The dubious joys of flying

“Life is very long when you’re lonely” makes it’s disembodied way out of my record player and truer lyrics have never been penned. I’ve never been a fan of Valentines Day but seeing all the sickly posts on social media have made me wish that I was with my wife this weekend. It’s been over two months since we last had time together and the days have gone so slowly since then. Of course when we are actually together time rushes past with all the subtlety of Big Ben. Thinking about our next trip has me thinking about flying, what is it about flying that brings out the inner asshole in everyone?

From having more carry on bags in their hand than a refugee fleeing a disaster zone to rushing like woodlice disturbed from under a log to get in front of everyone else, people lose the ability to think about others as soon as they arrive at the airport. My personal favourites are those who want to board first despite the fact that they are sat at the front of the plane. Who wants to spend more time in a narrow aluminium tube?  Then there are the people who recline their chairs fully and then complain when the back of your knees touch it. Sorry that I’m over four foot tall dickhead!

When I’m  flying I try to make sure that my actions don’t impact anyone else- from requesting an aisle seat as I like to stretch my legs to not having a shave in the toilet when there’s only two toilets on the plane. One flight I was unfortunate enough to sit next to an overweight man who smelled like the very bowels of hell and filled his seat like he’d been poured into it. I’m pretty sure there’s been sardines in a can with more room than the space he left me. So fingers crossed I’m never on the same flight as him again! I was fortunate enough on my last flight to the US to have three seats to myself on a half filled plane so lets hope for similar success next time.

The other thing that irritates me about flying is the costs. For my next flight to the US the breakdown is as follows…

 

Government, authority and airport charges Per adult
Air Passenger Duty – United Kingdom  GBP67.00
Passenger Service Charge – United Kingdom  GBP39.75
Customs User Fee – USA  GBP3.30
Transportation Tax(Departure) – USA  GBP10.60
Transportation Tax(Arrival) – USA  GBP10.60
Animal & Plant Health User Fee (Aphis) – USA  GBP3.00
Immigration User Fee – USA  GBP4.30
Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fee – USA  GBP1.50
Passenger Facility Charge  GBP2.70
Total government, authority and airport charges* GBP142.75

Airline fees and surcharges Per adult
Carrier imposed charge**  GBP213.00
Total Airline fees and surcharges GBP213.00

Total taxes, fees and surcharges per person GBP355.75

 

So it would appear that the UK government is taxing me about £110 for a flight which is a nice way of penalising those in a long distance relationship, could you call it a tax on love? I know that the cost is supposedly a tax on the carbon footprint of the flight but is there any evidence that the money raised is being used to offset the carbon footprint of my flight? No. Politicians don’t care of course because they get their flights on expenses, I’m pretty sure if they were paid closer to the UK average wage and couldn’t claim expenses these taxes would drop faster than Kerry Katona’s knickers. I do care about the environment but I just wish the government would admit that they don’t and that passengers are just being seen as a cash cow. Something to think about the next time you are pricing up a flight online…

 

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3 thoughts on “The dubious joys of flying

  1. a tax on the carbon footprint of the flight but is there any evidence that the money raised is being used to offset the carbon footprint of my flight

    I don’t think that money was ever ring-fenced, unlike the car tax that used to be ring-fenced for upkeep of the roads. But that’s our government, if you can’t ban something then tax it.

    Who do you fly with? I found Delta’s international planes quite spacious – front and sides – and that was before I lost over three stone 😛

  2. Hi there, I really enjoyed reading your posts, you really tell like it is! It makes me feel slightly better when I’m reminded that we are not the only people in this miserable situation. I live in RI (an hour drive to Boston) . My husband is in Bosnia(former Yugoslavia) next Monday I’m going to visit him for 2 weeks. 🙂 As the day is coming closer I’m getting more impatient and eager to see him. Can’t wait! 🙂 I hope you and your wife have a wonderful time! Maybe I’ll see you on one of the airports; I’m going Boston-London-Zagreb.

    Have a wonderful vacation@! 🙂

    1. Hi, thank you for your lovely comments!

      It really is a miserable situation, but if we can get through this we can get through anything. I hope you have a great time in Bosnia with your husband, I’m also getting more impatient and eager for next week to be here! Only 6 days now 🙂

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