Not much happened at 35,000 feet

Sitting in economy class for ten hours on a transatlantic flight isn’t really my idea of a fun way to spend time. The good news is that it was only ten hours flying back to Amsterdam from San Francisco.

When you fly economy (or coach or cattle class, take your pick of descriptions), you know that you’ll be squeezed in to relatively small seats with little space for movement. At least with KLM, the seat pitch on the MD-11 is quite reasonable for someone of my height (just under two meters) with enough space between my seat and the one in front, so it wasn’t too uncomfortable.

Little chance of using the laptop on the plane, though. Once the lights went down (it was an overnight flight) everyone reclined their seats including the guy in front of me. Absolutely no space to even open up the ThinkPad. That’s when I really wish I’d succumbed to temptation and bought one of the very cool little Sony Vaio SZ series laptops I was drooling over with Shel at Fry’s and CompUSA on Saturday. Compact form factor, fully loaded hardware and just perfect for using in a cramped economy-class seating space.

So not much happened at 35,000 feet as the passengers settled in for the night. Except me: I really find it difficult sleeping on those overnight long-haul flights. So there I am sitting bug eyed with my light on (the only light on in that section of the cabin) reading a new Tom Clancy Net Force novel I picked up at an SFO newsstand. I’m a sucker for those novels; great fun.

Now back in Amsterdam, a bit jet lagged and writing these words while I’m still reasonably with it. Normal service resumes tomorrow.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. neville

    The only advantages I can see from business class (or whatever the next-level upgrade might be from cattle) are more comfy seats and more space. Certainly not the food or extra service, which are fine in economy.

    Is it worth paying the considerable extra amount or using a bunch of airmiles? I don’t think so. In which case, economy it is with all the drawbacks.

    At least I got to read a great novel in peace and quiet.

  2. Net

    Neville, I did the same route – after having spend 5 hours from Tel Aviv to Amsterdam, fortunatley in Business Class. It is worth it believe me! 17 hours in the air ( 2 hours waiting in transfer).

  3. neville

    Net, I would have preferred to travel business class, believe me! Extra comfort and space – yes please! The cost, though, is eye watering.

    So unless I’m lucky enough to have a client paying or who I can charge the cost to, I guess I’ll have to suffer in silence in economy.

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