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The Air Traveller’s Prayer

Disposable gloves; surgical gloves; chirurgisc...

“Step this way please, we just need to carry out ooone more security check…”

Dear God/Allah/Shiva/Buddha/Richard Branson (delete as applicable),

Please see to it that my flight isn’t the one delayed 14 hours when I made a special effort to be at the airport 2 pointless hours early. Come on God, you know we talked about this last time – if you want me to sit for more than 4 straight hours in one building, I either need to be getting paid for it or facing a free bar.

Please grant me the strength not to strangle the cretin ahead of me in the line for security checks, who waits until the very last possible moment to search their hand luggage for their 27 bottles of lotions and potions, seeming surprised that they then need to fit these into the thoroughly well advertised teeny plastic bag.

Dear deity/Sir Richard, bestow upon me a will of iron so I don’t smack them round the back of the head with my laptop (removed from its case well ahead of reaching the conveyor belt) as they struggle and fumble to remove theirs from the depths of their carry-on suitcase and then cause the line another 10 minute delay as they have to be prompted by the bulldog-esque female security staff member to remove their belt, their Mr T style neck adornments, chain mail vest and suit of armour prior to entering the metal detector. 

Please grace the security bulldog with tender hands while she frisks me, and seriously, would it be too much to ask that she at least buy me drinks and dinner before checking my inner thigh and bra underwire quite so thoroughly?

Dear spiritual being, when they start to call people forward for boarding, can you please add me to one of these “priority” groups? It seems to me that you’ve been granting this wish to a lot of people and it’s getting out of hand. “Ladies and gentlemen, now calling forward for boarding all passengers with wheelchairs or who have access issues” – sensible. “Now calling forward all passengers with business class tickets” – fine. “Now calling forward all passengers with small children” – ok. “Now calling all people in rows 17 through 20” – bit random but ok, carry on. “Now calling forward all passengers with a slight lisp and who are afraid of bees” – seriously?!

Dear sweet lord above (or wherever you are Mr Branson), please don’t screw me over in the seating lottery. You know what I mean. Don’t give me a seat next to a snorer, a fidgeter, an arm rest stealer, a laugh-out-loud-at-films-er, a seven foot tall-needs-your-leg-room-too-er, a constant need to pee-er, and seriously, for the love of all that is airborne, please don’t sit me within 10 rows of the screaming brat who will be using the entire plane’s oxygen supply to pierce their neighbours’ eardrums through the excruciating 10 hour flight, while their 5 year old sibling tests the bounciness of their shoe on the back of the seat before them.

May the films be current and not talked through by the overly chatty member of flight crew who is clearly very excited about being promoted to chief announcement maker and number 1 microphone wrangler. May the entertainment system function for the entire duration of the flight and if it doesn’t, please, oh chosen figure of worship, at least ensure that the drinks trolley wheels are well oiled so that the boozy goods are free of flow and free-er of price.

Please bless me with the ability to distinguish three different coloured blobs of congealed matter from each other as the meals are handed out. It doesn’t mean the food will taste any better but it helps to trick the mouth into opening and accepting said congealed globules, if the brain can tell it roughly which of three food groups it’s meant to be; carbs, baby food or boiled dog. Oh, and when the tea/coffee comes around, please can you bless us all with a pocket of turbulence, as having those utterly interchangeable hot brown liquids poured all over our immobilized crotches is immensely preferable to actually drinking them.

Dear deity, please can you explain to me why when the plane lands, everyone rushes out of their seats to stand uncomfortably, cramped and crooked necked, clutching their heavy bags of duty free in the aisle for the 20 minutes it takes the crew to release the plane doors? If it’s their penance for getting on your priority boarding list (they do look a little afraid of bees) then that’s only fair and I’ll skip the priority thing after all, thanks.

Please find it in your almighty power to see that my luggage comes out onto the carousel in one piece. I would ask for you to make sure that it comes out first, so I can escape the vile tourist melee that is the arrivals hall as quickly as possible, without getting my ankles rammed by a child-driven luggage trolley, but really, I’ll just settle for it to appear at all, full stop. Actually, scrap that, I want it to appear without half my soiled undercrackers spewing forth from a freshly broken zip and without a mystery liquid trickling out of one bruised corner. Thanks.

May passport control be swift and may the customs officials have a very blind eye to the 800 cigarettes and 17 litres of mysterious local liquor swinging from my paws, and may the taxis be as bountiful as an air stewardess’s make-up.

Dear God/Allah/Shiva/Buddha/Richard Branson, if you could see your way to hooking me up with all these humble requests, while keeping a huge metal tube up in the atmosphere and not plummeting us all to a deathy doom, that would super. Just one thing, I don’t actually believe in you and I never will… UNTIL I GET A FREE UPGRADE!


About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

55 responses »

  1. At least you pray about proper things.

  2. The joys of flying….:-)

  3. So… a free upgrade would make you believe? Hmmmm…. and just why would that work, pray tell? Or perhaps you’re just teasing.

    As always, I have enjoyed your wry sense of humor (or is that Humour?)
    I hope you have wonderful flying/traveling experiences and continue to regale us with your hopes and dreams.

  4. Did you sacrifice a chicken? Pretty sure that’s what you’re supposed to do. Just praying isn’t good enough nowadays – everyone does that and you need to stand out from the crowd, or else your prayers just aren’t going to be heard.

    Sacrificing a chicken will more likely get the attention of the gods.

    Actually, it turns out (or so I found to my cost) that it gets the attention of the airport security guards as well. At least you don’t have to put up with busy airports then; by the time they released me, everyone else had gone home.

    Maybe sacrifice something a little less attention-grabbing. But I don’t know if sacrificing a cockroach will have the same “Look at me!” effect upon the powers-that-be; headless cockroaches don’t have the same “zing” as headless chickens. Nor do they run around the departures lounge with blood spurting out of their neck (yep, you can add a clean-up bill to the fine for creating a public nuisance).

    Maybe I’ll just recommend staying home instead.

    • You’re doing it wrong. If you’re going to sacrifice a chicken, you need to take breadcrumbs, seasoning and a deep fat fryer with you. No security guard will sling you out if you look like you’re about to come up with a couple of decent crispy wings and drumsticks!

      Was tempted to try goats but they just made my luggage stink.

  5. I would laugh and hard, but too much of it is true! 🙂

  6. OMG, is this what I have to look forward to when and if I ever fly? LMAO!!

    I could have a prayer all mine own! Oy!

  7. I ‘ve just acquired a bicycle. Think I’ll start training for long distance biking after reading this post! ( Maybe I could try taking said bike onto a plane) Very funny and scarily true….

  8. Incredibly creative…. And hilarious!

  9. I got a free upgrade once! Also, I may just steal your prayer, I have a 27-odd hour flight in about three weeks, which as I’m sure you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to. Pretty much just keep the kids away and I will be happy. But really, who would be stupid enough to take a child on a flight that long?

    • You got a free upgrade? Which deity did you have to sleep with to get that?! I warn you now, there are parents all over the world who don’t see why having a small bundle of screaming poo should stop them doing everything they did before having careless drunken sex one night. I ran into one such couple in the tropical jungle of Guatemala WITH A BABY! These people think nothing of a 27 hour flight. You’re toast.

  10. Heck those gloves look scary…

  11. May your pleas for plentiful [free] booze in the big tube above be granted. For the sake of the whole humanity.

  12. That’s why I fly business….

    Well, when work is paying I do.

  13. LOVE this post! LOVE it! HAHA.. My prayer is to not get rammed by the juice cart sitting in the aisle seats and a non-stingy air flight attendant to give me more than just ice with a drop of Coke Zero. 😀

    Love it!


  14. *mad applause* This, this is brilliant, covers all the bases and idiot-groups. Well done, you.
    Also, those free upgrades you talk of,I don’t believe they exist anymore….. I’ve never actually got one but my sis claims to have, twice :-/ .
    So I try looking adorable and cuddly and man-child like at the check in counters but no good :-/ …. so far.

  15. louisencrepes

    I’ve never been inside an airport. I guess I’m no missing much after all.

  16. May all Gods consider your application sans pot-de-vin.
    And may those scary gloves not search too deep in the cavity!

  17. What a tonic you are! Airport travel with all its wills and woes, a worthy dissection of all things travelesque :)))

  18. I know where you are coming from here – I hate the whole airport thing and have NEVER succeeded in getting upgraded even though most people I know HAVE! No justice in this world…

  19. I said before how I loved the post (if I didn’t, here it is!).
    Also, I nominated you for an award. Please drop by my post and get the details.

  20. Yes yes YES. All of this is so very true, and the bits that travel brochures conveniently forget to mention when flying to your tropical paradise.

    Personally, I always have the joy of been frisked/randomly bomb checked/drug checked every time I go through an airport. Probably the best time that occurred was when I was travelling alone from South America and stopped at NZ at 2am in the morning, to have a lady tell me that “i had to remove everything in my pockets while getting frisked, yes even that used tissue”. Honestly, I just couldnt think of a polite way to tell her that if I was carrying drugs, I wouldn’t try selling them in NZ of all places.


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