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Plane and simple: Be your journey long or short, all's fare when you're going somewhere


Sometimes the biggest thrill  for nervous travellers is just getting your self to the airport, writes Phil Brown

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I love living near Brisbane Airport. BNE. From our place it’s around eight minutes to the International Airport, around 13 or 14 to the Domestic Terminal.

I love airports. I don’t even mind planes flying over us as they do sometimes. I mean we do live in a busy city on the Pacific Rim and planes are part of the deal. Actually, they make me feel nostalgic.

As a boy we lived in Hong Kong, in Kowloon Tong, a genteel suburb under the flight path into Kai Tak, an airport famous for hairy landings on that runway that jutted out into the harbour.

When the planes flew over us, I would rush into the garden and look up in wonder at the belly of the beast. Coming in over Kowloon Tong and Kowloon City the planes used to fly perilously close to the buildings and when we were on board my father would say he could see some bloke picking his nose in his living room. Classy guy my dad. He said the same thing every time. Don’t you love dad jokes?

I spent a lot of my time in airports as a child and they are exciting places.

I find them even more exciting when I’m not going anywhere. Despite having flown since a young age I’m still not the best flyer so I’m often nervous when departing.

I’m great at arriving though. You can’t wipe the smile off my face.

But frankly I just like going and hanging out at the airport when I’m not going anywhere. Although as my wife pointed out some people think they are going somewhere when they aren’t due to flight cancellations. It’s a thing now, isn’t it?

I had to pick my wife up at the Domestic terminal the other day when she was coming back from a conference in Cairns. She said I could just swing by the pickup spot but I said no, I wanted to come in and meet her at the gate. I arrived an hour early, did a little shopping and people watching, ran into a mate and did some plane spotting too awaiting her arrival.

The people-watching was certainly interesting. I mean when I fly, I like to dress respectably. I read once that it’s good for nervous flyers to wear nice clothes and sunglasses to blunt the glare.

Some people I saw at the airport the other day hadn’t got the memo. And yes, I’m talking about you – the bloke in front of me in thongs and daggy shorts, flashing a plumber’s smile. I guess he felt pretty comfortable though so maybe that’s a good thing.

I think a pair of comfy runners, jeans or chinos and a polo shirt would be more appropriate but hey, that’s just me.

I love the car parks out at BNE too although when we are travelling together, we just cab it. The taxi drivers don’t like us because when we get in and tell them we’re basically ten minutes away they appear a little crestfallen. But a fare is a fare, right?

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