I may never again have to sit in the middle seat on a plane, with my wife in the aisle seat and an overweight gentleman in the window seat hogging the armrest.
Coronavirus may be a killer, but still, the best thing that has come about from the outbreak is more arm room, if not more legroom, in passenger jet planes.
I was happy to read on Facebook about a Canadian mother who made the trip safely to her home in Toronto on one of those so-called and way, way too expensive ‘evacuation flights’.
The shorter duration will be environment friendly as flights will burn less fuel, but hope that passengers do not suddenly see a jet fighter through their windows as they are about to dip into their carry-on snacks
Seems the aircraft was half full and food was served ‘normally’, except that the juices came in boxes. There was a lot of hand sanitising going on upon landing in Toronto, and she had to “home quarantine” herself and her kids.
Which reminds me of a Bollywood singer, Kanika Kapoor, who was interred because she tested positive. She said the Indian hospital execs told her she was throwing a tantrum when she complained about the terrible facilities.
The scary or funny part about the episode was that many political leaders who attended the singer’s soirée had to quarantine themselves. Some of them had also met the Indian President.
Of course, I could hire an Airbus to fly my wife and I to Delhi, if I did not wish to mix with the hoi-polloi, as the inebriated Russian socialists would say about the elite, the filthy rich, who made their money from real estate and fossil fuel, but can you imagine the paperwork that would be required for this three-hour flight!
Sood - to the rescue
An Indian richie-rich guy actually hired a plane to get his family and maid back home from some virus-infected city in India. But not all people love their wives (or their maids) so much, so there is this report about one guy sending a request to Bollywood actor, Sonu Sood, whether he can help send his wife back to her parents’ home. The actor is helping arrange transport for the poor stranded migrants to get back home.
We are yet to get the latest reports on what befell that guy. The sneaky part is that he did not make the request himself, but used his toddler daughter to send the voice request to the charitable actor.
The other good thing about the coronavirus pandemic is that flights out of and into India will be shorter as civil aviation authorities are planning to take over the sensitive airspace from the air force.
The shorter duration will be environment friendly as flights will burn less fuel, but hope that passengers do not suddenly see a jet fighter through their windows as they are about to dip into their carry-on snacks.
This column is not actually about love and the real reason why I am thinking about taking a flight to one of India’s most coronavirus ‘hot’ spots, is because of umm, important financial matters.
“It’s going to cost us a lot if we cancel,” said my wife. So I told her let’s take a chance and take the flight. “Airline executives have said the cleanest air is on aircraft because it is cleaned and freshly circulated more often than, say a workplace,” I said.
“What about the flights that had passengers who tested coronavirus positive and who had to be quarantined?” she said.
As we were pondering whether to fly again, our maid said buses are back on the roads again in Bengaluru. “There are crosses on the seats where you should not sit. Everybody is sitting on those seats and leaving the others empty,” she said.
— Mahmood Saberi is a storyteller and blogger based in Bengaluru, India. Twitter: @mahmood_saberi