11 May 2010
My flight from Knoxville was scheduled for 7:30PM but the friend that took me to the airport got me there quite early, 5:45PM. This proved to be useful since my recent airline travel experience is nil. In fact since retiring in Alaska I hadn't been on an aircraft even once -- quite the change from my working years when I seemed to be flying at least every other month for one reason or another. And the changes in security (well that is what they call it) seem designed to make the previously-simple act of checking in and boarding into a major endurance event.
The short hop to Atlanta took very little time in a little regional jet, uncomfortable but endurable given the short duration. The flight from Atlanta to Manchester was not quite so endurable. The seating was, if anything, even worse, and the aircraft had zero empty seats. In other words, it was like some cattle car. And given that my seat was capable of reclining about 2 inches and I was on the aisle close to the rear restroom there was no rest to be had even after putting in my foam earplugs and popping a pill. This was during a period of flight uncertainty caused by a volcano spewing ash in Iceland which intermittently grounded or rerouted a great many flights. Guess I shouldn't complain quite so vehemently -- I could have been sitting on the ground clutching my non-refundable ticket.