Galley Gossip: Italy: Prepare for takeoff.

“Want to go to Italy?” The husband asked.

“Umm…I don’t know…Yes. As in YES YES YES!” I exclaimed. And then I added, “But I’m not flying standby.” Because I wasn’t. And I was ready to stand my ground.

“Yeah, well me neither,” he said, and that was that.

When The Husband and I decided to go to Italy on our vacation last month, we actually purchased our tickets, even though I can fly standby for free. Why? Because we wanted to go to Italy, remember? We actually wanted to make it to the land of wine and cheese and olives and pasta and prosciutto served with a loaf of crusty bread.

What we didn’t want to do was get stuck sitting around an airport for days praying that two people wouldn’t show up for their flight. Oh no, we wanted to get fat from drinking wine and eating cheese and olives and pasta and prosciutto with a loaf of crusty bread in Venice, Rome, and Positano. Not from cheeseburgers and pizza at the JFK food court. And not only did we have plans to eat our way through Italy, we also planned on getting back home when the vacation came to an end. Oh the joys of stand-by travel…


Because The Husband flies over 100,000 miles a year, we were able to use his frequent flier miles to bump us up to business class, where you can usually find me working. Did I happen to mention this was a dream trip, a trip we’ve been planning for years, a trip that was supposed to be our honeymoon trip five years ago things got screwed up and we wound up in Playa Blanca, a teeny tiny town near Zihautanejo. The war had just broken out and someone was afraid to travel too far from home for fear of getting stuck, since that same someone had gotten stuck in Zurich with her mother for two weeks immediately following 9/11.

Okay okay, so there are worse places to get stuck than Zurich, I know, but when you’re a flight attendant and make a flight attendant salary, it’s very easy to go broke on cappuccino and croissant alone. Though there are worse ways to go broke, I guess.

The best part about actually buying a ticket on a flight, opposed to standing-by for free, is that you get to choose your seat. A window seat, that’s what I chose, and that’s exactly what I got. Man, I couldn’t wait to get on that airplane. And sit. Not work. And watch movies. As others worked. While I sat. Not working. I did mention that this was my dream trip, right? Oh yeah, trust me, that’s part of the dream. I couldn’t wait to take off from JFK at dusk, my favorite time of day, and look out my window, camera in hand, from a business class seat. Not the jumpseat. I couldn’t wait to see a breathtaking view of New York City. Not the first class closet. Or the business class galley. Or the nasty coach carpet. Or the flight attendant sitting next to me. No offense to the flight attendant sitting next to me, whoever that flight attendant may happen to be. I couldn’t wait to….oh you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, here’s a few from our flight from New York to London, where we transferred to another flight that would take us to Venice.