Less than a week ago I spent 24 happy hours on a 747/400 in the care of Air New Zealand (who did a great job) returning from Auckland via Los Angeles. Along the way we enjoyed the fun experience that is US immigration – about an hour in a queue to get into a secure transit lounge that you have to leave 5 mins later (though I have to admit the immigration office was polite and courteous – I’d even go so far as to say friendly on this occassion).
Yesterday I spent a (not quite so happy) 18 or so hours travelling in the care of SAS from London to Seattle via Copenhagen. This was to enjoy the benefits of premium exconomy (or “Economy Flex” or whatever SAS call it). My other option was economy direct with BA but the thought of all that time in a cramped BA economy seat was too much for me to contemplate so I thought I’d explore the “long way for a shortcut” option.
I can’t complain too much – the flight wasn’t bad but Air New Zealand score in a number of ways. Their in-flight entertainment system was *way* better (I noticed it happened to be based on Windows CE) being true “on demand”. With SAS I had an individual screen and controller but if you miss the start of a film well, you miss the start of the film. The film choice was also much more restricted (on the trip to NZ I watched The March of the Penguins, Walk the Line, The Fellowship of the Ring amongst others – nothing on SAS appealed to me but I guess that’s a personal thing). And the food was nowhere near the standard set by Air New Zealand. I’d say the economy flex seat with SAS wasn’t much, if any, bigger than the economy seat in Air New Zealand.
I used seatguru.com for the first time to take a look at my seat on SAS and in particular to check if it had power for my laptop. It did – and according to seatguru I could use my normal UK power adapter. Like a muppet I threw my US adapters in my case and headed for the airport. I should have realised that it was too good to be true – the seat will take a european or US adapter but not UK. I had an extended battery with me so it wasn’t too bad. But I was surprised by the number of people prepared to stump up $30 for wireless internet access on board – have we really become that dependent on being connected?
Anyway, my jetlag is horrible. Back in the UK for the last few days I’ve been waking up at 6am and falling asleep at about 8pm. Nothing I can do about it. I’m now on GMT-8 which means it’s 9.30pm back home as I write this and my body wants to go to sleep but it’s only lunchtime here. Basically I’m a perfect 180 degrees out of sync and it’s fuzzy and unpleasant…