We are now back in Dubai after an horrendous night flight home. I was travelling on my own with the children as hubby had come back the previous week. The children, for a change, were fantastic - thanks courtesy to their Nintendo DS and the in-flight entertainment system.
However, I do have to publicly criticise Virgin Atlantic and their approach to an overnight flight. Imagine if you will:
- a 6.5 hour flight departing at 9pm and arriving local time at 6.30am;
- we take off on time and the pre-dinner drinks service starts at 10pm (1am local time);
- evening meal follows at around 10.30pm (1.30am)
- trays are cleared away at approximately midnight (3am) and we have "clearance" to recline our seats;
- lights go down for sleep;
- 2 hours later (5am local time), the lights come back on again for breakfast; and
- 1.5 hours later, we land.
I have to ask - what is the point? Who wants a full meal that late at night, followed by breakfast 2 hours later . . .?? I have respect for the cabin crew and honestly, it could be the easiest shift in history if they just give passengers what is sensible - in my eyes, it is the following:
- a good quality packet of sandwiches and mug of hot chocolate (or nightcap) once in the air;
- lights down for sleep pretty much straight-away (after all, there are individual lights if someone wants to read)
- a banana and box of orange juice as we prepare to land.
Wouldn't that be better for everyone - both passengers and crew? In fairness to Virgin, Emirates are no different - oh, except that they tried to feed the children curry!)
My children didn't sleep much - perhaps that was because their dinner consisted of (good quality) chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and vegetables (good) a bottle of sugary "Fruit Shoot" and a massive gingerbread man (Virgin - have a brain - children - sugar - night flight . . !). E finally went to sleep as the wheels went down for landing, leaving me to carry a child, handbag, hand luggage and duty free off the plane, whilst also guiding a very sleepy 5 year old.
I have come to the conclusion that, like nightclubbing, I am far too old for overnight flights.