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Monday, March 28, 2005


Lost my Virginity...

Everyone I know in London raves about Virgin Atlantic. (That should have warned me. Things that Brits think are jolly marvellous, like the NHS and the BBC, generally turn out to be horrific disgraces to mankind). Despite the fact that I used to hang out with one of their stewardesses (I'll call her Cherry, with good reason), I never got around to travelling with VA, until today.

Here are some of the "high"points of this, erm, experience:

-LHR is now officially the worst airport in the world, narrowly beating out Ruzhny in Prague. In Prague I had to stand in line for an hour and a half to go through passport control (when I was _leaving_ the country; I'm guessing it was a communist-era law they hadn't got around to revoking at that point) but at LHR today I spent a total of THREE HOURS standing in various lines, until I felt like I was trapped in some kind of Soviet Union themepark.
-I was picked on for the Potemkin Security Check, as usual: shoes off, pockets out, the works. I guess it's like a DWB, except in my case it would be "Flying While White". Either that or the "security" "guards" were worried I was one of those blond, clean-shaven Scottish hijackers we see so much of nowadays...
-Following these horrors, the Virgin inflight movie screens had the unmitigated gall to show a cartoon of happy Virgin passengers being magically wafted past security checks. I felt a sudden and poignant urge to buy a high-powered sniper rifle and take aim at Branson's balloon the next time the strutting popinjay takes to the air.

These inflight movies BTW seem to constitute the sole reason anyone would want to fly with Virgin. Everyone, even nebbishes in Cattle Truck Class like me, gets his own screen with about fifty movies, and quite good ones too. (OTOH they were also showing Fahrenhate 911, which for some reason was described as a documentary). The main problem with the inflight movies was that they shut them off an hour before the (pretty lousy) landing, so I was left to listen to various brats squalling in relays in a manner reminiscent of the Dilbert cartoon about the colicky baby convention...

Virgin? Not worth a fuck.

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