Flying the world's best economy airline to warmer climes
|Balinese dancer. Photo:Belinda Jackson|
I knew it was going to be a weird one, long before even boarding, when the airport customs officer kept shouting, "No-one loses their temper in Melbourne Airport!" Obviously, he'd missed the three-year-old's tantrum in the insanely long queue.
So back to my spectacular techno-fail: how did I occupy myself on a six-hour flight to Denpasar? Why, I cleaned spilt foundation out of my handbag. I read up on the encouraging indications that Japan may just ban child pornography (anime and manga excluded). I learned that Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudyoyomo was 'flattered' that Our Tony called him a 'senior statesman...a great president...a good friend'. And I contemplated the gentle fondling of my seat's undercarriage by the socked toes of the tall Croat behind me.
After asking the staff to reset the electronics of my movie system, I sipped my tepid tea and started thinking about the airline ratings group Skytrax awarding Garuda Indonesia its 2014 World's Best Economy Class award.
Perhaps it was the cold tea. Perhaps it was that the first whiff of a teabag came three hours into the flight. Perhaps it was, despite being a 9am flight (which everyone knows means you got up at 5am, left at 6 to make 7am check-in) there was nought but some salted legumes to keep us occupied for the first half of the flight.
Don't get me wrong, I like Garuda, with all its challenges (this morning's being 30 minutes to clear customs queues and a 25-minute wait on the tarmac to take off, Melbourne's parting shot for those of us leaving its gloomy skies). It is what it is. It got me here safely, hopefully (if it doesn't read this), it will get me back home safely. But world's best economy seat?
Come to think of it, if you are reading, Garuda, the reset didn't fix seat 31A.