I am sitting at the gate waiting for my Virgin Atlantic flight to London. A gate I’ve sat at many times before.
I’ve been playing my favorite game – Spot The Brit. It isn’t difficult. A certain facial type, clothing, accessories give it away long before I hear the unmistakeable accents.
I remember taking the boys to London on Virgin by myself when they were six. I had waited a long time to do that, waiting until I felt we could all stand it but now I wonder what on earth was I thinking taking two 6 year-old boys on an 11 hour flight (and the rest) by myself.
Of course I’d got prepared.
I’d read about keeping them entertained and one article suggested getting small, new toys and to bring one out every hour.
That’s a lot of small toys for two boys on an eleven-hour flight.
I’d bought little backpacks and filled them with coloring books, new crayons, puzzle books and a snacky treat. I’d bought Pull-ups (I couldn’t risk an accident on a plane –eek!) their favorite sippy cups and bedtime milk. We’d bought Leapfrogs and enough cartridges for the entire flight.
I didn’t need any of it.
The moment they got on board, they were investigating all the buttons. The reading light, the call light, the chair adjustment (much to the annoyance of the person behind.)
Then it was the seat pocket in front of them.
They got their blankets out of their plastic bag, got comfy with their little pillow.
And settled back to enjoy the flight.
Sebastian was a voracious reader. Of the emergency instructions.
We had watched the little safety cartoon, taken off and broken the clouds and he was still reading the booklet cover to cover. Made me feel I should stick with this boy in the event of a problem.
I couldn’t go wrong with him by my side.
But then came the turn of the entertainment console and lifelong brand loyalty to Virgin was assured.
Games, TV (channels and programs they weren’t allowed at home,) maps of their journey and music.
All at the press of the button.
I had sat myself between the two of them in order to prevent any fighting. But soon I decided it was prudent to change seats so that they could sit next to one another. So they could share tips on the best way to navigate the entertainment system.
I was astounded. They were totally disinterested in anything I had to offer. Coloring books suddenly felt foolish and juvenile.
Up to this point, we were a non-computer household as far as children were concerned.
They hadn’t been exposed to anything more technological than Blues Clues and Dragon Tales. Spongebob was on my ‘over my dead body’ list. We hadn’t even heard of iCarly.
But now, two miles up in the sky, they were in heaven.
The next time we flew, we used a different airline. Cheaper in dollars. Waaaaaaay more expensive on the emotions. Horrible food, grumpy staff and a small movie screen located several rows ahead of us.
It didn’t make us feel special.
Our vacation started when we arrived at our destination not the moment we got on the airplane. There was no anticipation or excitement. Just a long haul flight to be endured.
So never again. I don’t care how much extra it costs. We are Virgins.
Do you have a favorite brand you refuse to diverge from? What is the story behind that? And if you don’t, what is important to you when selecting a purchase? Let me know in the comments!
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