The Aviator’s Granddaughter

Ever since I can remember, all I wanted to do was travel. But not any type of traveling, I wanted to FLY. With my grandfather (may he rest in peace) being an aviator for whom planes had been the center of his entire existence up to the last day of his life…it wasn’t that hard to imagine why I loved to fly and why planes always exerted such a strong hold on me. I was indeed „Nini’s granddaughter”. This is how I used to call my grandfather…Nini. I don’t even remember how I started calling him that way, I just know my grandmother was fondling him with that name and I somehow caught it and apropriated it myself :)

Up to last year, my father used to joke about my passion for airplanes, saying that „your ideal life would be just in-between airplanes, just like your grandfather”. And in a way he was right. I always said that, had I been a boy, I would definitely have been a pilot. That would have been the only thing to suit me. But anyway, my goal on this planet seems to be quite intertwined with the airplanes as well. When I got into the Master’s Programme that I’m currently doing, my father laughed again (fatherlike and supportive, of course) and said, quite rightfully, „This MA seems to have been made especially for you. One year and 5 locations. You will really get to be in-between airplanes”.

And indeed I am. I was thinking about this while on the plane that took me from Amsterdam to London. You could truly say that airplanes are now my second home. I definitely spent more time in airplanes that I got to spend in my car for the past 3 months. And the first signs of „addiction” have started showing. The thought that I could crop this into a „How do you know when you’re a PLANE FREAK” list really made me laugh. So…how do you know?
I know I’m one, because:
– I know by heart all the food-menus of the main carriers (KLM, British, Austrian) so I basically know what to expect every time. My favorite is KLM’s pasta, but they only serve that for long-haul flights. And they also have a very good tomato&pepper juice.
– I can check myself in electronically in about 1 minute (with printing the boarding pass included).
– I have a favorite seat (4D is the one that I always pick). When I’m traveling alone I always pick the aisle-seat, because I like the mobility and the possibility of moving around without getting two strangers out of their seats. When I’m traveling with friends, I looove the window seat :).
– I know Amsterdam Schiphol better than I know the streets in the center of Bucharest…and I’m not kidding. You could keep my eyes tied and I would still manage to get my way through Schiphol. Just a few flights more and I could apply for a part-time job at the airport :)))
– I’m starting to know the schedules of the main carriers by heart (Amsterdam-Bucharest flights either arrive at 13:20 or at 00:10 and they usually depart from Bucharest at 06:30 or 14:15; I have the London schedules as well :) ).
– I know my 11-digits Flying Blue code by heart, because I use it all the time and I’m starting to do miles-math in my mind (how many miles do I get for a flight from X to Y, how many Award Miles, how many Level miles etc…);
– I can quote from the „Holland Herald” (the KLM inflight magazine) any time and any place. I know products, prices, available colors, everything. I’ve skimmed through that so many times that I almost memorized it.

And…the last but definitely not the LEAST…one more argument in bolstering my PLANE-FREAKINESS is…that I love it. I absolutely love it. And yes…I know that somewhere up there…Nini is indulgently smiling back at me 😉

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