Sunday, May 27, 2007

10 Things One Does Without

... when flying with a really small airline.

1. baggage handler (on the tarmac, outside the plane in Vancouver, handed my bag to Craig, the guy who I thought was doing double duty as a flight attendant... turns out Craig was actually the co-pilot, doing triple duty as flight attendant AND baggage handler...)
2. flight attendant (see above)
Even if I had been absolutely desperate for a drink of water during the flight, there was NO WAY!!!! I was going to yell up to the cockpit, "Hey, Craig! Can you bring me a decaf?" Shoehorning himself into the copilot seat had involved some spectacular yogic contortions and it didn't seem like a good idea to ask him to repeat the maneuver in reverse while we tootled along somewhere high above the Rocky Mountains. He could easily have kicked the 'down' button. Or the pilot.
3. food service (see above. Not even a help yourself candy basket.)
4. tray tables (not that this was a big worry since there was no food)
5. head room
When Craig welcomed me aboard he warned me to watch my head as I passed through the door. I did and foolishly straightened up once through and promply cracked my head on the ceiling. Had to walk folded in half until I found an empty seat because another thing we did without was,
6. assigned seats.
It was a scramble for who got to sit beside the emergency exit. The big guy (a bear hunter?) won.
7. Overhead compartments.
It was a good thing that Craig was willing to take my carry-on bag because there was nowhere to stow it in in the cabin. And, a good thing I am very short because my laptop bag and purse took up every available inch under the seat in front of me.
8. Last names
Toward the end of the flight, Craig announced, "On behalf of me, Jamie, and Pacific Coastal Airlines, welcome to Cranbrook."
Jamie? You mean Capatain Someone-or-other? Jamie? Mind you, Jamie and Craig were pretty chatty during the flight, a fact I was able to determine because I could see them due to the lack of a
9. door
leading to the cockpit. Now that was a first for me since 911. I didn't think they made planes like that any more!
10. Best part of flying in a teeny, weeny plane with about a dozen seats is that nobody can sit beside you in the seat-aisle-seat configuration. So no worries about inappropriate conversations or unpleasant odours or crawling over a sleeping seatmate to try to get to the bathroom. Though Craig never mentioned an on-board loo... Nah. Surely not?