Like sardines… ‘United’ in a can.

At first I was going to call this post something like ‘cattle wagon’. Then I had a think, and figured that’d be too malicious. Kinda like, ‘Shock, horror! The beluga caviar isn’t spread evenly here’; i.e., hardly appropriate outside my little world, really :).

Basically, this is just a bit of a whinge. One of those petty peeves we all have from time to time due to perceived poor levels of service…

So, there I was, sat on one of eight (8) seats in a row – in business class – on United Airlines’ UA988 flight from Frankfurt to Washington, and I was thinking back to a wholly different avia experience – flying from Singapore to New York on Singapore Airlines. That flight took 18 hours – non-stop (!), and there were just four seats to a row (but of course those seats were priced somewhat differently).

But on United the seats were arranged 2-4-2, to make up eight-to-a-row. What made things worse was that half the passengers in the row were faced forward, the other half – backward. I was lucky enough to be faced backwards, and, well, sitting backwards on a plane is one of the few things in this world that really irritate me. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it was because they drummed it into me when younger that sitting like that on a train is somehow not right… I dunno.

United Arilines

From Frankfurt to Washington DC

Looking back, this is what business class looks like on Singapore:

Singapore Airlines vs United

And this is how the SQ22 compared – from Singapore to NYC, before it was sadly discontinued due to unprofitability. The A-340 held just 100 passengers, and all in business class – no first or economy. Just a hundred business-divans! So you can imagine the difference in leg-room – and arm room :). It also had three (3!) crews (that worked shifts), plus the world’s biggest kerosene tank.

Singapore airlines

Incidentally, it was when on the SQ22 where I think I finally decided to at last get to the Kurils to experience the extreme extremities there. Why? We flew right past the full length of the archipelago, and they were just there, in front of me on the screen for what seemed like an age… getting seared into my consciousness. They were crying out to be conquered :).

Flying over Kuril islands

Kuril islands

And now I’m flying back, from New York to Europe. The plane’s shaking about so much I’m having trouble typing these here words – and my drink keeps missing my mouth too! What a mess! But who am I going to complain to? Everyone’s asleep. Guten nacht folks!

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