Sunday, August 28, 2011

Up, up and away! (Would you like to buy a watch?)

I’ve been meaning to write all week, I have loads of stuff to post, instead I’ve been packing. I packed for three days straight. And, no, I’m not moving anywhere. On Tuesday I packed an insane amount of stuff to take down to the beach house. I packed all day. Then on Wednesday I went down to the beach house to take a huge carload of stuff and once unloaded, I realized I had taken practically nothing at all. How does this happen? I mean, the car was full, to the brim, and yet the house is still empty. I didn’t even manage to take the vacuum cleaner down there cause it wouldn’t fit in the car, cause of all the stuff. And yet I didn’t even manage to make a dent in outfitting the apartment, all that work was like a drop in the ocean. I’m flummoxed.

Thursday and Friday I spent packing for our trip to Sardinia. As the beach apartment is still uninhabitable this summer, due to the lack of doors and windows, we decided to book a little last minute vacation to one of the most beautiful beach areas in Italy. Unfortunately, rather than learn from my fellow bloggers’ mistakes I decided to fly Cheap Ass Air (I refer you now to Mrs Fancy’s posts on the subject, this one here in particular, I’m blatantly stealing this moniker from her). It seemed convenient enough, CAA (cheap ass air) was flying straight from the small airport near our town, we only had an twenty minute drive to get there, much better than the usual hour and a half minimum to the next biggest airport, which still isn’t a real international airport (that’s almost three hours away), so we thought it was the best solution ever.

Let me just say, and please learn from my mistakes (though I know you’ll ignore me, much like I ignored Fancy) flying Cheap Ass Air is never the best solution, ever, and rarely is it the cheapest. In any case, armed with my previously acquired Fancy knowledge, I tried to dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s when reserving the ticket, I got extra baggage allowance, paid extra to bring my carseat, tried and failed to buy the Girl a seat even though she’s under two but apparently it’s impossible on CAA (although Fancy begs to differ), basically I did everything short of a propitiatory rain dance to ensure a smooth flying experience for my family.

Apart from the fact that we left from the only airport in the world to not have even the memory of a luggage cart anywhere on it’s premises (and though I haven’t actually flown from every airport in the world I have gone through airports that were nothing more than a hut alongside a landing strip and I’ve always found a luggage cart, but nary a one to be found here), I’d like to list a few highlights from the eventful, albeit short, thankfully, flight:

- apparently CAA is CA all around, there are advertisements everywhere you look. On the overhead luggage compartments (which incidentally we were strongly discouraged to use by the inflight personnel that kept repeating to please put our luggage underneath the seat in front of us first) there were all manner of ads, the most prolific one encouraged me to “Discover Lanzarote”, there is no place I’d rather discover less now, so not very effective advertising, in my opinion, but that’s neither here nor there.
Then again ads on the subway (metro, underground, tube, or whatever else you’d like to call it) are common enough, of course, but a subway ticket is a couple of euros at most so it’s acceptable, I would think, to try and cover the cost of running that service with a few ads, but in this case though Cheap Ass Air may be cheap (allegedly) it’s not that cheap.

- They never just shut the hell up. They are constantly on the speaker system telling you about some great deal or other you just can’t miss. Really, they just need to shut up. And when they’re not telling you to buy something or fly somewhere they put music on. I realize I’m no spring chicken, so I’m not hip or cool but really, what happened to just napping in flight to the soothing white noise provided by the plane's engines?

- They charge 3 euros for a cup of instant coffee. Now, I was travelling with both kids, one of which was on my lap because despite my attempting repeatedly to throw money at them they simply would not sell me a ticket for her, and a husband who was not on top form for the trip so I wasn’t about to risk drinking a cup of coffee (which I actually really needed, if only as a respite from the hell of travelling with two kids under four and a sick husband) but 3 euros, seriously??

- The flight attendants were actually something much more akin to those nut jobs that work on the likes of the shopping channel. They tried to entice us with the following items: smokeless cigarettes (really), perfume (not duty free of course, so why the hell would I buy perfume on an airplane?), t-shirts and (wait for it…) a watch, a Geox watch available in a variety of colors, oh and the three euro cup of instant coffee. All this on a slightly over an hour-long flight.

But the highlight of the trip, in my opinion, was provided by a fellow passenger; you see, halfway through the flight the guy sitting across the aisle from us calls the flight attendant to complain that he wasn’t getting any reception on his phone. He wasn’t getting reception on his phone. I laughed for like half an hour once the husband shared this little gem with me, it was a nervous laugh due to the possibility of all of us plummeting to a premature and violent death due to this guy’s stupidity, but still he lifted my mood for a minute so his good deed for the day is done.

Anyway, we’ve made it to our destination, I’ve unpacked, we’ve eaten, the kids are bathed and sleeping and tomorrow we’ll start exploring, though let me just say this, first impression: not great.

I won’t expound on that any further cause I’m hoping my negative outlook is due to a bit of traveller fatigue, but let’s just say that my next post will likely be about why one should never disregard the negative reviews on Tripadvisor, even if they are few and far between. As the Boy said when he saw his room “can we go home now?”. 


  1. I've flown with the Romanian version of CAA and I can assure you your trip sounds like first class! The things we won't do for a nice beach vacation!

  2. Ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh wait, need to dry myself, okay I'm back, ha ha ha ha ha! But even better is the proof of what kind of clientele they attract: no reception? ha ha ha, oh crikey I've soaked the chair, ha ha ha ha ha ha......