I know I promised you Barcelona, but first the flight over. I don’t sleep on flights. Part of the reason is my aviation career, where sleeping was frowned upon, and part is economy seating (pretty sure they were outlawed by the Geneva Convention). So, when I found an affordable business class ticket with, get this, a lie-flat seat, I was super excited. Finally, I would arrive in Europe rested.
But first, I had to get on the plane. It was at gate C-33 that I learned two things. First, I learned that Spain really doesn’t want our filthy, disease-ridden bodies in their country. We had to say “No, I don’t have COVID” using the Spanish health form, which took less than 5 minutes to fill out on their App. Second, I learned that ten percent of passengers on the flight either did not know about the pandemic or did not believe Spain really wanted us to say “No, I don’t have COVID.” Boarding was delayed.
I got an email notification upon arrival in Barcelona informing me that the flight was delayed. Nice to know. A relief to know that the delayed boarding hadn’t impacted me at all.
So, finally, I am on the plane, admiring my lie-flat, business class seat. Ready to sleep. However, I fell for that old trap. Kindness.
Damn it. They tricked me with the welcome aboard glass of champagne. The bastards explained how the seat worked. Would you like a light snack after take-off? Why yes, I would. What about a hot breakfast before landing? Yes, please.
Finally, done with the light snack (or, as we called it back home, a full meal). Now I can sleep. But, wait. The “light snack” took only an hour and half. And, the delicious hot breakfast would be served two hours before landing. That gives me just four hours to sleep. Math is a cruel mistress.
I should have skipped the snack, reclined immediately after take-off, skipped breakfast and slept for seven hours in my lie-flat, business class, oasis in the sky. But I was tricked, scammed, and bamboozled. And worse, I could get comfortable in that damned seat!
Turns out, airlines hate side sleepers. It’s impossible in coach and frowned upon in business. After failing for an hour or so, I gave up on the lie-flat and tried to find any position that would induce sleep. Just three hours before breakfast.
I found a position somewhere between dentist chair and poolside lounger. I remembered that I had brought earplugs and a facemask. Sweet sleep ensued. I slept soundly until – remember those tricky bastards – those tricky bastards woke me for breakfast. Ah, three hours of sleep.
To be fair, three hours of sleep beat my usual sleep time by three hours. I could have skipped breakfast, but it was already late morning in Spain. Time to get up. And breakfast was hot and delicious. I made it. I was in Barcelona fresh-ish and ready to go.