drunks who goes insane, tries to wrench the emergency exit open, and ends up being strapped to the seat and stripped searched upon landing. Don’t bother the cabin crew, just take your remaining whiskey to the bog and re-fill your coke bottles in there. You don’t want any attendants ‘keeping an eye on you’ because you're making crude cocktails in the row you're sharing with a mother and child.
Keep in mind, a lot of people begin to sweat if they see a man take his carry-on into the toilet. Unless you have a baby, people immediately assume the giant rucksack that’s accompanying you to the shitter is filled with plastic explosives. Be considerate when you’re making your whiskey re-up. Take it to the loo in a plastic bag.
I like booze, but have you got anything stronger?
Even Gerard knows the 'way' hahaha :P
The great thing about a fear of flying is that there’s no concrete test to determine if you are actually afraid. You can’t piss in a cup, give it to the doctor, and have him come back with a tub of Benzos and a note telling you to pop them as the landing gear closes. It’s scouts honour, and your GP isn’t going to quiz you when he wants you gone within ten minutes. Once you’ve got the goods, munch them until you can’t tell if your mouth’s open or closed. Go nuts, the only way you can OD on valium is if you fill a skip with the pills and drop it on your head.
If the drug du jour of the bored and menopausal isn’t hard enough for you, then you might need to graduate to the stronger proprietary blends favoured by Americans. Unfortunately, the barmy bureaucrats at the NHS are less inclined to dish out Oxycontin and Xanax like sweets on Halloween, so you will have to source them by other means. Hint: The Silk Road can still be taken. These days, bad flyers aren’t scared. They just don’t how to use bitcoin.
Pop a Xanax and all the Knee Defenders in the world couldn’t stop your fun. In fact, take about three and crash-landing on the Hudson River wouldn’t feel too dissimilar to a day at the spa.
To recline or not to recline?
Always recline, because the person behind you can recline too. Duh.