Waking up at 4am and trekking across the country to Stansted is always a bittersweet feeling. Yes, you’re going on holiday but at the same time you’ve only had four hours of sleep and are fed up with the cheerful taxi driver’s incessant attempts to make small talk with you. As if this wasn’t bad enough, you then arrive at an airport.
Everything, except for the glaring billboards, is grey; the floor, the walls and the face of the airport security man asking if you have “any liquids or gels”. Your sheer exhaustion is reaching its peak when all of a sudden a burly man feels you up just because you forgot to take off your belt. They poke around in your bag with what looks like a magic wand but instead of pulling out a rabbit they conjure up some nail scissors and then throw them away. Finally, its over and you make your way through to the terminal to try and buy a coffee. Except you can’t buy a coffee, you can only buy a frappuccino, triple shot, skinny, flexible, rotund latte made with the tears of fucking orphans. Okay, so the frappuccino is actually pretty good and you finally find somewhere to sit down and flick to the ‘off the beaten track’ section of your Lonely Planet guide that other tourists have obviously never read.
Just when you have finally recovered from the traumatic ordeal that was fighting your way through the airport you are hit with yet another discomfort utterly worse than anything that had come before: the colour scheme of Ryanair. It’s almost as if they are trying to trick you – as when you enter the plane you are greeted with an acceptable undulant dark blue that is neither inspiring nor offensive. However, once you pass the first seat the horror manifests itself in the brittle plastic sheaths that shroud the cramped seats and it is inescapable. Yellow is everywhere, in your face, up your nose – it’s practically undressing you. You would never normally wear Ray Bans inside but desperate times call for desperate measures.
To add insult to injury you realise they’ve ripped the seat pocket out as well just so they can offend you with more yellow. Ironically, they’ll be the ones regretting that decision when you can’t find a sick-bag to throw up in. Seriously, who is Ryanair’s interior designer? Or did they just ask a child to name two colours and then went with that. They’re Irish. They could have gone with a nice palatable green but instead decided to bombard you with a yellow that is brighter than Ra himself.
To escape the yellow, you decide to glance at the menu and are shocked to see that a bottle of water costs two quid and a cheese and pickle sandwich is hitting the five pound mark. If the colour scheme hadn’t already put you off your food this menu most certainly will; not only is the quality of the food terrible but it also costs an arm and a leg.
All annoyances aside you gradually find yourself drifting off to sleep, and although you’ll probably have nightmares, it’s a deserved rest after an arduous day. But with a jolt you are awoken; the plane has landed! It was not exactly stress-free but you can now at least think about enjoying your holiday. Just as you’re beginning to forgive Ryanair, your senses are subjected to torture once again when the not-so-bad-landing is followed up by a screeching trumpet fanfare and ripples of applause. If you had had your eyes closed you might have guessed that you’d just gone to see your eight-year-old son’s orchestra, but alas it was just awful ending to an awful flight. Next time I’m flying Easy Jet.